As a member of the Independent Garage Association (IGA), we have the benefit of an independent dispute resolution provider - the National Conciliation Service (NCS). This provides reassurance to our customers that, in the unlikely event of an unresolved dispute, there is an independent organisation to help resolve the situation without the need to take the matter to court.
The IGA now offers the Trust My Garage £1,000 Guarantee. This means, if the NCS upholds a customer complaint following arbitration, the IGA will guarantee the payment of any financial award (up to £1,000) if we are unable to make the payment.
The IGA, as a long established trade body, supports its garage members in providing the very best customer service and we are very pleased to be a part of this network.
December has been an unusually busy month for us and Okee and we are really pleased to have expanded our workshop team. Jason Dennett is our newest recruit and brings with him 29 years of experience in vehicle electronics and diagnostics. You can find out more about Jason and the rest of the Okee staff on our Team page. We are really pleased to have Jason on board and look forward to working with him as we build our customer-focused garage in 2017.
Okee is pleased to be acredited by The Motor Ombudsman, the automotive dispute resolution body as part of our commitement to customer peace of mind and service excellence. Fully-impartial, it is the first ombudsman to be focused solely on the automotive sector, and self-regulates the UK’s motor industry through its comprehensive Chartered Trading Standards Institute (CTSI)-approved Codes of Practice.
Over 7,500 businesses, are accredited to one or more of the Codes covering new cars, sales, vehicle warranties, and servicing and repair. These drive even higher standards of work and service, and give consumers added protection, peace of mind and trust during the vehicle purchase and ownership experience. For more information visit The Motor Ombusdman website
Lots of people have asked us why we decided to start Okee, and more to the point, what does Okee mean. Well, as its an easier question to answer, I will clear up the last question first... Why Okee?
To be honest it doesn't really mean anything (although we hope it will become synonymous with superior automotive services, trust and driving peace of mind, in the future). When we were brainstorming the company name, we decided early on that we didn't want it to sound like a typical garage. We wanted our garage to stand out from the crowd and the name had to too.
Mark also has a passion for electric and eco cars so we thought... 'why not something ECO'. Then we flipped it around... OCE. The C became a K. And lastly we added an E, simply to try and get a decent website domain name. And that's 'Why OKEE' (NOTE: we are not just specialist in eco/electric cars, and can look after any vehicle).
It's safe to say the name has divided opinion (but then, what great name doesn't?!?). Some love it, some hate it, but one thing I can guarantee... You've said it (or heard it) this week... Okey Dokey! And your're probably saying it right now!
But more importantly... why did we even want to start our own garage.
For me, I hated taking my car to the garage. Any garage! Even the majority of main dealerships fail to give a warm, heartfelt welcome. And small independent garages often feel awkward and threatening if you're not in 'the trade'. I only ever liked taking my car to my nephew, Mark, because I knew I could trust him. But even then, I never knew where to park, I hated sitting in a drab and dirty reception and I couldn't wait to be back on the road again.
For Mark, the ability to offer the customer a higher level of service was his main objective. He was keen to invest in the most up-to-date diagnostic equipment to enable Okee to offer a dealership grade diagnostic services. This means, rather than send our customers to the main dealer when complicated problems arise, we can diagnose and repair here. So the dream was to offer the highest level of service and expertise, in the most friendly and welcoming environment.
So we discussed creating something completely different. Could we create a garage that was actually a positive experience for those that historically hate it? Could we have a nice, relaxing reception with a coffee shop style waiting area, with plenty of parking and a genuinely warm and friendly welcome? We also wanted advice and billing to be really clear, so our clients could have complete trust in our service to them. We saw an opportunity for an independent garage with a superior customer experience, and that's what we hope we have achieved.
So that was the birth of Okee. We are so proud of what we have created. I (Ben) have always said 'if we can create an environment that my wife and child are happy to be in, we've got it right. And thankfully they love it! There is still a long way to go. We've only been open for 5 months in Wellington but word is getting around and our customer list is growing daily. And we've been pleased to receive such a warm welcome and some lovely reviews on Facebook. A huge thank you to everyone who has support us.
We are proud to be accepted as RMI and Trust My Garage members, as part of our dedication to superior customer service in the automotive industry. TMG is the fastest growing garage scheme and highlights our commitment to providing quality workmanship on every vehicle that comes through our doors. Find out more at the TMG website.
Taking your car to the garage can be a hassle and many of our customers find it difficult to be without a vehicle for the day while their vehicle is in for a service, MOT or repair. We have invested in two quality courtesy cars so that our customers can continue with their day unhindered as part of our commitment to superior customer service.
Ben Grave, Mark Lawson