Peter Vosper, chairman of the Vospers Group, writes for the Torbay Weekly

Peter VosperPeter Vosper

No sooner do we try to get a balance than something tips the scales.

We thought we were doing well but suddenly we need to adjust our lives yet again.

Devon and Cornwall has been recovering from the lockdown and the holiday industry has been busy as the result of staycation and hopefully reminding our visitors what a beautiful part of the country we live in.

After all, this is a real opportunity to show them that we have a lot to offer and encourage them to return in the future instead of jetting off to apparently have more fun and sun abroad.

The new investment in hotels and the response and support from some of the great attractions of the Bay is very encouraging and ensures no one will be upstaged by our continental rivals.

It’s becoming more and more likely coronavirus will be with us for some time to come so if we have done a good job of looking after our customers they will be thinking of booking for next year.

In the motor retail business if we are to be successful we need our customers to return time and time again. This is not just to buy or lease a new or used vehicle, although good professional advice from someone you can rely on makes good sense.

Today’s sales advisors are expected to be very knowledgeable on the product, fully trained to listen to individuals needs, and ensure the customer is comfortable with any negotiation and satisfied they have been treated as valued customers.

Whether the sales advisor has achieved these standards will not only mean job retention and a growing base of returning customers, but new potential customers as a result of recommendations from these happy people.

This is just the beginning of the relationship. As a result of increased technology including additions to safety equipment and improvements to emissions, as well as customer demand for new products, there is more to maintain and go wrong.

It is only when something goes wrong you will discover how good your dealer is.

For many products it is an inconvenience if they are not working but for most of us our car is the most important tool we own.

Without it we may not be able to transport family to school or to work, or daily tasks like shopping, and we need to know what alternatives are available.

This is why it makes sense to arrange your servicing in advance, on a day and time that is convenient to you.

If you require alternative transport a courtesy car can be reserved to minimise your inconvenience or in some cases for a nominal charge your car can be picked up and delivered back to your home.

This is necessary if you are vulnerable and unable to leave your home in the current pandemic.

However, it is when things happen unexpectedly that you need to know you have support services. Do you have breakdown cover?

How long will it take to get to you? You should be able to trust your local dealer to be your support.

It’s the same with the coronavirus situation too.

Are they providing a safe experience for you with clear instructions? Is there adequate sanitisation on site?

Are the employees wearing masks and following Government rules on social distancing and cleanliness?

Is your car being thoroughly cleaned before delivery or return to you? Do you feel safe and secure in the dealership?

If not let them know, you can contact me on peter.vosper@vospers.com and I will get back to you.

Take care and stay safe, on or off the roads, and we’ll catch up next week.