Ciceley Commercials enjoyed a sensational night at Mercedes-Benz Vans’ latest celebration of franchisee excellence, winning no fewer than three of the six prizes that were up for grabs, including the most coveted of all, for Retailer of the Year.
A founding member of the Mercedes-Benz Dealer Network, the family-owned company represents the three-pointed star in Lancashire and Cumbria, as well as parts of Greater Manchester and south-west Scotland.
Ciceley’s success in winning the Retailer of the Year crown reflects a magnificent performance throughout 2018 by the 200-plus colleagues who work at its headquarters and dealership in Blackburn, and other sales and service facilities in Bolton, Carlisle and Dumfries.
Staged at the Celtic Manor Resort, in Newport, South Wales, the Mercedes-Benz Van Stars event was hosted by sports and music radio and television presenter Colin Murray.
Ciceley Commercials also claimed Mercedes-Benz Vans’ top accolade in 2015, the first year in which it was presented. And just as he did four years ago, a delighted Dealer Principal Mike Lewis again stepped up to receive the prestigious trophy.
“Given the tough competition from other members of this network, to be recognised for any award is special – but to win three is utterly amazing,” declared Mike. “Every member of the company team has played a part in our success, and I’m extremely proud that we’ve been recognised by Mercedes-Benz Vans as the best in the business.”
Ciceley Commercials sells and supports Sprinter, Vito and Citan van models, as well as X-Class pickups. Mike pointed out that “not only do we sell to many ‘blue chip’ national companies, but we also do a fabulous job for retail customers who want just one vehicle”.
He continued: “There were challenges during 2018, of course, but we came through them with flying colours. It was a year in which we over-achieved on sales of both new and used vans, and activated more connected vehicles than any other Mercedes-Benz Vans Retailer. On aftersales, meanwhile, we posted record workshop labour and parts sales, and exceeded all our service contract targets.”
Mercedes-Benz Vans Managing Director Steve Bridge led the tributes to the Ciceley Commercials team: “In this evolving world it is important that our Retailers not only sell and mend well, but also that we react quickly to customer requests, and embrace all available technology to enable them to be more efficient and to beat their competition.
“Our Retailer of the Year award has traditionally focused on just two areas of our businesses, Sales and Customer Services. Now, though, we include other factors such as the management of customer relationships and enquiry response times, together with activations of our Mercedes PRO connect vehicle management technology, and the way it is being applied for the benefit of customers.
“Ciceley Commercials has excelled in all of these areas and is a worthy winner of the Mercedes-Benz Vans Retailer of the Year award.”
Earlier in the evening, Blackburn-based Van Sales Executive Helen Barker and Senior Marketing Executive Lucy Richardson were presented with the adVANce Award for innovation, while Service Administrator Michael Sercombe and Technical Specialist Steve Faulkner collected the DPD Retailer of the Year prize in recognition of the outstanding service provided to the parcels delivery leader’s local branch by the team at Ciceley, Carlisle.
Although Ciceley Commercials has been serving customers for more than 45 years, Helen’s and Lucy’s success underlined the extent to which the company encourages staff to think ‘outside the box’ and embrace new technologies. Dubbed ‘DealReveal’, their Black Friday sales initiative entailed the production of six quick-fire videos, each featuring a different van and offer.
Delivered with her trademark enthusiasm by former home shopping TV presenter Helen, and shot by Lucy, a different clip was uploaded to social media channels every two hours. The campaign had a huge impact, reaching over 8,000 people and driving a 50% increase in visitors to the Ciceley website. Its sales teams also took significantly more telephone calls than expected, and landed orders for eight vehicles over the weekend.
Meanwhile, it was the second year running that Ciceley Commercials, Carlisle, has won the DPD Retailer of the Year award, which was introduced in 2016 after the manufacturer won a landmark, nationwide vehicle repair and maintenance contract from its high-profile customer.
The Retailer achieved a 100% score in DPD’s own audit, its quality-focused support helping the delivery company’s Carlisle branch to achieve benchmark levels of fleet availability and uptime last year. As well as suffering minimal roadside breakdowns, DPD benefited from assistance with compliance and cost control management.
Also honoured on the night were:
Rygor Commercials – Mercedes-Benz Finance Retailer of the Year
Karl Hadley, Euro Commercials – Keeping Businesses Moving Award
Tracey Stewart, Rossetts Commercials – Managing Director’s Award for Customer Dedication.