Mark Silvester Promoted to Service Manager at ILAM Toyota
We sat down with our recently promoted ILAM Toyota Service Manager, Mark Silvester, to talk about the future of the department and his time at Miles Group. A wealth of knowledge and bursting with good ideas, we’re excited to see what Mark has in store.
Trained as an engineer, Mark started his career in the automotive industry at Miles Toyota’s Airport location as a self-described adult apprentice. Although he was proficient as a technician, he realised quickly he had great people skills and enjoyed working with customers.
“I loved working on cars, but I really wanted to help people understand the issues with their vehicles.”
After a discussion with his manager, he moved to ILAM Toyota to cut his teeth in a more “front-of-house role, so to speak”. When the previous Service Manager left, Mark put his hand up for the role.
Promoted to Service Manager, he’s now the face of the Service Department at ILAM Toyota. His main goal? To make sure everyone is happy and feels involved, especially his team. His main goal is to create a customer-focused experience, one where the whole experience is customer-led. He strives to make sure every customer feels important, because they are.
He believes, “If you’re customer-first, growth happens naturally, and revenue follows.”
Although his role is hectic on the floor and with customers, he isn’t letting his busy schedule keep him from dreaming about the perfect service department. His big plans? “A bulked up middle department.”
What exactly does Mark mean by that? Basically, a liaison between the Service Advisors and the Technicians, someone who knows a lot about vehicles and can help customers through the service process but isn’t working on the vehicles or taking bookings. In an ideal world, this person would ride along with the customer, listening to the issues that the customer is concerned about and relaying that information to the mechanics. When the job is finished, they’d make sure the customer understands what repairs were made and is satisfied with the service.
His frustration with service now is that many customers don’t see the improvement in their vehicle or understand what went into fixing the problem. This middle person can help alleviate the workload of busy service advisors and help customers have the best experience imaginable. This helps create a culture of transparency, fostering trust with customers.
When he’s not dreaming up big ideas for changing the service department, he’s completing his Toyota New Zealand diploma. The programme teaches eligible Toyota employees about each aspect of the business- from finance to sales and marketing to service.
“Emotional intelligence has been a big theme. We learn a lot about reading people and making sure we’re helping them before they need help,” he says of the programme. He’s also learning about how to handle finances, work with the marketing team, and more.
Mark brings enthusiasm to his role and his team at ILAM Toyota and we feel lucky to have his expertise and drive in the Miles Group. We look forward to seeing the bright future he brings, and if you get your vehicle serviced at ILAM Toyota, be sure to say hello next time you’re in – he’d love to hear from you!