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The John Lewis Partnership
I have noticed that John Lewis and Waitrose are spending an absolute fortune promoting the inclusion of ‘Partnership’ on their branding, obviously they see the value of a business with the right culture running through the core of the company. I must say if I didn’t know it before, I have certainly realised the value of a strong customer-focused culture in a business.
As some of you will know I suffered a back injury in February and, following an operation in June, I am only just starting to be able to spend a couple of hours at work, and it’s been a very tough time for me! I never realised long-term chronic pain affected the brain as much as the body. However, thankfully the business has carried on almost completely unaffected, and it’s not down to rules, processes, computers, etc, that’s very difficult to do well when dealing with customers, we have all come across problems when rules get in the way of common sense, but when everyone involved in the business feels part of it, decisions are made based on common sense, and what is best for the long term good of both the customer and the company, and this has certainly been the case. Not once in seven months have I come across a problem where anyone has hidden behind a process or policy - granted we may not be perfect, but I feel the whole workforce really have got the ‘partnership’ thing sorted, have felt the lovely warm feeling of satisfaction when customers leave happy, and that has been the strongest emotion. Zero hours contracts are not for us and the so-called ‘Gig Economy’ can come and go, but treating staff and customers with respect will always generate better results.
You may wonder why I mention this - I think we all notice great service more than ever before, we used to be a nation of people who didn’t complain, and just put up with anything, but not anymore! It’s what we now notice, and it’s what has made me incredibly proud of everyone at the dealership, and given me a very warm feeling for having created a car dealership with a difference. In my opinion, it is the biggest reason for our success, and to see John Lewis, who are certainly one of the successes recently in retail, invest in such a campaign, is certainly an endorsement of our own culture.
A massive thanks from me to all the staff, or should I say ‘partners’, as they certainly share the fruits of their efforts, and hopefully I’ll be back to full time work in October.
“Great things in business are never done by one person. They’re done by a team of people” Steve Jobs
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