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Going the extra mile
After some initial challenges, Pendragon Contracts’ Neal Francis says euroShell Card is the perfect fit.
Based in derby, contract hire and fleet management company Pendragon Contracts is part of Pendragon Plc, the largest automotive dealer in Europe. Divisional Managing director Neal Francis observed the switch to the euroShell Card six months ago after the company decided to change suppliers.
“Pendragon uses the cards for its employees, but we also actively sell fuel cards to our corporate client base. Our head office was aware of our concerns about our previous arrangement and we began to look at alternative providers. With the cost of fuel ever rising, we were determined to look for ways to dilute this. After careful analysis, we made the switch to Shell,” says Neal.
A number of things were attractive about euroShell Cards, especially the filling station locations. “We found a strong correlation between our 235 dealerships and locations of the Shell sites, which has strengthened further with the recent Shell expansion.”
Plus, Shell and Pendragon Contracts share a like mind when it comes to fuel efficiency. Much in the same way that Shell educates motorists on driving techniques to get greater fuel efficiency, Pendragon has a similar driver support service. It’s part of the company’s value added service – Pendragon goes the extra mile to maintain strong relationships with its customers; indeed some clients, which range from small firms to blue chips, have been with the company for two decades.
“We always strive to offer new products and services,” says Neal. “For example, we offer various advanced driver training and risk management courses for our customers. We also ensure that, when delivering new models, a full vehicle handover is undertaken; most drivers haven’t had a brand new car for a few years, technology has advanced and drivers aren’t familiar with all the new gadgets and controls. There is evidence that a significant proportion of motor incidents occur within two weeks of having a new car; we make sure we explain to drivers where all the controls
are and what they do. Vehicles will do what they are supposed to do,” says Neal. “It’s only when you put a human being into one that they behave differently.”
Offering a third party fuel card has also traditionally been part of the service. However, during the switchover to euroShell Card a few challenges did arise.
“One issue was validating that all the prior information was still accurate,” Neal explains. “Then we had to find a sufficiently knowledgeable person to train our people in how to sell the cards.”
Pendragon and Shell worked closely together during implementation. “The Shell team helped in organising the set up of data so that our systems were right for us from day one,” says Neal.
“We asked for several bespoke reports that we knew our customers required – the Shell team was happy to provide them. Shell also recruited an extra person to actively help our team sell the cards into our client base.”
With a long-standing good reputation to keep intact, it was important that these problems were dealt with – and Shell was quick to deliver. “Loyalty is important to us; we’re known for our strong levels of customer support and service.”