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LSH Auto Australia 2019 Choice Awards kick-off with a clear customer-first focus.

The first quarter 2019 LSH Auto Australia Choice Awards have been announced.

Each quarter, the program recognises exemplary contributions to a positive working environment by one nominated team member per dealership, with the awardees nominating a charity to receive a $500 donation on their behalf. All the quarterly winners and their partners are invited to the annual LSH Auto Australia Choice Award Gala Dinner.

The winners of the 2019 first quarter Choice Awards are; Mercedes-Benz Sydney Senior Receptionist Marie Spano, Mercedes-Benz Brisbane Service Advisor Alistair Cobbold, and Mercedes-Benz Melbourne Certified Pre-owned Sales Cadet Olivia Hardy.

Marie’s charity of choice is Headspace, which provides mental health support to 12 - 25 year olds, Olivia’s charity is The Friedreich Ataxia Research Association which supports research into a cure the degenerative neuro-muscular disorder and Alistair’s charity is, Perinatal Anxiety & Depression Australia which supports families affected by anxiety and depression during pregnancy and the first year of parenthood.

We asked each of the 2019 Q1 Choice Awards winners how elements of the LSH Auto brand promise of ‘You Come First. Always’ and the brand values, of trust, integrity, teamwork, relevance and social responsibility, translate to their daily work.

For Maria Spano, as the ‘face and voice’ of Mercedes-Benz Sydney, the focus was building trust from the very first point of contact.

“I feel a special responsibility to treat every caller and visitor as an honoured guest. I act as an anchor point between our customers and each department. It is vital that I listen to their needs and connect them to the person who will deliver the best possible experience.

Over the years I have worked to build trust and confidence, as a familiar voice and face. Every customer should receive a welcoming smile on arrival and feel appreciated. First contact is extremely important. The first impression is what every customer will remember and judge us on. It is what our customers tell friends and family about. It should provide the reassurance that they are important to us as part of global Mercedes-Benz family.”

For Mercedes-Benz Brisbane Service Advisor Alistair Cobbold, the practical application of the LSH Auto values is focused on teamwork.

“Teamwork is imperative to the success of our service center. From the moment a customer arrives everyone has an important role to play to ensure the job is completed correctly and on time. No one person is more important than the other. If one link in the chain fails, then the result is compromised.

Trust is incredibly important. You have to rust your team-mates to be instrumental in building the customer trust that is key to creating long standing relationships, return business and increasing the integrity of our business. Those are the factors building the reputation of our brand.”

For Olivia Hardy her work at Mercedes-Benz Melbourne’s pre-owned division relies on the company values of integrity and relevance.

“I believe our pre-owned customers initially focus on relevance and integrity. It is my job to ask the right questions so that I can find the vehicle that best suits their needs. When looking for a pre-owned vehicle, customers want to ensure the retained integrity of the Mercedes Benz brand. By explaining our selection and certification processes I aim to leave customers in no doubt that they are buying from the best.

I love the process of working with customers to find their ideal vehicle. It is my responsibility, from the first meeting, to make them feel welcomed and understood. Then we can work as a team to compare and contrast until we find the right vehicle. Open communication, at every step of the process, is of paramount importance.”

All three winners are to be congratulated for their dedication to customer service, evidenced by their living of the LSH Auto values and focus on delivering on the brand promise of "You Come First. Always.” They also deserve recognition for their choice of deserving charities.

The Q2 2019 LSH Auto Australia Choice Awards winners will be announced in July.