I keep reviewing cars or jotting down my views on this or that, but this time, I thought that I would give you a review on myself and the garage. I know, I know, it will be slightly biased, but hey, it’s my review.
So, first impressions. When I drive on the forecourt in the morning, I always do so with the idea that I am a customer and what my first impressions will be. Are the cars lined up straight, are they clean, is there any litter, are the windows clean, etc.
I have always had this approach to my work environment, I look at things from a customer’s perspective. It sounds easy, but you would be surprised just how many people don’t do this, in any retail work place. When I was a 16 year old butcher (yes, long ago) I was taught this by an aging Master butcher and it has stuck with me all of these years.
Once inside, I open up the doors, turn on the lights and then it’s to my emails. When the boys (Colin & Paul) come in, we always sit down for 5 or 10 minutes to discuss any customer collections for the day, possible sales yet to confirm and in general, any housekeeping issues that may have arisen.
This is about when Siobhan, my service manager, comes in and lets me know just what work will need doing on any of our stock or sold vehicles. One thing I take pride in is the level that we prepare our used cars to. We don’t cut corners, we don’t put either the customer or our reputation at risk. Quality of service at all times.
Then, it’s down to being ready for customers who decide to drop in. I have always hated heavy handed sales tactics or sales people, whether buying a tv, a fridge or a car. So that is one thing we do not do here at Barlo Motors in Thurles. Don’t get me wrong, we are going to try our best to sell you a car, that’s our job, but we are going to convince you that we are the right people to buy from, that we value your business and just how hard you have worked to get the money to purchase your new car. I like to think that people buy from us, we don’t sell to them. What are your requirements? What’s important to you? What will make you a happy customer? You, are the most important person in our business.
Then, it’s keeping that relationship going, that we have started to build with you. I always try to buy local or hire local and often have paid a tad more for it. But, when I needed help, I have it at hand.
Let me tell you a story.
I had a plumber who was referred to me, refit a bathroom for me. I also wanted an emersion heater fitted and some radiators moving. He did this, and everything was grand. A few days later, we discovered a leak in the room with the emersion heater and called straight away (It was a Sunday). I asked if he could possibly come down and sort it out on Monday and he said leave it with him as he was in Cork with the family. 3 hours later, dressed in his Sunday best, he appeared (with family in tow) at my door. He sorted out the leak, which was a broken seal from part of the piping unconnected with the work he did. I then thanked him so much and asked what I owed him, and he said nothing. He said that when I called, I didn’t shout and demand he come straight away, but considered his situation and didn’t start to blame him. I was genuinely impressed and have already recommended him twice and will not use another plumber at any cost.
Could I have got the work done cheaper from someone out of area? Yes, most definitely. Was the price I paid fair? Yes, definitely. Was the service I received top notch? Again, yes. But, here’s the big question, would I have received the same quality service from someone out of area? No, I would have been just a job number to them.
Any of our customers will tell you, we go the extra mile for them. Whether it’s collecting their car for service, loaning them one of our own demonstrators when our loan car is out with a customer, making sure they are comfortable when they visit and always, always telling people the truth and being upfront with them.
It’s getting after 5 now and it’s nearing my time to go home. I always walk around the dealership at this point, just to make sure that if any potential customers were to visit out of opening hours, then their first impressions would still be high. We have had a good day to-day, we have sold two cars, looked after a number of customers through our service department and had the showroom floor machine polished. So, it starts all again in the morning. If you pop down, don’t forget to say hello and I will make sure the kettle’s on.
Thanks for reading the ramblings of the Sales Manager, James Mc Vicker at Barlo Motors, Thurles"