Kwik Fit | Thursday 16th October 2014 12:00pm
Meet Karl Billington, divisional director for Kwik Fitís South West division. We caught up with Karl to find out about his busy schedule and passion for exceptional customer service.
ďIf you believe you can, or you believe you canít, you are right.Ē These are the words of Henry Ford, American industrialist and founder of the Ford Motor Company. Fordís words have had a powerful effect on divisional director, Karl Billington, who has made it his personal mission to improve the customer experience at Kwik Fit. Karl is a man who believes he can.
Improving Services in the South West
As Kwik Fit divisional director for the South West division, Karl is responsible for an area stretching from Aberystwyth in Wales down to Penzance in Cornwall, across to Oxford and all the way down to Bournemouth. Geographically, it is one of our largest divisions spanning approximately 26,000sq miles. Karl is accountable for 97 centres in this region employing approximately 650 members of staff. Karl is also responsible for 12 of our new format centres. These centres have received major investment as part of our on-going refurbishment programme and include the latest equipment including scissor lifts, brand new tyre fitting machines and Hunter four-wheel alignment machines. These improved facilities enable Karl and his teams to provide customers with a world class service - a fact that Karl is particularly proud of, given his commitment to improving customer service levels at Kwik Fit.
Out and About
Karl typically starts his day bright and early at about 5:30am when he leaves his home in Dinas Powys near Cardiff where he lives with his wife, Emma, and twin daughters, Sophie and Ellie. Karl clocks up a lot of road miles covering such a large division and regularly travels thousands of miles each week to meetings across the Division and at head office in Hertfordshire. Karlís role is varied but one of his favourite activities that he always makes time for is visiting the many centres in his Division to meet with his teams. This gives Karl the perfect opportunity to provide support and coaching to centre staff while challenging any missed opportunities.
Committed to customer service
As part of his commitment to customer service, Karl always goes out of his way to talk to customers when visiting centres and take on board their comments and feedback, both good and bad. Customer feedback is essential in any business in order to move forward and Karl is always keen to find out where we can improve so that our customers keep coming back in years to come. Karlís optimistic business approach is certainly infectious and his local teams have come to share his passion to continually improve standards within their centres.
Years of Experience
Karl has worked at Kwik Fit for three years now. He began his career by completing a four-year apprenticeship as a mechanical turner and fitter for a National bus and coach hire company in Swansea. On completion of his apprenticeship, Karl decided he wanted to move into retail and went on to work at high street names including Halfords, Dixons, Curryís, Woolworths and Focus DIY. Using Fordís words as a mantra, Karlís hard work paid off and he progressed from a sales assistant to become a Divisional director.
Supporting His Team
When not visiting centres, Karl spends approximately two days a week at his South West divisional office in Cirencester. Itís here that Karl gets a lot of his day-today work done as well as meeting with the 31 members of staff who directly report to Karl including 10 Operations Managers, each of which have local responsibility for a smaller region within the South West division. Karl also manages a team of 8 Master Technicians who are trained to the highest standards and are sent in to centres when more advanced mechanical repairs are required. Karl holds regular 1-to-1ís and performance reviews with his team to ensure we are offering the best possible service to our customers. Supporting His Other Team! Karl is often a long way from home and more often than not, ends his day staying at a hotel. Having a demanding job and twin girls means Karl is a busy man! But when he does get a chance to relax he likes nothing more than getting behind his beloved Swansea City or eating out at a local restaurant with Emma and his favourite red wine Ė a glass of the famous Italian red Barolo!
Kwik Fit has 97 centres throughout the south west of England & Wales with new format centres offering the latest facilities in Cardiff, Bristol, Exeter, Plymouth, Penzance, Salisbury, Poole, Hamworthy, Cirencester, Cheltenham and Hereford. Find a Kwik Fit centre near me.
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