The personal touch can go a long way - Elaine Mooney
Merrion Fleet's client relationship manager describes her job, gives details on their most popular models and recalls an embarrassing tweet to a customer.
What's your own background?
Before joining Merrion Fleet, I worked with Lombard Fleet Management for six years. I joined Merrion as part of the takeover of the Lombard Fleet in 2010 so I'm almost 10 years in the fleet management business. I also have a degree in counselling and psychotherapy.
What does your job involve?
My main focus is relationship building with our customers and ensuring we meet high levels of service.
What are the main issues for your clients since the economic downturn?
We have had an overall decrease in fleet size over the past few years. Customers are now looking for greater cost efficiencies and are looking for fully outsourced fleet management so they can focus on their core business activities.
Are companies deferring replacement of their fleets?
Yes, in the past but we have seen a change in the last 18 months. Customers are beginning to replace older cars.
What are the key deciders for companies when choosing a brand?
Reliability will always be a factor and of course cost. We make recommendations to our customers based on a whole life cost model. This takes into account the term, mileage and spec of a vehicle and incorporates the residual value and fuel consumption to show a cost per km.
What are the most popular models on your fleet?
BMW 3 and 5 series, Ford Mondeo, Opel Insignia, Volkswagen Passat and Audi A4. However, other models such as the Skoda Octavia and Superb are becoming more popular.
What do you most like about your job?
Ensuring customers feel the love. On a serious note, I really enjoy the wide variety of customers we have and as each is unique in their requirements it makes each day different.
What's the most difficult part of your job?
I can't say it's difficult as I really enjoy what I do. But there can be challenges at times. We work in partnership with our customers and the personal touch and good relationships can go a long way.
What is the most unusual or funny thing that has happened with one of your clients?
Texting a customer thinking it was my husband (same first name) ... no more details can be revealed.
If you had a limitless budget what would be your dream car?
Kimi Raikkonen's Formula 1 Lotus. He's my hero.
Job title: Client relationship manager, Merrion Fleet
Hobbies: Formula 1, travelling, good food