The Volkswagen fleet team has managed to consistently grow its share in the market despite the challenges of today’s economic climate.
Claire Grant, regional fleet manager at Volkswagen UK, puts this down to team spirit and a passion for delivering excellent customer service.
The Volkswagen fleet team
Grant joined Volkswagen nearly 10 years ago as an undergraduate, working in a variety of departments before moving to the fleet team four-and-a-half years ago.
As one of two regional fleet managers (she covers the north of the UK, while her counterpart is responsible for the south), the main focus of Grant’s role is managing the area fleet management team, making sure staff are maximising their potential, hitting sales targets and monitoring fleet spend.
In total there are nine area fleet managers reporting to the regional managers who, in turn, report to the national fleet manager.
“Although we are split into two regions, we very much operate as one team and have one national sales target that we work towards,” says Grant.
The area managers focus on fleets with 100 or more vehicles and are all field-based to be closer to their customers. The areas are defined by postcodes.
They each have iPads which are kept up to date with the latest tools, product information and legislation which help when dealing with clients face to face.
Delivering what the customer wants
One of the ways Grant provides support to her team is by accompanying area managers on a number of customer meetings.
“It’s really important that I still go out to customers and find out what is important to them,” she says.
“If we don’t meet people then we cannot listen to what our customers are saying and keep adapting our service to their needs.”
Grant holds monthly one-to-one meetings with her team and they also all attend the national team meeting once a month.
Building new business
The team has a national territory action plan which highlights every fleet that currently works with Volkswagen and all the businesses that the team has approached.
When a tender comes in it falls to the area sales manager who then ‘owns’ it from start to finish with the support of the national team.
“We are a structured and organised team and work closely with other brands so we can be flexible to what the customers need and adapt our offering to suit them,” says Grant.