Three years on from the launch of the Motor Industry Code of Practice for Service and Repair, calls to Motor Codes – the car service and repair industry’s self-regulatory organisation – have shown a major need for clear, accessible advice.
Of the 6,000-plus consumer calls taken by Motor Codes this year, a massive 93% were simply seeking advice, with fewer than 500 motorists registering formal complaints.
Motor Codes’ Fast-Track resolution service which aims to solve motorists’ concerns while the car is still in the garage has proved the biggest hit, being used in almost a third of all cases and resolving them to the satisfaction of both motorist and garage, at no cost.
“The figures are hugely encouraging”, says managing director, Chris Mason. “The low complaint levels strongly suggest that motorists should feel confident in trusting their car to a Motor Codes garage.”
Praising the reassurance that it offers motorists and its customer service support role for garages, Ron Gainsford OBE, chief executive of Trading Standards Institute and chair of the independent compliance panel that oversees the operation of Motor Codes, pointed to the Motor Codes model as one that has the potential to significantly boost confidence in the industry, “While checks and balances ensure an overall high standard of business practice, when customer service issues do arise, the independence of the Motor Codes advice line provides an effective third party mediation service, able to diffuse minor problems but also secure the fairest result for all parties.”
On improving levels of customer service as a whole, Chris adds, “Not only can Motor Codes deliver resolutions to true customer service issues but I firmly believe that the huge sums of money associated with service and repair complaints outlined by government three years ago are a thing of the past – certainly for motorists using the Motor Codes network.”
Consumer Direct reported 16,176 complaints in 2008. In three years, Motor Codes has demonstrated a high level of satisfaction – 93% from around 25,000 surveys received – amongst customers of its 6,400 garages across the UK. From 6,029 calls to its advice line between January and August, 440 conciliation and Fast-Track cases were opened.