The Audi Host Academy took place in Glasgow recently with 20 participants from Audi divisions all over the UK and Ireland. Held over 2 days, the Academy delivered training to all of the Hosts whose role is key to welcoming everyone who comes through the doors of a dealership.
Hosts are integral to great customer satisfaction and are the ones who can help shape the experience throughout the entire sales process (and beyond). Their role is to offer a warm welcome, assess needs, manage expectations and successfully channel queries. This can be challenging – especially at busy times with demanding customers - and requires a unique skillset including great communication, organisation, and, often, a thick skin!
For those doing the job it can be a great source of pride too. Being able to help someone, deliver a successful outcome or simply bring a smile to a customer are some of the many reasons hosts enjoy it so much.
And of course well-structured training can take everything to the next level.
The Audi Host Academy – devised and ran by Group trainers Debbie Mak and Michael Smith – has several key aims including creating Hosting Centres of Excellence across the Division, equipping new hosts with skills to succeed and exceeding customer service. Ultimately, if those deliverables are achieved, logic dictates that business will also benefit through repeat custom and word of mouth recommendations.
In addition to the full agenda throughout the sessions, participants were able to share their experience and compare notes on the role, their locations and customer experiences. Here's what some of them had to say.
Karen Mooney has worked in Audi South Dublin in Service for 4 months and remarked that there is “no better feeling when a customer thanks you for your service." Karen also likes the variety the role offers as she can do many different things in a day, including talking to customers, organising repairs and problem solving.
Mirren Wood has worked in Audi Edinburgh in Sales for a year.
She has enjoyed the training, especially the fact that it has highlighted that hosts are “not simply there to answer phones, they play a very important role in the Lookers Audi business."
Emma Warrender has been with Audi Camberely for 2 months and “gets a feeling of satisfaction when she has helped a customer resolve an issue". Emma wanted to be in a customer facing role that gave her the chance to do more than “simply work on reception." She likes the fact she gets to know about many parts of the business.
Looking to the future Emma would like to become a service advisor.
What is her tip to being successful in the role? “Be confident and sometimes you have to be insistent with colleagues to get things done."
A follow up session has been scheduled for October 2015. Check back then for further news on how our Hosts are progressing!
By Tracey McBain