JONATHAN WILLOWS, SERVICE MANAGER
30 years of experience, at your service
Name: Jonathan Willows
Job: Service Manage
Volvo Dealership: Marshall Volvo Grantham, Lincolnshire, England.
Special areas of interest:
“I have always been interested in all things mechanical – anything to do with cars, planes, transport.”
Most satisfying part of your job:
I am immensely proud of my team. Here at Grantham, everyone is treated with the utmost respect, everyone is focused and everyone understands the importance of delivering outstanding results every time.
"Volvo is a fantastic company to work with. The future is Volvo: impressive safety and environmentally friendly cars on the horizon with a fantastic opportunity now and in the future."
TAKING PRIDE IN YOUR WORK
After a couple of years working at the dealership in Oxfordshire, Jonathan moved to the Marshall Volvo dealership in Grantham – where he is still employed to this day. He began as a service and repair technician. While in this role, Jonathan completed various training courses at the Volvo Cars training centre in Daventry, eventually gaining the status of Master Technician.
Thanks to the training and advice he was receiving, both at the dealership and at the Volvo Cars training centre, Jonathan’s career was progressing and he was well on his way to reaching his full potential.
<span">“I carried on progressing in the service department until I achieved the position of workshop controller; this led to more responsibility with the day-to-day running of a busy department. I then decided to take myself out of the workshop to become a service advisor.” </span">
With this new role, instead of dealing with cars, Jonathan handled service bookings and enquiries and got the opportunity to deal with customers face-to-face. His new role was clearly one that he relished. As a couple of years later, he successfully applied for the role of service manager – a role he has enjoyed and excelled at ever since.
“As a service manager, I am responsible for the overall running of the service department, as well as the health, safety and wellbeing of all staff. This is a huge responsibility, but one which I take great care and pride in.”
LEADING BY EXAMPLE
But what does it take to become a successful service manager?
“You have to be 100% focused on customer satisfaction and delivering an outstanding performance. You also have to be able to prioritise the work load and be a skilled multi-tasker,” explains Jonathan. This final quality seems to be of particular importance. “Whether it’s technicians, service advisors, customers, salesman, parts advisors or other department managers, you have to find time for everyone. I manage my team by example rather than dictating, I would not expect any of my team to do something that I wouldn’t do myself.”
What does a normal day consist of for Jonathan and his team?
“Well, there’s really no such thing as a normal day. My day begins by assessing the previous day’s performance and then getting the workshop set up for the day ahead. This involves planning the day’s work for the technicians and the service advisors. Once everyone is clear about their schedule for the day, then the work can really begin.”
But even though Jonathan has been successfully working as a service manager for a number of years, he still takes every opportunity to learn new skills – and improve old ones.
ALWAYS SOMETHING NEW TO LEARN
“Even now, I still learn things on a daily basis. I have also benefitted from in-house training with training specialists, webinars and training days at the Volvo Cars training centre in Daventry. I also completed the Volvo Accredited Leadership Programme, which involved a years-worth of training and coaching from Volvo’s management development partners.”
But what does Jonathan think is the most important thing he’s learned from his time at Volvo dealerships, and what advice would he give to someone considering a career with Volvo Cars?
“My advice for anyone thinking about a career with Volvo Cars, is to learn about all the different aspects of the business. As a service manager, people will expect you to have a wide knowledge of Volvo products and services. So, take all the training that is available to you and be a people person.”