Combining Hard Knowledge and Soft Skills

Carson Wu – Service Advisor, Porsche Shenzhen Luohu City Service Centre, Jebsen Motors

A typical day in a car repair technician's life involves applying different techniques to perform repairs, install parts, and check accessories. But not many know that these same techniques can also be used to improve customer service—I know because I have played both roles at Jebsen Motors.

I joined the Jebsen Porsche Centre in Shenzhen as an apprentice nine years ago. Car servicing is meticulous work where you must follow instructions to the letter. Through diligence and attention to detail, I gradually elevated my skills, becoming a Porsche Global Bronze Certified Technician in 2013. At that time, everyone expected me to continue pursuing a career in car repair.

One day while I was checking a Porsche Cayenne, my manager told me about an opening for a service advisor assistant. Since I already knew a lot about Porsche vehicles, I felt confident that I can work in the frontline and answer customers' questions about our products. I also saw this as an opportunity to improve my social skills. I’ve never backed down from a challenge, so I seized the chance and transferred to customer service.

People have an impression that car repair and customer service are different kinds of work—after all, cars are objects, and customers are people, with real needs and sentiments. But I believe the two functions are actually quite similar. To fix a car issue, I need to first check things through thoroughly and address a customer’s concern. I need to first listen closely and understand the issue. Only then can I offer my repair expertise and convince the customer that I am able to solve their problem.

I think professional customer service should be a blend of hard knowledge and soft skills. For example, Porsche may have built rock-solid solutions to common issues over time, but I need to deliver these to customers while expressing genuine concern for their needs. I must see things from their perspective, and provide the best possible service within our ability.

As a service advisor, I treat every customer request with the same assiduous mindset I developed from my car repair background. I would rather work overtime than to miss a car delivery deadline. Once, a client complained about an issue with their rear lighting, and I personally replaced the electronic module, putting their mind at ease. Another time, I went out in the middle of the night to help a client whose car had broken down, which the towing driver was not able to handle. Both of these clients have since become some of our most loyal clients. Sometimes I would return from my holiday, only to find out that these clients had chosen to delay their service request just so they could wait for me. This is great validation for my service quality, and makes me proud of the work I do.

Jebsen values the ability of its employees more than their age or background, which is evident from all the support it has given to a millennial like me. I am grateful for the company’s training and development opportunities, which has enabled me to transition from a maintenance technician to a service advisor. I went through a lot of practical and professional training over the years. Aside from being a globally certified Bronze Technician, I was re-certified as a Porsche Global Service Advisor in 2018, making me the company's only service advisor with both certificates.

I am also thankful to Jebsen for recognising its employees' hard work. In 2019, I was awarded for maintaining an exceptional customer experience in a company-wide competition for service advisors. I ranked first in six areas including the number of clients served, output value, PAW (Porsche Approved Warranty), PSP (Porsche Service Package), tire sales, and the result of the customer satisfaction survey, and was over the moon to receive a Porsche Travel Experience as a reward.

Maintaining a healthy work-life balance is also important to me. Aside from joining various training and peer competitions, I participate in the company's annual basketball games. By having this balance, I can maintain my enthusiasm for customer service every single day.

As for my career goals, I have a few, like continuing to improve our customer service and to contribute to our company’s brand value. I also hope to have an opportunity to hone my management skills and lead a small team of my own.