DEARBORN – Pride and gratitude were at the forefront as winners of Ford Export and Growth’s (E&G) Service Excellence World Cup competition accepted their prizes.
The competition is designed to increase the level of certification and professionalism of dealership employees through continuing education and training programs, providing customers with the best possible after-sales experience.
“Our service advisers and technicians are a critical part of our success, and a driving force for continued growth at Ford Motor Company,” said Jeff Gorrall, regional parts and service manager for Ford Puerto Rico, Caribbean and Central America. “Without the support, hard work and commitment of our service advisers and technicians, we would not be able to deliver on our promise to offer quality vehicles and excellent service.”
Competitors began demonstrating their knowledge and skill at the local level in May. Winners competed at the regional level in November and December. Technicians, service advisers and, for the first time, parts counter personnel vied for trophies and cash prizes in all E&G regions – Caribbean and Central America, Asia Pacific, Sub-Saharan Africa and Ford Middle East.
Rejish Raj, first-place winner in the service adviser category in the Middle East, said he felt like he was flying. “I always heard of being on Cloud 9 and was thinking it just as a joke until I heard my name being declared as the winner.”
Raj, who works for Al Tayer Motors in Dubai, called his win “a victory for all my colleagues and managers” who always shared their knowledge.
Raj’s colleague, Guiller Pecayo, captured first place in the parts counterperson category. “I was very jubilant. It was a really great day, not only for myself but for the rest of the Al Tayer Motors family.”
Raj and Pecayo competed in Oman alongside 35 others from nine dealerships across the Middle East.
Competitors from Nigeria and Madagascar swept the regional awards in Sub-Saharan Africa. The winning service technician, Felix Adepinye of Coscharis Motors in Nigeria, noted that it required “really cracking one’s brains” to reach a solution. The top parts counterperson, Princy Ranaivosoa of Le Material in Madagascar, said the competition “provided valuable experience because there are things that I normally don’t use, but this competition taught me a lot about those.”
Among those pleased with the caliber of the competition in Pretoria was Sub-Saharan Africa FCSD Regional Manager John Earp. “It’s clear we need to continue to improve our capabilities to meet customer expectations, and programs like Service Excellence World Cup contribute to improving competencies and with that impacting customer attitudes about the dealerships.” He encouraged the 31 competitors from the 13 participating dealerships to take the knowledge gained back to their dealerships and work with their fellow employees to raise the calibre of performance.
In Thailand, 32 competitors from 12 dealerships competed for the Asia-Pacific championship. Regional Manager Patrick O’Neill says it was a great event on multiple levels. “It serves as an incentive to help sharpen the knowledge and skills of our service advisers, parts counterpersons and technicians while enabling them to demonstrate their passion for our business to our mutual customers.”
Sunil Monteiro, a service technician at Global Fleet Sales in Thailand, who finished first, said “the skills competition has shown the quality of training technicians received from Ford Motor Company, and the intense dedication shown from each competitor was second to none.”
Winning Asia Pacific service adviser Park Yeong Chan of Korea’s Premier Motors was appreciative of the opportunity to compete. “It was great to experience the new challenge. Thank you Ford!”
Mark Buzzell, managing director for Ford Puerto Rico, Caribbean and Central America, viewed the competition as a valuable tool to reach multiple goals. “First, it serves as an incentive to help sharpen the skills of our service advisers and technicians in order to serve our customers better and achieve higher levels of satisfaction. Second, it recognizes excellence within these important service professions that aren’t frequently at center stage.”
Competitors from 18 dealerships throughout the Caribbean and Central America traveled to San Juan, Puerto Rico, to participate.