LOUISVILLE, Ky., – (March 26, 2014) – The Daimler Trucks North America (DTNA) network of Elite Support Certified dealers is celebrating five years of growth and success among the broader DTNA dealer network. Since its inception in 2009, the number of dealerships achieving Elite Support Certification has grown steadily every year to its current number of 129.
The idea for the Elite Support initiative began five years ago when a group of forward-looking dealers started working with DTNA to improve dealer-level processes that enhance customer experiences with the Freightliner and Western Star brands. The Elite Support initiative has created a dealer-driven framework for tackling operational issues at the dealership level, raising the bar for the overall customer experience at Elite Support Certified dealerships across North America.
“Dealership involvement is the key,” said Jennifer Stevenson, director of distribution development at Daimler Trucks North America. “The dealers have really pushed the idea of continuous improvement in their own organizations, adding new criteria every year to improve their own efficiency and provide better service to their customers.”
From a proof of concept stage in 2009, Elite Support progressed quickly into a pilot program in 2010 with the first wave of dealer participants in 2011 documenting the areas where they wanted to focus. By 2012, DTNA had launched an online collaboration tool for Elite Support called the “Hub,” allowing for more sharing of best practices. Also that year, participating Elite Support dealers held their first summit, gathering continuous improvement coordinators (CICs) from dealerships across North America together for training and to build momentum behind the initiative’s customer service focus. The Elite Support dealer network recently held its third CIC Summit and is poised for further growth and success by raising the standard of customer satisfaction throughout the DTNA network.
By all accounts, the initiative is having a real impact as measured by customer awareness and acceptance. Even beyond the very visible standards like driver lounge comforts and improved signage, fleets and independents alike are noticing a difference at Elite Support Certified dealers.
Michael Most, president of Michael Most Trucking, Inc., is very impressed with the implementation of Express Assessment at the Elite Support Certified dealers he’s visited.
“Downtime is inevitable. Elite Support makes it manageable,” he says.
Express Assessment is a process at Elite Support Certified dealers designed to deliver a repair timeline to the customer within two hours of the service write-up.
“Five years feels like a big accomplishment, but we know we’re just getting started,” said Stevenson. “This collaboration with our dealerships will continue to raise network standards so our end customers benefit from improved customer service across the whole network.”
To learn more about Elite Support, visit www.EliteSupportNetwork.com.
About Daimler Trucks North America
Daimler Trucks North America LLC, headquartered in Portland, Oregon, is the leading heavy-duty truck manufacturer in North America. Daimler Trucks North America produces and markets commercial vehicles under the Freightliner, Western Star and Thomas Built Buses nameplates. Daimler Trucks North America is a Daimler company, the world's leading commercial vehicle manufacturer.