Buying a car in these days of massive dealer groups, internet sales sites and car supermarkets couldn't be easier, but impersonal sales support and poor follow-up service can soon sour the pleasure of new car ownership.
Not, though, if you drive away in a Lotus, Subaru or Saab from Bell & Colvill in West Horsley, Surrey, where you'll deal with knowledgeable, enthusiastic staff who'll make every effort to build customer relationships and provide all the after sales back-up you'll require.
"We deal with people how we would want to be dealt with ourselves," says Bobby Bell, one half of the successful long-term partnership with Martin Colvill. "That means a more personal service from an extraordinarily loyal, long-standing workforce who really know the brands they work on. Our customers for all three brands tend to be enthusiasts and expect to be dealt with by people on that same level."
Teams of sales and service staff are dedicated to each brand to ensure specialised knowledge and continuity of customer care.
Bell & Colvill's approach has put them right at the top of the customer satisfaction index and led to exceptionally strong relationships with the three manufacturers they represent: Lotus, Subaru and Saab.
Bobby and Martin have sold cars together from their West Horsley premises for 40 years. Successful amateur racing drivers, they met through a mutual passion for motorsport and the legendary British Lotus marque, then at the height of Formula 1 success.
Their enthusiasm for interesting cars has been fundamental to Bell & Colvill's car sales development. "We've only taken on franchises for individualistic cars that we truly believe in," says Bobby.
The motor trade has never been more competitive, or so impersonal, which makes Bell & Colvill's personal service so refreshing. With three distinctive, sporting brands sold by knowledgeable staff from spacious, separately themed showrooms with full servicing, repairs and parts supply facilities they're confident about the future.
"People have almost begun to expect indifferent service today, so when they find somewhere that offers integrity, quality, knowledge and enthusiasm and that will go the extra mile to ensure customer satisfaction it's a winning formula," says Martin.