CDX News

How can your staff experience improve that of your customers?

Time 8:58 am, March 8, 2019

Fiona Cottle, people director at Sytner Car Supermarket Division

SYTNER Car Supermarket Division has a robust strategy for making its dealerships places that employees want to work. At this year’s CDX the business’ people director Fiona Cottle will host a workshop on why this should be at the core of any successful dealership.

The workshop Top tips for making your dealership a place people want to work in will examine why you should be considering a strategy such as this in your own business, the link between colleague and customer experience and how you can define the values that support them.

Sytner Car Supermarket Division, which includes CarShop and The Car People brands, has an ambitious growth strategy and this focus on employees is key to achieving the group’s goals.

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Cottle said: ‘We’ve been continually evolving our people strategy. When I joined the business two years ago, CarShop already had some really good people initiatives in place, such as processes, policies and technology to support colleague engagement.

‘There have been two things that we’ve focussed on in particular. One is around thinking of ourselves as a retail business – because fundamentally that’s what we are – and as a retailer we rely heavily on our people.

‘That means we want to deliver a world class experience for our customers, but really, shouldn’t we be delivering a world class experience to our colleagues as well?

‘The second is around ensuring we have the talent strategy in place to support the growth plans of the business. As a business we had ambitious growth plans, to not just grow organically our existing sites but also add some new sites. That meant we needed a talent strategy that would be part of the overall people strategy.’

CarShop has seen its colleague engagement increase since it implemented this strategy, while staff turnover has dropped and it also boasts one of the highest Glass Door scores in the automotive industry of 4.9 out of five.

This session will take you through how to engage your employees with your company values at every stage of the colleague lifecycle and define what a world-class colleague experience looks like.

Cottle added: ‘People are such a key part of a retail business, and if you want to grow people have got to be a key part of that strategy. Working in the automotive industry doesn’t have a great image at the moment either, and having this could be a key differentiator in terms of attracting the best people.’

Prior to joining CarShop two years ago, Cottle spent the majority of her career at retailer Primark where she held UK and global HR leadership roles. With over 25 years’ HR experience, Cottle’s career spans all touchpoints of people strategy.

Join the Top tips for making your dealership a place people want to work in session at Farnborough International on June 12 to find out more about how this approach can work in your own business.

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Rebecca Chaplin's avatar

Rebecca has been a motoring and business journalist since 2014, previously writing and presenting for titles such as the Press Association, Auto Express and Car Buyer. She has worked in many roles for Car Dealer Magazine’s publisher Blackball Media including head of editorial.

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