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Happy New Year to everyone and welcome to the second S&P newsletter!

Looking back at the 2017 performance, we can take many positives from the year - both from performance and from our starting work on a number of transformation steps. The average Aftersales Direct Profit is up £41,000 year on year, excluding the increase of back page costs. The vast majority of the network achieved combined targets for parts, oil, tyres, and accessories plus we achieved a record customer satisfaction target.
The one disappointing area was retail hours performance, which will end a c. -2% behind 2016. We all know the reasons behind this, but during 2018 we will have to become obsessively focussed on our selling process to drive hours sold per job card/average invoice value.

From a strategic view point, we are now well underway with the launch of VW Connect, we witnessed a significant increase in the participation of the apprentice programme and have started the planning for the rollout of Battery Competence Centres.

So onto 2018. Below are my 10 priorities across Aftersales for 2018.

2018 Priorities

Recruit more
VW Connect
downloads &
backend systems
Capacity Upsell and
network profit
Loyalty product
Set up HV Battery
ADR Online customer
Qualification Regional product

I think most of these are self-explanatory but the one that I will underline is the apprentice programme. If we are to have enough technicians to service the opportunities that will occur in 3 years’ time, we need a minimum of 1 apprentice per authorised repairer taken on in 2018. As you are reading this newsletter, our recruitment team are out marketing our apprentice programme as Q1 is the peak intake period for high quality candidates; the later you leave it, the lower the calibre we attract. Please engage with the apprentice programme this year.

Thank you to everyone for your efforts in 2017 and good luck in 2018.
Powering ahead with our Battery Competence Centres.

We are in the process of setting up a number of Battery Competence Centres nationwide in order to support battery repairs for current and upcoming products. Volkswagen already has a growing product offering for both electric (battery electric vehicles or BEVs for short) in e-UP! and e-Golf along with the hybrid Golf and Passat GTE (plug-in hybrid electric vehicles or PHEVs). The big volume cars announced already come to us in 2020 with I.D. and I.D. Crozz (both BEV cars) with other models in advanced development. The Battery Concept Centres are intended to become operational from April 2018 so that battery repairs can support our own Technical Support Centre.

At each site, we will need to have at least one High Voltage Technician (HVT) and two High Voltage Experts (HVE). Whilst each HVT will be qualified to diagnose and repair issues with High Voltage (HV) systems, the HVEs will receive training to enable them to diagnose HV battery issues down to a competent (cell) level.

The allocation of the BCC sites will follow a site survey to look at suitability issues from the following perspectives:

working area including size and cleanliness

availability of a suitable vehicle/ battery quarantine area

tools and equipment storage facilities.

The final locations will be decided in early 2018 and shared with you all.
Delivering leads from Leeds.

In November, we started a three month trial with the aim of providing qualified, hot leads to retailers via our Live Chat team, based at the CSC in Leeds. This team is focusing on visitors to our configurator, helping them to build their ideal vehicle and offering support to arrange a test drive at a local retailer. Since first launching the Live Chat service over two years ago, we have been using a fairly standard reactive live chat widget across various pages of our ‘ website’.

The new trial utilises a proactive icon that can be served to customers in various ways and times, depending on their own individual journey through the configurator. In the first week of the trial we were able to send 27 leads to retailers’ operations during the first couple of days. Since then, the team has generated over 42 leads, resulting in 1 sale through the network.

As well as generating leads, the trial is a great way of learning about new ways of using technology, enabling us to improve how we do business. It also acts as a pilot for the group in demonstrating how well our customer service team in Leeds can go beyond traditional service remit and help drive revenue. Accessory
Accessory & Merchandise Pilot Stores boost turnover by up to 54%.

In Q3, we installed dedicated Accessory & Merchandise shops within three pilot sites across the country. We wanted to assess whether or not a physical store would drive Accessories & Merchandise turnover. This initiative involved new furniture, marketing materials, staff training, sales processes, and, of course, a wide display of Volkswagen Accessories & Merchandise.

The results look promising. One of the sites improved overall turnover from Accessories & Merchandise sales combined by 54%. These stores improved both customer and staff awareness across the sites. By displaying the products in an interesting and engaging process, the retailers were able to sell items that had not sold in previous years.

If successful, the next steps will be to roll out this concept across a proportion of the network, with an opportunity for all retailers to opt in or opt out of this offering. Watch out for future updates.

View a virtual showroom: AwcebgivU72
VW Connect Update. 54,000 downloads.

We are pleased to announce that, due to our strong performance in 2017, the VW Connect DataPlugs will be free of charge for all of 2018. The UK was the most successful market for VW Connect with 28.4% of all data plugs handed out to the network producing downloads. This success we look to build on in 2018. We will be delivering an estimated 300,000 data plugs as this is now part of standard equipment for new Polo, up!, Sharan, Beetle and Beetle Cab as well as for all Das Welt Auto vehicles offering VW Connect with their purchase. It’s also available to service customers when they visit their retailer.

What do customers think? The app is receiving overwhelmingly positive reviews on both the App Store (4.5/5 stars) and Play Store (4/5 stars). With brand new features and UK-specific Challenges due, we are confident that 2018 will bring further success for VW Connect.
Apprentice Programme.
Recruiting tomorrows talent today.

Retailers should register their vacancy for apprentices from 1st January 2018.

Vacancies registered between 1st Jan and 29th Feb fall within the recruitment ‘Gold Standard’, which typically sees 41% of candidates recruited at this time with grade C or above in Maths, English and Science. This compares to vacancies registered from 1st March, which will typically see only 26% of applicants with grade C or above in Maths, English and Science.

As well as benefitting from the March peak of applications from higher quality candidates, retailers registering for 3 or more vacancies within the Gold period will have access to support from Recruitment Assessment Centres. It is recommended that all retailers - as a minimum - take on at least one apprentice (hopefully more, depending on retailer size). It takes 3 years for each apprentice to qualify.

Training Levy:

In 2018, Training Levy will be charged at half-cost for those who are qualified compared to those who are unqualified. This will be recalculated at half year, so please ensure your unqualified team members are booked onto their required training in Q1 and Q2.

Further details can be found apprentice programme
New CEM updates.

The Customer Quality Team is ending the first 6 months of the new CEM period since July with three new enhancements to the portal, going into 2018.
1) Focus Areas are now live on the summary page of the CEM portal – this uses National average data to identify the single, poorest performing areas for both Sales & Aftersales.
2) An enhanced tagging system for customer comments went live in December. We now have enough data to create a better tagging system for customer comments. This will help analyse customer comments more easily so as to categorise them better.
3) Sample Quality Reporting will be introduced in January. This shows the quality of the sample used for the CEM e.g. response rates, missing emails etc.
We are happy to answer any questions you may have regarding the subjects in this newsletter. We would also welcome any comments or suggestions for our future issues. Please send these to: Service&