Based around a web-based booking system the ‘Service Stop’ plan was launched at the end of April. The system has been set up to improve the exposure of Mercedes’ commercial vehicle network to those van owners that typically run used vans bought from outside the franchised retailer network.

Mercedes believes it’s network of LCV dealers, which is linked with its truck, rather than car, network carries advantages and disadvantages. Due to the out-of-town locations, many used-van operators don’t know where their nearest dealer is. However, being truck dealers means business opening times are better suited to those running their own small firms.

“We’ve started an online service advisor called ‘Service Stop’. There’s a 2-3 hour response time that’s monitored and chased-up by an agency,” said Mercedes’ divisional aftersales boss Simon Oldfield.

“It went live last month [April] with no promotion and got two bookings in the first 24 hours. This month [May] we will start using SEO and Google search words.

“We can offer some good packages due to the big truck side of the sites. This means a lot of the sites are open 24/7 and most are open from 7am to 10pm, so we can do overnight servicing, when typically the utilisation is at it’s lowest.”