How Mercedes-Benz Vans UK connect, recognise and reward their dealer network
About Mercedes-Benz Vans UK
Mercedes-Benz Vans UK (MBV) is headquartered in Milton Keynes, UK, and prides itself on quietly but efficiently supporting essential businesses and services. With over 120 years of van innovation, MBV has built a large network of franchised dealers who support the brand through sales and service.
Industry: Automotive/Retail People in the network: 3,000+ Geography: UK
The Rippl team has worked with MBV for almost twenty years in various capacities. Our close relationship started off as an agency, assisting them to run large sales incentives and rewarding the top performers with extravagant holidays and prizes. Over the years, MBV has come to value the power of social engagement and creating a culture and community online, which is where the Rippl platform comes in.
With a dealer network of 3000 individuals spread across 27 independent dealer groups, from Truro to Aberdeen, Mercedes-Benz Vans (MBV) once had a problem they needed to solve: how to connect a dispersed network of people to maximise productivity and ensure they feel a truly appreciated member of the MBV community.
Adding to this complexity, a large proportion of the dealer network is deskless/mobile, such as technicians, without access to a company computer or phone. Traditionally, engaging this group has been a challenge, especially as communicating critical information relied on word of mouth or printed collateral that may not be seen and can quickly out-date.
Upon implementing the Rippl platform, named ‘Van Stars’, the fully-branded mobile app could be downloaded to personal phones, connecting this hard to reach audience became possible.
Recognition, story sharing, nominations and incentives all became key features for MBV. Not only could important news be sent via instant push notifications, ideal for those on the move, but individuals could share their posts and pictures on the social timeline, connecting with their team and the entire network.
During our ‘Heroes’ virtual award ceremony, in which we celebrated the stand-out stars of the network, winners were chosen from the Rippl social timeline. Van Stars gave me, and the judges at HQ, visibility of everyone’s outstanding work and attitude. Without it, I’d have had no idea of how many wonderful things were happening out there, every day.
Steve Bridge, previous managing director
MBV uses Van Stars to not only help surface the day-to-day challenges and triumphs of their dealerships but to celebrate the hard work and achievements of its people.
Connecting a dispersed network, fostering a community spirit and recognising and celebrating excellence aren’t the only benefits enjoyed by the network and head office. The platform also facilitates the creation of incentives and rewards distribution. A feature, Head of Sales, Andy Lawson regularly relies on to boost sales and reward hard work:
“Throughout the year, we often run incentives on Van Stars, whether this is to encourage the sale of a particular model or to tackle an over-stock issue. However, we don’t just run incentives to motivate and reward our salespeople, as, after all, we know it often takes a whole team to get a sale over the line. Therefore, our incentives are often available for everyone to participate in, such as technicians, administrators, service advisors etc.”
Andy continues: “Rewards are generally given to a whole team, whether this is points to spend in the Van Stars voucher catalogue or a gourmet food van pitching up outside a dealership. Without Van Stars, there’s simply no way we’d be able to deploy incentives so quickly nor celebrate the successes of our network so readily.”
Incentives motivate desired behaviours, but when incentives are inclusive, not exclusive, and are paired with social recognition and connection, performance is amplified.
I always take part in incentives on Van Stars and winning something is always a bonus. However, when we’re recognised and thanked for the work we do, that often means so much more than winning points for doing our job.