Wed, May 24, 2017 3:00 PM
Consistently good client feedback has helped Northwich’s Oakmere Toyota dealership to be honoured once again with a top award. Only three of the UK’s 180 Toyota outlets are granted the coveted Ichiban customer service award which are bestowed by the market-leading automotive manufacturer every two years.
This most recent accolade is the third time that Oakmere Toyota dealership has won the Ichiban award, having previously been chosen to receive it in 2013 and 2015.
Responses provided by customers to a survey about their experience of dealing with their local dealership are central to deciding which outlets are chosen for the honour.
“To have been able to win this award, not just once but three times, means the world to me, and all the people who have helped put our Toyota dealership in Northwich on the map, not just in the UK but throughout Europe,” said Jonathan Jarratt, Managing Director of Oakmere Toyota.
“It’s a big endorsement of the standard of the service we give our customers in all parts of the business.”
Jonathan said: “As a family-owned and run business established for 35 years, we appreciate the importance of how we make our customers feel every time they deal with us.
“That applies equally whether they’re buying their first car from us, or are long-standing buyers coming back for the umpteenth time to have their car serviced,” he added.
A loyal and dedicated team of knowledgeable people lies at the heart of Oakmere Toyota - cars aren’t just their job, but their lives too. The company is also fiercely proud of its roots in the communities of Northwich, Middlewich and Winsford from where most of its customers come.
Central to the ranking of dealers for the Ichiban award is the scores and comments that are given in response to customer surveys sent out by Toyota UK following a car purchase, service or repair.
Toyota Europe has been making the awards for more 11 years, and from an initial focus purely on customer service, it has changed the emphasis to ‘customer recommendation through the provision of an exceptional customer experience’. According to Toyota UK, “This is underpinned by retailers delivering services based on “doing what is right for the customer”. Europe-wide, around 2,300 retailers are eligible for the awards, but just three are reserved for the UK.
Johan van Zyl, President and CEO of Toyota Motor Europe, said: “We don’t only want to be number one in the hearts and minds of our customers, we want our customers to be number one in the hearts and minds of everyone in our retailers.
“Customer recommendation is not a statistical exercise, it’s about connecting to our customers and creating one-to-one relationships with them.”
Jonathan Jarratt added: “The Ichiban award means the world to me personally, and to everyone here, because we see it as an endorsement of our business ethos which means we treat our customers as friends above everything else.
“I’m massively proud of all my staff for the part they’ve played in our unprecedented three wins, but especially of the work of our After-Sales Manager, Rob McDean, and Sales Manager, Alex Young.
“They’re most often the first people our Toyota customers see whenever they visit the dealership, and they really embody the difference between us as an independent, family-owned and run business, and many of our colleagues in the motor trade, who work for much bigger companies, often with a nationwide presence.”
A big award handover event will take place at the Manchester Road dealership some time in the near future, and Jonathan is now hugely proud of the fact that this occasion will mark the third time he and his staff have had a personal visit from a President of Toyota in the UK - Mr Paul Van der Burgh will also be the third holder of the post to visit Northwich for such a happy occasion.
Now, though, comes the challenge of trying to carry this success forward and possibly earn a fourth Ichiban - but it’s one for which Jonathan and his team are well prepared. “Our consistent success is a great testimony to the fact that we don’t rest on our laurels, but aim to continuously improve what we do in every aspect of the exhaustive and complex process of being assessed on our work. It says a lot about the ongoing commitment and loyalty from the whole team,” he said.
Customer service that’s recognised as among the best in the business, along with a range of new Toyota models and Toyota approved used cars, is a combination that’s made Oakmere Toyota highly regarded by its customers. Visit the Oakmere Toyota showroom on Manchester Road, Northwich yourself, and see why so many of its customers are also its good friends.