‘Right first time’ is the mantra of Princess Motor Yacht Sales Aftersales Director for Mallorca, Simon Birchall. Brought in to revolutionise the marine aftersales experience, Simon comes with an impeccable history. Twenty six years in the demanding world of prestige automotive customer care, all with BMW, saw Simon rise from Apprentice to Aftersales Manager.
His last seven years were with the Rybrook Group, parent company of PMYS, where he scooped the prestigious World Aftersales Dealer of the Year award, beating every other BMW dealership across the globe. It’s against this backdrop that Simon is building a world class aftersales experience for Princess Motor Yacht Sales’ customer base.
Based in Mallorca and covering the Mediterranean, Simon has been in the post for a year now, and the changes are coming thick and fast. “When I started, we had five engineers on the island” says Simon, “now we have fifteen”. From creating dedicated training programmes, to ensuring that every engineer is fully equipped to tackle every job, that ‘right first time’ mantra starts and ends right here – the logic being that each engineer visits the boat just once, minimising downtime and aggravation for the owner and improving efficiency for Princess Motor Yacht Sales. “By using our own highly skilled engineers rather than contracting out, we completely control quality standards, rather than being at the mercy of sub contractors” explains Simon. “We only employ quality people that completely understand our way of working; that way we can guarantee customer satisfaction”.
The result is a phenomenally powerful aftersales facility, but as the saying has it, power is nothing without control, and here’s where it gets even more impressive. Simon has developed and installed a customer concierge service. A team of three provide a direct personal link for every Princess customer, ready to handle every issue, not just faults. Customers are allocated one of the team as their personal point of call every time so that a strong and trusted working relationship can be established. Want to book an engine service? Call your concierge. Want advice regarding a trip, or berthing arranged for when you reach your destination? Call your concierge. Blocked shower drain, marina recommendations, even someone to take care of the laundry or to put fresh flowers on board – your personal concierge is just a phone call away.
From the customer’s point of view, the result is transformative. No longer do you need to spend time hunting for a suitable contractor, trying to orchestrate access or dealing with third parties that over promise and under deliver. One phone call to a known and trusted contact with whom you have an ongoing relationship with and the problem is solved – and it’s solved right first time.
“IT MAKES NO DIFFERENCE WHETHER YOUR YACHT IS ONE DAY OLD OR TEN YEARS OLD” SIMON ASSURES ME, “…THE LEVEL OF SERVICE AND QUALITY OF WORK IS ABSOLUTELY IDENTICAL”.
It’s a win/win for all concerned. Customers benefit from a completely hassle-free interface, minimum downtime and a consistently very high standard of workmanship, while Princess Motor Yacht Sales reaps the efficiency gains whilst claiming another industry first; not to mention the benefit of satisfied customers who are unlikely to want to lose that level of support and convenience when the time comes to upgrade their yacht. It’s a completely fresh approach, interlacing the effectiveness and high standards of the prestige motor industry with the close contact and personalised approach of the yacht market. It has required a visionary outlook and plenty of blue sky thinking, but Simon Birchall has got it right first time.