The new managing director of the UK’s second biggest leasing company has vowed to put the customer at the heart of everything it does.
In his first interview since being announced as David Brennan’s successor, Matt Dyer told Fleet News that customer service will be vital to LeasePlan’s continued success.
He said: “You really have to understand what the customer wants to be able to set your organisation up in the right way to successfully meet their needs; having the customer at the heart of what we do will really help me drive the business forward.”
Dyer is a LeasePlan veteran, having worked for the company for more than 18 years. He started as an account manager in the UK before stints in Belgium and at the company’s head office in the Netherlands. He returned to the UK to become managing director of LeasePlan International in 2004.
The move proved successful for Dyer as he oversaw significant growth in the business and its expansion into new countries before he rejoined LeasePlan UK in 2009 as commercial director.
He said: “LeasePlan has been a fantastic part of my life and having worked in different areas of the business it’s given me a great understanding of the needs of the customer.”
The business currently operates a risk fleet of 136,000 vehicles in the UK, but does its size make it difficult to give customers that individual feel and focus?
“No, not at all,” said Dyer. “Scale helps us to put the resources and commitment behind what we do.
“It gives us the bandwidth to invest in all parts of our business without it having to be an either-or situation.”
However, LeasePlan is aware that its scale could deter prospects and that’s where it believes its four sub-brands offer real strength.
Dyer added: “People relate to the LeasePlan brand. They relate to Network, they relate to Automotive Leasing and they relate to LeasePlan Go. For the customers being served by those brands, it doesn’t feel like a goliath of a business.”
LeasePlan UK has registered significant growth over the past five years, from a risk fleet of 121,960 in 2009 to 136,126 units in 2013, according to the FN50.
Dyer wants to continue to grow the business and believes that the commercial vehicle sector will become increasingly important, along with salary sacrifice and its retail propositions.
It is already reaping the rewards of investing in its commercial operations after reporting a 6.4% increase in its van risk fleet from 2013, up 2,292 units to 38,102, according to the latest FN50 figures.
LeasePlan showed its intent three years ago with the development of a dedicated commercial vehicle team and Dyer believes it now has the right level of expertise, attitude and approach to service the sector’s needs.
“Customers need really good advice and expertise,” he said. “We’ve got more to do, but increasingly LeasePlan has been able to demonstrate it has that capability.”
LeasePlan also recognises that the relationship it has with company car drivers will also prove crucial for future growth aspirations.
It’s a view that’s shared by rival contract hire and leasing company Arval, which recently launched the Arval Smart Experience with enhanced connectivity and tools for drivers.
Dyer said: “We have to live up to the driver’s expectations. There will be a big role for physical products and digital relationships.
“Digital will play a big part in terms of bringing a new dynamic to the relationships we have with our customers and particularly with our drivers.
“We’ve made some good progress already, having rolled out improvements to our quotation tool, but I think there’s much more we can do.”
Dyer’s replacement will be announced in due course and he paid tribute to the “excellent shape” that Brennan had left the business in.
He added: “We want to continue to grow our fleet, continue to grow our profit and we need the necessary plans in place to do it.”