Award-winning Motability Scheme specialists tell us more!
The winners of our annual Dealer Awards, recognising Motability Scheme dealerships and specialists from across the UK for outstanding customer service, have been announced. Below, we speak to three dealers who have been recognised for offering consistently high levels of service and support to Motability Scheme customers throughout the year.
Samantha Tuplin (ST) from Carco Group has been named the Motability Scheme Specialist of the Year, with Chris Green (CG) from Lookers Vauxhall Liverpool commended in the category. This year’s Outstanding Contribution accolade has been awarded to Motability specialist, Gavin Gray (GG) at Bristol Street Motors Newcastle. The Outstanding Contribution award recognises a special individual whose long-term support and unbeatable customer service continues to set them apart from others.
How long have you been a Motability Scheme specialist?
ST: Nine years
GG: Nearly 30 years
CG: 20 years
What’s your favourite thing about the role?
ST: I love helping people and it’s so nice to be able to organise and arrange something to assist customers. Of course the fun laughter and chatter and getting to know the customer helps along the way.
GG: I simply love the job I do. I get a huge amount of satisfaction helping customers to choose the right car to suit their motoring needs.
CG: I really enjoy meeting lots of interesting people.
What happens on a typical day?
ST: My typical day starts with a morning meeting to talk through any appointments for the day. I check if any queries come in, get ready for appointments and test drives, and prepare for orders and handovers.
GG: I prepare for any appointments that have been booked in and make sure I’m ready for customer walk-ins as well chatting to customers while they wait for their cars to be serviced, and making sure they have refreshments.
CG: A typical day for me starts at 8:45am, making sure we have the vehicles ready to be delivered that day. The day is filled with responding to customer enquiries, confirming appointments and processing orders.
What is the most challenging thing about your role?
ST: Logistics - and sometimes not being able to get something organised quick enough when time is of the essence.
GG: There isn’t one, you just need to be organised, plan ahead and deliver what you promise to your customer.
CG: Sometimes you may have unavoidable delays with car delivery times which is frustrating for us and for the customer.
What is the most rewarding part of your role?
ST: The customers - I love them. Just chatting listening and being able to provide a service that genuinely helps is reward in its self.
GG: For me it’s being able to help somebody change their lives by getting a Motability Scheme vehicle, it certainly can be a life changer, providing a new lease of life, and freedom.
CG: Happy smiling faces when customers see their new vehicles.
Why do you think you were recognised at the awards?
ST: Well, I’m still a little overwhelmed but very grateful, it’s a great achievement. I can only say that because I embrace all elements of my role which seems to achieve really great results from a customer perspective.
GG: Our Mission Statement of “delivering an outstanding customer motoring experience through honesty and trust” has helped me win this fantastic accolade, along with my dedication and enthusiasm to the Scheme and the job I do.
CG: I was humbled when I heard of the nomination. I go to work and look after my customers to the best of my ability. Happy customers make the job easier and more rewarding.
What is the biggest change you’ve experienced since becoming a Motability specialist?
ST: I would say there’s a broader spectrum of customers enquiring about the Scheme for the first time - a lot more families and teenagers for example.
GG: Being able to place applications on time has made the process much simpler and quicker than before.
CG: Personally, I still remember manually completing application forms and posting them off, so the introduction of the online system for completing applications along with its constant improvements has really helped to speed things up.
What is a common thing that customers don’t know about the Scheme?
ST: How easy and cost effective adaptations are through the Scheme.
GG: I still get asked “do I have to use all of my allowance” a lot, so I suppose some customers don’t know that hundreds of choices are available for less than your mobility allowance, meaning you keep the difference .
CG: A lot of customers don’t realise that many adaptations are free of charge if installed before the start of your lease.
Do you have any tips/advice for Motability Scheme customers or for anyone who is choosing their next vehicle?
ST: Check all aspects of the car for your needs. It’s essential to be able to get in and out of the car with ease and all the controls should be accessible. It’s also very important to check how comfortably you’re able to stow away any walking or mobility aids, together with shopping etc.
GG: Have a good look around, take your time, and the most important thing to do is test drive wherever possible.
CG: Make a list of key features or requirements. It’s important for customers to think about what sort of car should suit you for the next three years.
Describe your most memorable encounter since becoming a specialist
ST: There a numerous encounters – from a young teenager having her first ever car to a customer being able to go out independently for the first time in years with the help of a new car and adaptions. I could go on!
GG: I had a customer back in 1991 who was driving a three wheeler trike. I helped him with the paperwork and six months later he was taking delivery of his new Vauxhall Astra Automatic fitted with hand controls and a rooftop box hoist to accommodate his wheelchair. This was life changing for him - for the first time ever he was able to take friends and relatives out with him in his own car. We still keep in touch to this day.
CG: We had the honour to help arrange a ceremonial handover of a Scheme vehicle at the Ministry of Defence in London for Andy Grant, a former Royal Marine Commando who was injured while serving in Afghanistan. The presentation took place at the Ministry of Defence in Whitehall, London and was attended by the First Sea Lord, Admiral Sir George Zambellas, Air Chief Marshal Sir Stuart Peach, Air Chief Marshal Sir Andrew Pulford, Lieutenant General Andrew Gregory and Brigadier Charlie Stickland OBE.
Congratulations to all the Motability Scheme specialists winners
To see more results from our annual Dealer Awards, click here .
A visit to the dealership is the most important stage in deciding if a car is right for you. To make the most out of your visit and ensure you find the best car to suit your needs, it pays to plan ahead.
Watch our film about choosing a suitable car here .
Find dealers near you using our Find a Dealer search tool .