Last year Renault introduced the Renault Business Promise – a new sales and aftersales commitment to fleet and business customers.
It aims to offer fleets of all sizes a complete care package, combining warranty, recovery, servicing and delivery promises.
This includes a three-year guaranteed mobility pledge. If Renault is unable to deliver a new vehicle by a set date (agreed at the time of ordering), if a vehicle is recovered at the roadside, if parts are unavailable for longer than 24 hours or if a repair involves warranty work lasting more than three hours, then Renault will provide a loan vehicle.
It has also enhanced its roadside assistance from two years to three years.
Every dealership now has a business customer contact for both sales and service and there is an expanded customer services hotline as well as a 24/7 accident support line.
Renault’s dealer network has also committed to a maximum labour rate pricing structure ensuring that business customers are never charged more than a pre-set rate regardless of which outlet they use.
And, it has also created the Renault Pro+ dealer network – a specialist business network created to support fleet and business customers from the start of the vehicle purchase through to service and maintenance.
In addition, Renault has focused on reducing SMR costs by extending service intervals on certain models and a lower cost interim service for higher-mileage drivers.
And finally, in a long list of innovations for 2010, Renault also introduced iCare – a pay-as-you-earn service, maintenance and repair system for van customers.
It is charged monthly in arrears on a ‘pence per mile’ basis monitored remotely by telematics.
Feedback from customers, dealers and key fleet industry influencers also led to Renault simplifying its product line-up last year, reducing the number of derivatives by 30%.
Fleet News: What does the award of ‘most improved manufacturer’ mean to Renault?
Darren Payne: It means a terrific amount for the whole team, because it puts a stamp of approval on all the initiatives that we put in place last year. It was great to see them recognised by the industry.
However, if I’m honest we felt we deserved it.
We’re not arrogant, we understand these things aren’t a given, but we felt we had worked extremely hard with all the initiatives that we put in place.
FN: What have been the most significant changes you’ve implemented over the past 12 to 18 months?
DP: A greater level of customer focus. We effectively doubled our customer-facing staff and we put a greater emphasis on working together with the contract hire industry.
Also by developing the specific solution that customers had asked us for, which was the Renault Business Promise.
They said ‘we want to be kept mobile’ and that’s what we delivered. But we didn’t leave any stone unturned. Everything we thought we should do, we did.
FN: So by making such significant changes was there any unease about the pace of change or by how widespread your plans were?
DP: There wasn’t any unease. There was a plan that was presented to the Renault board and it was fully embraced by the board members.
This is a company that embraces change and embraces new initiatives so it was never an onerous task.
It was a question of identifying the things we wanted to do and it was a collective plan everybody bought into.
That was important, because from the Business Promise perspective we had to make sure our dealer network buys into those solutions as well.
However, we’ve got a good working relationship with the Renault dealer association.
Each of the individual areas has a specific committee to represent the views of the franchise and it was a case of working with them to ensure their involvement.