Interview with Graham Purvis, After Sales Manager
Tell us about your career and your key responsibilities at Gargash.
After earning my technical qualifications, I first started off as a technician in the UK. I completed six years of experience as a technician and became a service advisor, but then I saw an increase in opportunities in the Middle East, so I decided to take a leap of faith and moved to the area in 1999.
I first worked as a workshop supervisor, absorbing everything I could about the region as well as understanding the customer sentiment here. I eventually gained the opportunity to work across different markets in the GCC, which allowed me the privilege of meeting with a variety of distributors and sellers and helping me gain a better understanding of customer needs. This added to my skillset and contributed to the role I would next take on.
Eventually, I moved back to the UAE to join Gargash Enterprises as Group Service Manager and have been with the company for the past seven years. Having overseen the technical aspects as well as being part of the management team, my combined experience in the two departments helped me execute effective strategies and build strong relations with customers.
In my present role as After Sales Manager, I liaise with passenger car body shops, service centres and parts departments across Dubai, Sharjah and the Northern Emirates, whilst also leading a multinational team of over 400 colleagues. I am also involved in supervising the budget, developing innovative and market-approved strategies to ensure customer satisfaction, and analysing customer habits and needs to deduce new marketing strategies. Here at Gargash Enterprises, we are always striving to offer our customers the most comfortable driving experience and, in my role, I try to ensure that there is no stone left unturned in our effort to offer the best to our customers.
What is your approach to training, and how does it keep you ahead of your competitors?
At Gargash Enterprises, training is paramount to ensure a high level of satisfaction in repairing vehicles in line with manufacturer standards. Whether it’s technicians, denters, painters, service advisors, team leaders or managers, everyone undergoes regular training to ensure they are all kept up-to-date with the latest technologies in line with Mercedes-Benz standards. Additionally, with our strong collaboration with BASF and enjoying strong support from the company, all our painters attend paint and paint specialist training either on-site at Gargash Enterprises or at the BASF regional training facility.
You work with Glasurit, BASF’s premium paint brand. Tell us more about your experience with Glasurit.
Our body shop operates with a commitment to return cars to their pre-accident condition and ensure that the vehicle’s originality is not compromised. Glasurit is our paint supplier, and it’s known worldwide for its innovative premium refinish products and its extensive portfolio of services. Every person associated with Glasurit has been fully supportive, offering comprehensive training programs to meet Mercedes-Benz’s stringent quality and performance requirements. Every aspect of our colour requirements was met because of Glasurit’s large database of mixing formulas, and their team of experts regularly provides us with unique business solutions to improve body shop operations.
Our painters are able to keep up with the paint application process using Glasurit’s online digital platform, Glasurit Know-How. All of our painters have access to the platform, and they can choose if they prefer to read the information in an e-book or watch a training video.
How do you feel the automotive technician’s main responsibilities have changed in recent years?
More and more cars on the road today have become even more computerised than before, and so has the job of maintaining and fixing these vehicles. While the trade used to be mostly mechanical, nowadays it’s primarily technical, requiring skills with the latest computer diagnostic equipment. It’s technological changes like this, occurring over the years, that have played the main role in reshaping the technician’s main responsibilities. Here at Gargash Enterprises, we use the latest cutting-edge technology, so our technicians’ skills are up-to-date.
You say you highly prioritise customer service. Can you explain your approach?
While Gargash Enterprises has always strived to update its facilities, in January 2020 we went one step further with the opening of our latest state-of-the-art service and body shop facility at Al Quoz. Keeping in mind our clients and their needs, the facility provides the latest Mercedes-Benz CI elements to ensure our clients receive a five-star customer experience. It’s also environmentally friendly, with solar panels helping to power the facility and its sustainable spray booths.
With what the whole world experienced last year, we recently digitised our service journey. Service advisors now provide clients updates, vehicle health checks, and estimates that promote transparency and enable clients to respond at the touch of a button using an app. We are also excited about introducing a mobile check-in service that we expect to roll out in the near future, offering our clients a start-to-finish seamless digital service experience.
I’m pleased to say that we have received a lot of positive feedback from our clients over the facilities, as well as our initiatives in ensuring fair environmental practices wherever possible.