Managing frontline service operations is a bit like managing a stage performance: you are always live, and there is always the excitement of anticipating the audience’s reaction. No matter what, though, the show must go on, and you are dependent not only on your own efforts but that of your cast – or in my case, my team – to make that happen.
I joined the Porsche Centre in Hangzhou as Aftersales Manager in 2015, after a decade of service in the aftersales operations of several major motor brands across various Chinese cities. I have always believed that my career choice is a reflection of my personality, and it is not just that I am passionate about cars. Aftersales service is a high-stress job – aside from regular maintenance requests, customers usually call on us when they are going through stressful situations themselves. These could be minor fender benders or more pressing issues: one time we were approached by an anxious bride who had accidentally damaged the rare decorative lights on the wedding vehicle just 5 days before her wedding. Knowing how much faith she must have had in us to deliver, I personally pulled all the strings I could to eventually locate the part and repair the vehicle on time. The bride and her family were highly appreciative, but this was just one example of our day-to-day encounters, and it was by no means the most challenging. As with any customer service function, we are always under pressure to speed up processes, improve communication, and maintain a smooth and positive experience for customers. Besides a strong commitment to great service, I believe that my jovial personality and sense of humour have been vital in keeping stress and tension in check, energizing my team to deliver exceptional service day after day – with a smile.
Of course, aftersales service is a very important part of Porsche’s operation, requiring the dedication of the entire team – from service advisors to workshop technicians and all the other contributors at the centre – to uphold our stringent service standard. My priority is to help my team members enhance their skills and precision. True to my fun-loving personality, though, I try to do this in exciting ways. For example, I created internal aftersales competitions for various techniques like body and paint and mechanical and electrical work bay maintenance. These have really gotten the competitive juices flowing among the team, raising the bar in the overall quality of our work.
In fact, my leadership philosophy of creating a happy environment for my team extends well beyond work hours! After a hard day’s work, you may find our team challenging one another on a soccer field or basketball court; you could just as easily find me on stage, performing a song for my colleagues or entertaining them as a host at various events. I truly believe that when we fill our happiness tank as a team, we fuel comradery and productivity as well. I am thankful for my team for putting on an amazing performance at the Porsche Centre in Hangzhou every single day.