With a dealer network of 3000 individuals spread across 27 independent dealer groups, from Truro to Aberdeen, Mercedes-Benz Vans 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 MB Vans community.
'Van Stars' (Rippl) was the solution. One platform to bridge the divide between head office and the dealer network, enabling every member to feel valued, informed and connected whilst also boosting their performance. A win-win for a company committed to looking after its people and increasing profitability.
Connecting the disconnected
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.
With the Van Stars app downloaded to personal phones, connecting this hard to reach audience became possible. Not only can important news be sent via instant push notifications, ideal for those on the move, but individuals can share their posts and pictures on the social timeline, connecting with their team and the entire network.
“Without Van Stars, I wouldn’t be able to easily find out what’s going on with my dealership and what my colleagues are up to. When I’m out on a job, I still want to feel part of my team, even if I’m away from them for hours at a time. I like seeing everyone’s photos, and I’m often sharing my own so people can see the work I do.” Matt Osbourne, 24-hour service technician.
Celebrating the stars in the network
Mercedes-Benz 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.
MD, Steve Bridge, explains, “During our ‘Heroes’ virtual award ceremony, in which we celebrated the stand-out stars of the network, winners were chosen from the 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."
Incentives for the many, not the few
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. 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.”
Beyond the carrot and stick
Incentives motivate desired behaviours, but when incentives are inclusive, not exclusive, and are paired with social recognition and connection, performance is amplified.
Sales executive, Lee Haworth explains, “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.
“Van Stars is the glue that holds the network together! If there were no Van Stars, we’d go back to being individual dealer groups who didn’t help each other, we wouldn’t share our common goals and stories, and our customers would miss out on some of the fantastic joined-up work that we do.”
Are you looking to connect, recognise and reward your network? Let us show you how. Pop your details in here, and we’ll be in touch to show you how Rippl will help you maximise the potential of your people.