Steve Brown, Automotive Director, looks back on 2017 and another excellent sales performance despite the challenging market conditions.
"Despite the market dropping by over 10% last year, on top of a 25% drop in 2016, we are delighted to report our 5th consecutive year of sales growth. We enjoyed success across the whole business with notable achievements including a 50% growth in used cars, a record year for our TATA Division and 5% growth in new luxury car sales where our competitors are experiencing sales declines of up to 40%.
On top of this unbelievable sales performance, we also received numerous industry accolades and achieved record performance in customer satisfaction across all of our brands.
The success against the backdrop of a declining market has many ingredients, starting with a determination and passion from the whole team to be the best retailers in the region. Whilst always cognisant of the market conditions, we can only see opportunity and we set our stall out accordingly to deliver exceptional value and choice for the ever more discerning consumer.
Our marketing team have also done an exceptional job to generate a 50% increase in sales enquiries through some innovative activities and exceptional offers. Their efforts culminating in the launch of our new website so please have a good look around whilst you are here :)
Have a look below at some of the initiatives that helped us become the best! "
- Steve Brown, Director Automotive
Industry Leading Technology
Last year we launched the very best sales technology in conjunction with market leaders CDK.
This new system provides our sales teams with a fully automated process to manage the customer journey. Our full team are enabled with Apple iPads with all the latest manufacturer configurations and all of our stock records and special offers. These link with large screens in our 17 new luxuriously appointed customer consultation lounges.
The most important benefit of this new technology however is for our customers. Unlike most old fashioned approaches by automotive retailers, we offer our customers complete transparency where they have instant visibility of our stock and pricing and guaranteed pricing. With this our customers can see manufacturer recommended pricing and can configure their car in the absolute confidence that the information and pricing is visible on every single car and option.
A final benefit is that we are able to use the electronically captured data to provide our customers are far more tailored package and future communcation plan.
Our New Customer Service Centre
At the heart of our whole operation is our new Customer Service Centre. We have doubled the size of the team to 8 Customer Service Advisors and now have two dedicated teams looking after sales performance and quality.
The team handle a staggering 10,000 calls per month and achieve the highest levels of customer experience. 99% of our calls are answered within only 10 seconds and we have a lost call % of less than 0.5%. These statistics are unmatched in any industry, in any country in the world!
Aside from handling day to day customer enquiries our Customer Service Team carry out a number of activities including :
- Calling all sales and service customers on behalf of our Directors to ensure we exceeded their expectations.
- Making over 300 service bookings per month
- Advising customers on promotions and special offers across all brands
- Advising customers of any performance enhancements required on their vehicles
- Handling all customer enquiries and concerns
- Responding to all web and digital enquiries within 5 minutes, against an industry average of 3 days!
All New Facilities
When many of our competitors scaled back we decided the time was right to invest even more in our facilities to ensure we offered the very best for our customers.
In 2017 we completed a redevelopment of every single one of our sales and aftersales facilities. We increase our showroom areas by almost 50% and we are proud to announce we now have the largest Jaguar showroom anywhere in the world!! In Ferrari, Maserati & Bentley we also created dedicated Certified Pre-Owned showrooms where you can see an amazing selection of quality used cars, prepared like new.
As part of the redevelopment we decided to completely reinvent customer experience. So, you won't find any desks in the showrooms as you see in most other automotive retailers. In all our showrooms we have created luxurious customer lounges so every customer can discuss their new car purchase in an environment equivalent to an airline First Class Lounge. We've even added two amazing cafe bars where you can enjoy a vast selection of hot and cold refreshments.
Simultaneously we have completely changed our aftersales facilities. Our Jaguar customers now have a fantastic new 'Drive-In' service centre with lifestyle boutique and two separate lounges. Bentley now have an exclusive purpose built facility built over 5 levels offering everything from one site. Ferrari & Maserati customers now benefit from an exclusive site which is double the size and our customers now have the privacy of private offices when bringing their vehicles for service and repair.
Training & Development
When the going gets tough then it's time to sharpen up your team and ensure you are offering the best service to differentiate from your competition.
In 2017 we did just that, making our largest ever investment in training in development with our sales teams travelling the world to experience the best training in product knowledge and customer experience.
We also enhanced our own internal training and development focus and delivered a number of in house training activities in conjunction with our manufacturer partners.
We launched a successful trainee programme bringing non automotive talent in to the business and taking them through a rigorous internal and external programme. It's great to see some of the amazing success stories from the programme and we look forward to repeating it this year.
During the year we also had some great talent across the business promoted to supervisory and management positions and we look forward to creating more future leaders to help drive Al Zayani towards continued growth and improved customer experience.
Not only have we created dedicated Pre-Owned showroom display areas for each brand but we are building our sales teams to ensure we can offer our customers the very best selection at excellent value for money. Each and every Pre-Owned luxury vehicle is meticulously prepared in our state of the art preparation centre and presented in condition almost as good as new. Each car certified by our manufacturer partners and complete with warranty up to 2 years and complimentary servicing up to 4 years.
2017 was a record year for used car sales with an increase of over 50% compared to 2016. For all of our brands we are officially the No.1 Pre-Owned retailer in the GCC and we have aspirations to double sales in 2018!
The great news for our esteemed customers is that we are selling more used cars than we can buy so we are always paying the very best price for quality trade ins. We are even now even offering every new car customer a guaranteed trade in price in 2 years time as we really need their car back.