S & B Commercials

Orwell Truck & Van

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S & B Commercials and
Orwell Truck & Van

Dealers Orwell Truck & Van and S & B Commercials have won a prestigious award from Mercedes-Benz Vans after launching a customer care initiative that has delivered outstanding results despite the pandemic.​

Both part of the multi-franchise Motus Group (UK), the ‘sister’ companies took the Team of the Year 2020 honours at the manufacturer’s Van Stars Heroes event, which recognised the hard-working people from across its UK network who pulled out all the stops to keep business moving during the most challenging of years.

Orwell Truck & Van and S & B Commercials launched their new customer contact centre a year ago, with the aim of making it easier for operators of Mercedes-Benz vans to book vehicles in for routine maintenance and urgently needed repairs, and to submit sales enquiries.

Orwell Truck & Van sells and supports Sprinter, Vito and Citan van models bearing the three-pointed star from five locations in Norfolk, Suffolk and north Essex, while S & B Commercials operates from three sites in Essex and Hertfordshire. 

The two Dealers have kept all of their workshops open throughout the pandemic. Members of the new contact centre team have also relieved branch-based colleagues of some of the burdens of basic administrative work, freeing them to focus on service quality and the provision of regular, timely progress updates to customers. 


While the usual glamorous celebration was clearly a non-starter, Mercedes-Benz Vans was determined that lockdown restrictions would not prevent it from highlighting the achievements of those who went ‘the extra mile’ for their customers and communities last year. 


Broadcast live from a studio in Salford, the event was brilliantly hosted for the fourth year running by sport and music radio and TV presenter Colin Murray. Sharing the stage with him – but appropriately distanced – was Mercedes-Benz Vans Managing Director Steve Bridge. 


Motus Mercedes-Benz Division Head of Marketing Tom Sunderland said while the contact centre went ‘live’ shortly before the first lockdown – causing “quite a few challenges” – it had been fully up and running since the beginning of June. 


Since then contact centre operatives had made more than 7,000 workshop bookings and allocated over 3,000 sales enquiries to sales colleagues. The two Dealers’ Mercedes-Benz Vans ‘mystery shop’ scores had also shot up, and both were well ahead of target in terms of the numbers of customers electing to fix their maintenance costs by signing up to Mercedes-Benz ServiceCare plans. 


“We have seen a real transformation in performance across the various areas of influence the team has on our business,” revealed Tom. “Not only do the numbers look great, but the team are also building some great relationships with our customers, working directly with larger fleets to schedule their vehicles in advance for services, MOTs and recalls. Their hard work means we are now retaining more of our customers, and they are receiving a first class booking service. 


Accepting the Team of the Year award by video link, Contact Centre Manager Astra Sinclair, a former Senior Service Advisor, was quick to praise the contributions of her colleagues Kerry Chatten, Amy Claxton, Emma Clennell, Will Higgins, Marcus Killett and Joel Windsor. 

“It was a really challenging year for us, as for so many others, but they’ve all done an incredible job. We’re now really looking forward to a return to some kind of normality in 2021.”

The Motus Group (UK) acquired Orwell Truck & Van in 2013 and S & B Commercials the following year, and continues to invest heavily in their branch infrastructure, with more exciting developments due to be completed over the coming year.