Communication key to improving customer experience

Communication key to improving customer experience

The Independent Automotive Aftermarket Federation (IAAF) has said that the key to improving the garage customer service experience is a fundamental change of attitudes towards communication. The comment follows publication of the Government’s response to the Motorist Forum report on customer experience of MOT stations and garages, both franchised and independent.

The Motorists Forum report put forward no less than 12 recommendations to the Government on how to improve the garage customer experience, details of which can be found on the IAAF website (

Brian Spratt, IAAF Chief Executive (pictured), said: In certain areas, the report and recommendations from the Motorist Forum sub-group included some contentious items. We’re pleased to see that the Roads Minister has taken a balanced view of where the sector can improve performance, and his understandable reluctance to impose heavy-handed regulation on the motor trade.”

One of the major sticking points in the Motorists Forum report was a compulsion on MOT stations to join an OFT-approved code of practice scheme.

“MOT stations are already regulated by VOSA,” said Brian, “and VOSA have an effective method of measuring performance and applying sanctions to any test centre that is inadequate. There was no need for any extra layer of bureaucracy. Membership of code schemes should be considered as a business decision, nothing more.

“We’re particularly pleased to see that the Government has accepted the principle that car servicing should be carried out by technicians who can be identified as having current competencies to do the job.”

The IAAF has identified the customer service experience from garages as a key area from which to promote the Right2Choose campaign. IAAF president, Graham Knight added: “It is my vision that the great talent and enthusiasm that so many in our industry possess is harnessed, co-ordinated and directed for the greater good of raising the automotive industry’s profile among consumers.”

Brian went on to say that the automotive industry has to look at the overall experience it is offering motorists and believes that by doing so will bring new people into the trade. “With Right2Choose, we’re promoting the fact that consumers have a right to choose where they take their vehicles for service and repair, but with this right comes a responsibility from garages to ensure they offer the best possible customer service experience.”

To find out more about the Right2Choose Campaign log on to

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