Vantage - Aftersales Manager
- What was your first job?At 16, I signed up for a National Vocational Qualification (NVQ) in Business Administration which would be completed whilst on a placement within a workplace. I was placed at a local Iveco Truck dealer within the Service Department and quickly moved to the front desk. This was a real baptism of fire because of the fast-paced demand of a busy commercial service department. I thrived in this fast-paced environment. It was here that I realised I loved working as a team and the buzz of working together to achieve a target.
- Best and most challenging aspects of your role?I would give the same answer to both aspects of my role, developing and looking after my team. It is the best aspect as it is so rewarding to help and develop them on their own journeys and career paths. In my current role, I am extremely proud to have worked with a young man whom over the course of the last year has gone on to become an accredited service advisor and parts Advisor. It is amazing to see how much his confidence has developed. It is also the most challenging. In fact, when you are managing a group of people you need to be aware that one cap doesn’t fit all. As a result, you need to adapt your management skills to best suit the individual to get the best team performance.
- Did you need any specific qualifications?One of the great aspects about coming into an aftersales role is that you don’t need any formal qualifications. It’s more about the skills you hold as a person. It really is open to everybody. We are also really lucky that the training given to people coming into the industry is top class. Each company will have their own training plan and manufacturers also provide training courses at their facilities. I am currently due to complete my Aftersales Manager Accreditation through the Volkswagen Group. This has been an amazing experience as it has really made me look at how I work as a manager and brought about lots of positive changes.
- What perks do you get in your job?There are some really fantastic perks to working in the motor industry. I have been lucky enough to attend new product launches in both Portugal and Slovakia in 2017. The great thing about this is that it isn’t just for managers either. The same opportunity was there for service advisors and technicians. After all, they also need to be knowledgeable about the brands we represent. I have also experienced a VIP tour of the Pirelli factory. It was brilliant to see a tyre produced from beginning to end! My team has just won a two-day trip to Rome for the highest increase in tyre sales over the last 12 months. It is true that hard work does pay off and there are always opportunities to be rewarded for it.
- Do you have any tips for young people getting into the industry?As with anything in life you get out of it what you put in. So, come into it with an eagerness to learn and a willingness to get stuck in. Look at what skills you have and think about how these could transfer over. For example, if you have had a Saturday job in a café/restaurant then you would have experience in delivering great customer service and dealing with people. Therefore, use these examples when applying for a job or during an interview process. Also, look to your colleagues for help and use their experience to help guide and mentor you. We have all been in the same position, so make sure you utilise that to help you on your career path.