PMM takes a closer look at the benefits of joining The Motor Ombudsman, and discovers that there’s more to the organisation than just dispute resolution.
Accreditation to the Motor Ombudsman’s Chartered Trading Standards Institute (CTSI)-approved Motor Industry Code of Practice for Service and Repair offers several benefits and significant value for independent garages. Unlimited and free access to the body’s impartial Information Line and dispute resolution service is just one of these. Here are some of the others:
A greater online presence and valuable lead generation
In today’s digital era, consumers are increasingly turning to online search platforms to find a reputable and trustworthy business in their local area. One such tool is The Motor Ombudsman’s popular Garage Finder. It provides garages with an additional and effective marketing channel to help generate potential customer leads and footfall. Every organisation signed up to the Service and Repair Code has a dedicated profile page which displays an overview of their business, contact and location information, as well as the very latest offers.
Moreover, impartial reviews play an important role in a consumer’s decision- making process. After using a business for routine maintenance or servicing, consumers can leave written feedback via an online survey, and rate the garage on various criteria. Their efforts are rewarded with the opportunity to enter The Motor Ombudsman’s quarterly prize draw to win £500 in Lifestyle Vouchers. All opinions and scores provided by motorists are subsequently displayed on the garage’s profile page to help others choose which trader to use.
Privileged use of the CTSI Approved Code and Motor Ombudsman logos
Accreditation can serve as an important differentiator for a garage versus their competition. Being part of a Code of Practice grants businesses the privilege of being able to display the recognised and trusted Motor Ombudsman and CTSI Approved Code logos on their premises, website, paperwork and marketing communications.
This thereby gives consumers the added peace of mind and reassurance that the trader is committed to delivering an exemplary level of service and work.
Recognition by the DVSA
The Driving Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA)’s audit of an MOT test centre looks at whether a garage has joined a CTSI- approved Code of Practice. Therefore, being accredited to The Motor Ombudsman’s Service and Repair Code may help the DVSA to decide whether a garage is considered to be a low risk business, possibly resulting in reduced regulatory checks.
Automotive training modules
The Motor Ombudsman offers online training courses on Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) legislation, the Consumer Rights Act 2015, and the recently-introduced General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). All modules have been developed for businesses operating in the motor industry, in order to equip them with the knowledge and understanding required to act in compliance with the law. Taking around 45 minutes to complete, each course can be started and stopped to fit around daily workloads, and users also receive Continuous Professional Development (CPD) points and a certificate on completion of the training. Each of the available modules can be viewed on The Motor Ombudsman website.