Beadles Toyota Maidstone, Border Toyota (St Boswells) and Minories Toyota Wearside have all scooped top honours at Toyota's European Ichiban Customer Satisfaction Awards during a ceremony held on 2nd July 2009 at the company's regional headquarters in Brussels. All three Toyota Centres were recognised for delivering outstanding customer satisfaction taking into account both Sales and After Sales performance. A total of 37 awards were presented to retailers from across 27 markets in recognition of the exceptional contribution each business is making to Toyota's sales and marketing strategy in the United Kingdom and Europe.
Speaking at the awards ceremony, Tadashi Arashima, Chief Executive Officer and President of Toyota Motor Europe (TME) said: "An important measure of business success is customer loyalty. Our goal remains unchanged: we aim to be number one in Complete Customer Satisfaction in every Toyota market. I am personally delighted to see a year-on-year improvement in both the quantity and quality of entrants."
Roughly 2,500 Toyota retailers were judged on the results of an annual customer satisfaction survey introduced by TME in 2006. Award nominees made the shortlist based on exceptional performance across seven categories both pre- and post-sale. For example, the winners were judged to have exceeded customer expectation in areas such as showroom welcome, test drives, and handover. They were also assessed on the accuracy and punctuality of service delivery, plus general follow-up and overall customer care.
Since TME's annual Ichiban Awards kicked off three years ago, scores for Complete Customer Satisfaction in Toyota markets have improved by some 16% in Sales and 10% in After Sales. 'Ichiban' is a Japanese word borrowed from 'Okyakusama Ichiban' which means 'Customer First'. 'Ichiban' means 'first' or 'number one'.
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