Is customer service important to you? Because it really ought to be - far too much of the time we, the Irish consumer, look at the price tag of a car and not what we're getting in terms of care and attention as a customer. Believe us, when you've experienced bad customer service (and there's a lot of it about) you won't go back to the same dealer again.
Which is why it's rather heartening to report that an Irish Toyota dealer has picked up that brand's prestigious (well, prestigious within Toyota circles anyway) Ichiban award for customer service. Out of 2,500 Toyota dealers across Europe, only 44 were given an Ichiban (Japanese for 'Number One') award, and Kelly's of Letterkenny was one. The award is only given to those Toyota dealers who "delivered the highest level of customer experience."
Now, it's worth pointing out that this is Toyota handing out prizes to others within the Toyota family, so to speak, but it's still a big win for Kelly's, and a mark of how much effort they're putting into keeping customers happy up in Donegal.
Brendan Kelly, Dealer Principal at Kelly's Toyota, said: "We are honoured to be awarded the Ichiban award amongst our fellow 43 European retailers. In these challenging times, it is a fantastic achievement to be recognised for the most memorable customer service. Our customers are at the heart of everything we do at Kelly's Toyota in Donegal and the entire team should be incredibly proud of this amazing achievement."
Steve Tormey, Chief Executive of Toyota Ireland commented on the announcement: "The Toyota Ireland team is delighted that Kelly's Toyota, Letterkenny has been recognised for its incredible work. The prestigious Ichiban award is highly coveted across retailers in Europe and it is a great achievement for the Toyota dealership to be acknowledged for their outstanding customer service."
This year's Ichiban award ceremony was held virtually on June 10th with the 44 best Toyota Retailers connecting to Toyota Motor Europe's head office in Brussels. As one of the most important events in Toyota's calendar, it was given full recognition by Matt Harrison, President & CEO of Toyota Motor Europe, who said: "Toyota Retailers are our key partners and brand ambassadors and we will continue to work together as one team to transform our challenges into opportunities. Creating a memorable customer experience is a key pillar of our Beyond Zero company mission and we must continue with our retailers to strengthen customer lifetime value in order to become a successful mobility company." Each Ichiban award winner has already received the trophy and a congratulation letter from Mr Harrison.