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More aftersales business managers to be recruited by The Warranty Group after successful dealer trial

More aftersales business managers are to be recruited by The Warranty Group following successful trials in dealerships around the country.

Tests at four dealer groups where the new breed of specialist aftersales business managers have been in operation have reported a "significant" uplift in sales.

In each, an aftersales business managers has been tasked with maximising service plan and warranty sales as well as a range of other essential aftersales KPIs such as amber sales.

They are attached to aftersales operations in a similar way to how traditional business managers have for many years worked alongside new and used car sales departments, selling finance, GAP and RTI products.

The four dealerships so far involved in the trial are Allen Ford Coventry, Allen Ford Romford, Essex Group in Essex and Co-op Derby.

Ian Simpson, sales and marketing director at The Warranty Group, said: "The trials we have undertaken with aftersales business managers during the last few months have, we believe, underlined the fundamental soundness of the concept, as well as helping us to refine the idea.

"In the current economic climate, aftersales is very much the key battleground for dealer profitability with franchise dealers finding themselves facing increasingly stiff opposition from independent and fast fits. To retain and grow their aftersales business, franchise dealers must find new ways to retain customers over longer periods of time.

"We believe that products such as service plans and extended warranties are likely to be key tools in this battle. Aftersales business managers with a specific brief to cover this area could be the answer for many franchises and the trials have shown impressive results."

Simpson explained that the increase in sales seen at the four trial dealerships was rated as "significant", although The Warranty Group did not want to release exact figures because the test group was small.

He said: "We are already in discussion with more dealer groups about the new intake of aftersales business managers and are identifying the best dealerships in which to place them. We are very excited about the initiative and are looking forward to seeing further results."

So far, all the aftersales business managers have been employees of The Warranty Group but, in future, it is envisaged that more will be directly employed by dealer groups as the concept proves its value.

Simpson explained: "As we gather evidence for the soundness of the aftersales business manager concept, the programme will change to encourage franchise dealers to either recruit or switch existing members of staff into the role. However, in this initial phase, we are ‘parachuting’ people into dealerships to gather real world information."

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