How Teamwork and Customer Service Sell Cars at this Honda Dealership – Weststar Auto Sdn Bhd
In Malaysia, Honda is the second best-selling car brand in the country. Automology caught up with personnel from one of its leading Malaysian dealers to understand how the sales and service teams keep numbers up and customers happy.
With a solid track record over the years, the Honda marque currently sits at the pinnacle in Malaysia, with a record 109,511 cars sold last year. Ask anyone about Honda and you’ll get a thumbs up. From its well-built cars to its after-sales and, most importantly, the people behind the brand, Honda has stood the test of time.
L-R . Service Manager En. Mohd Nur Azham, General Manager for After Sales Mr. Gunasegaran & Sales Manager Mr. Adrian Tan.
One the biggest dealers of Honda cars in Malaysia is Weststar Auto Sdn Bhd, a company that was incorporated way back in 2002 and over the years has built a great reputation. Honda Weststar, as it is often called, has a showroom that covers almost three acres across two floors, and is located along MRR2. Approximately six vehicles can be displayed at any one time.
With 75 staff in total in the sales and service team, the operation is as smooth as the cars themselves.
We spoke to Sales Manager Mr. Adrian Tan and General Manager for Aftersales Mr. Gunasegaran. Here’s what they had to say.
First up, Mr. Adrian Tan.
A: How long have you been with Weststar Auto Sdn Bhd?
AT: Well, I have been here since the company started actually. Since 2002 and that’s 16 years.
A: Wow. That’s incredible. And you have helped build the brand over the years.
AT: Yes, but remember it’s a team effort. I have about 35 colleagues in the sales division and its all teamwork.
A: How do you go about your work and inspire the team?
AT: Firstly, every Monday and Thursday, we have a meeting in the morning. I brief the team about market updates. We also address issues they face and I make it a point to motivate them and help build confidence. These are some of the things that are very crucial in a sales team.
A: How about competitors? How do you differentiate yourselves among them?
AT: Competitors can be broken down into many categories. Firstly, we have competition from other Honda dealers—there are more than 80 dealers nationwide and 30 of them are in Klang Valley alone, not forgetting other brands. We make it a point to ensure our customers are delighted with our service when they’re seeking to purchase a car.
It’s an ongoing process. Bear in mind, that it does not only stop at sales, we have to make sure that once the car is due for service, the customer has to leave on a pleasant note.
Customer retention is also key. We must continuously move forward and do things which make the customer happy with the Honda brand and with our service.
Here’s what Mr. Guna had to say.
A: Tell us a bit about yourself and how you came about working with Weststar.
G: I joined Westar Auto in late 2016. Prior to that, I was with other manufacturers and over the course of years, learned as much as possible to run a business efficiently. Well, if you look at it, the service center is a business by itself, which works in sync with the sales department.
A: And how many people are with you in your team?
G: All in all, I have about 50 people working, from sales advisers, technicians to administrative personnel.
A: That is a big team. How do you manage such a workforce?
G: A happy associate will do what they are asked to do and the first thing is respect. I have to respect them before I can gain their respect. Leading by example is important and I make it a point to help them and solve their problems – ‘turun padang’ (go and see the situation on the ground) so to speak. You also have to give them space to work and never micro-manage.
A: Apart from the normal service interval that customers come in for, we’re sure there are many customers who come in with other various issues?
G: Yes, definitely. The key is getting the job done quickly. This saves time for the customer and us too. When we face a problem, I always ask my team “What do you think?” to gauge their feedback. Each will have a different way of solving it in the fastest and most efficient way as possible. We go through them and come to a conclusion. This allows them to find solutions on their own instead of me just telling them what to do. A challenge tackled collectively, and everyone is pleased.
Mr. Adrian and Mr. Guna are two guys who live by the ethos of teamwork. You can sense their camaraderie immediately. With a strong brand presence worldwide, the people at Honda truly live by the tagline: ‘The Power of Dreams’
Weststar Auto is located at Pusat 3S, Dataran Westar, Jalan Lingkaran Tengah II, 68000, Ampang, Selangor. For enquiries on sales call 03-41023222 and for a service appointment you can either call their hotline at 1800 220 188 or SMS/Whatsapp to 016-2626 841 / 016-2626 847