April 6th, 2023
Shining a light on the people dedicated to keeping our customers on the road
Today we talk to Jo Ewen, Client Relations & Leasing Director, about her role at Holman and how she keeps driving what’s right for our customers.
What’s your role within the Holman Family?
I am Client Relations & Leasing Director. I lead the leasing team and the account management function for all our UK customers. I support the team to provide exceptional service to our customers to ensure they achieve their strategic business objectives.
Do you have a range of different accounts?
Over the last 35 years of being in the UK, we have obtained a diverse mix of customers ranging in size and complexity, from fleets of hearses to delivery vans and specialist equipment. Our team has the experience and knowledge to support our customers and their needs, now and in the future.
To best support our customers, we have different account managers to match the individual customer requirements; for example, our smaller customers typically require more of a transactional service that they can rely on for any admin-related issues and queries. However, our larger, more complex fleets need regular day-to-day management support with any issues. With all fleets benefiting from our agile and flexible service, we can always be available when and how best suits their needs.
All our customers look to Holman as their trusted advisor. Still, our most complex fleets are provided with an account manager who will look at the account strategically, not only listening to the customer to understand their goals, their challenges today and the over-arching business objectives but then develop a strategic roadmap on how Holman can help them achieve this and obtain the biggest ROI possible.
These strategic objectives may be as simple as providing core services, supporting them to implement new tools, profile building to larger projects such as aligning data sets to deliver information that matters and supports their decision- a whole range of things.
There is a real science to matching the right account manager (AM) to the right customer. The AM’s personality, skill set, background and experience must match the customer’s requirements as they become the conduit holding things together. It can be such a fantastic, evolving partnership if all the elements are aligned.
What is the typical kind of challenges that you solve for your customers?
You have to start with the bigger picture, what are they trying to achieve, and why do they have a fleet in the first place? Then, once we truly understand the end goal and what success looks like, we can work with them to understand their business at the minutia level; then, we work backwards to map out a journey so they can fully understand the steps they need to take to get there.
On a day-to-day basis, typical challenges range from increasing productivity, reducing risk, saving money, keeping them compliant and safe, and making their fleet fit for purpose so they continue to get the most value from their fleet as they grow.
Sometimes a customer needs support to clarify or set their objectives, so the Holman team will facilitate a workshop to discuss and scope out an action plan for success.
What elements of your role bring you the most satisfaction?
For me, it is all about the people. I am proud of the Account Management team and feel a sense of pride when we deliver excellent service. It’s all about investing in each individual to grow into their roles and achieve personal and professional goals. Helping them exceed expectations and thrive is what it is all about.
With our US and German colleagues, we are fortunate to have fantastic global resources to draw from. Sharing best practices, recruiting US people to come and work in the UK division of the business and vice versa, adopting processes and reviewing what we do together in a safe space is so valuable. The team is fully empowered to keep driving what’s right.
What is your number one focus?
Without hesitation, our customers are the reason we are here, and they are pivotal in helping us develop as a business every day. Developing and nurturing these relationships is the most important aspect of the job, and by delivering exceptional service, we foster mutually beneficial relationships. With any partnership, however, the actual test often happens when there are challenges; however, if the relationship is strong, based on being open and honest, and there is a shared understanding and commitment to working together to solve the issue, we will always be in the best position.
We have some fantastic partnerships with the fleets we serve, and I feel a great sense of achievement when we see our customers not only achieve but exceed their objectives and can see first-hand the value and expertise the team have been able to provide.
Can you give us an example of when you and your team went the extra mile for your customer? What was the challenge?
We had a customer who was in the process of transitioning from a previous supplier over to Holman. Their incumbent provider had left them in the lurch with a plan unfit for purpose, which would have created significant service issues if implemented.
We could have tried to pivot and accommodate them to meet the deadline, but that would have compromised the customer’s service levels. So instead, we proposed a different approach that considered the customer’s long-term goals whilst taking measured steps which prioritised solving immediate problems in a considered and logical way.
This approach was a bold position to take with a new customer; however, when developing new relationships, starting them from a place of trust and honesty is important. Working with the customer, advising them of the challenges and delivering solutions provided the comfort needed to make the change, and not only resulted in a significantly improved implementation, but the relationship is still going strong, and we continue to drive what’s right.