Redgate Lodge

Redgate Lodge

Date: Mon 22nd October 2018   |   Client: Redgate Lodge
Client Name: Scott Sibley, Director

As used car sales increase in importance, this case study shares some ideas that are helping one fast-track independent dealer to succeed.

Redgate Lodge was formed in August 2010 by husband and wife team Scott and Jane Sibley. In classic entrepreneurial style, they started selling cars from home. Today, they operate from a former franchised dealer site that the business owns outright, with a showroom, two display forecourts, Bosch service centre,  body shop and .... barbershop. The business employs 23 and retails more than 100 vehicles per month.

The ‘Total Meal Experience’

Scott’s background is in the hospitality industry and he has put that experience to good use  At its best, the hotel and restaurant industry relies upon an element of theatre. As Scott notes; “Hoteliers often talk about the ‘total’ experience, with a great first visual impact leading through to an experience that stimulates all the senses. This is not just about the room or meal; the wider attribute is the service, enthusiasm and passion of the people the customers meet. We have worked to bring our cars, our people and our passion to life. Where I believe we have gone further than many dealers is in the way we have taken this ethos across our digital channels.”

Every vehicle offered by Redgate Lodge benefits from up to 100 photographs and a full detailed description. Above all, each car has a bespoke video including commentary talking through the car’s features and benefits. The voice-overs and filming are created in-house by and featuring members of the sales team. Customer feedback on the videos is impressive with the authenticity of the ‘mini-movie’ breaking down stereotypical images about car sales people, as well as bringing the car on offer to life. The ‘proof of the pudding’ is evident in a Facebook following of over 52,000 over three platforms.

The ‘tronc’ fund

In the hospitality industry the ‘tronc fund’ represents the pooling and even distribution of tips. A simple technique, it engenders teamwork and Scott has applied the same system to the remuneration platform used with his sales team.

Unlike traditional commission per sale per executive, Redgate Lodge’s reward programme replaces commission with a central ’Pot’. This is topped up with every vehicle and added-value sale and split equally at the end of each month.

“It took a little getting used to for our team, but it has created terrific teamwork, removed the ‘scramble’ to get to the customer and provided a better work/life balance for our team; they can have a day off or holiday, knowing that they aren’t missing out on a sale and that their colleagues have their backs,” reflects Scott.

Full range of service

A good hotel seeks to create an environment where the customer feels so welcome that they use multiple hotel facilities and keep coming back. This same ethos is behind Redgate Lodge’s aftersales service approach.

The business has a seven bay Bosch Service Centre, along with a dedicated bodyshop and valeting centre. The operation is kept fully occupied (occupancy being another hotel metric) courtesy of the business’ own in-house service plan and tailor-made service support package, which are taken up by over 95% of the business.

Speed and service are our continuing challenges,” observes Service Manager Ben Dewar. “Time is money; what we have established is that technology can help to drive both. As an example, working with our supplier AutoProtect’s new iClaim technology we are more than halving the time taken in the claims process. In effect, we are almost seeing another pair of hands in productivity gains. In terms of bay occupancy, this is significant and time saved means customers get their cars back more quickly – it’s a win/win situation.”

Finally, a haircut

Finally, a novel innovation; Redgate Lodge has an on-site barbershop with three chairs and again, it is constantly busy. It’s not the income that Scott makes from leasing the space that is the big draw. It is the constant flow of footfall that inevitably takes in the business‘ sales and aftersales options.

In closing Scott concludes; “Our success relies upon us making Redgate Lodge an integral part of our customers’ motoring. Hospitality, service and a ‘total’ offer are our building blocks to achieve this; we are more than just car sales.”

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Case Study: Redgate Lodge

Redgate Lodge

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