04 May 2017
Meet Lim Kok Eng - Service adviser, problem solver and good friend.
Lim Kok Eng is a service advisory executive with Audi Singapore at the Audi Service Center. The 60‐year‐old father of two is one of the company's longest‐serving employees: 24 years and counting. So if there is anybody who knows a thing or two about Audi vehicles, it would be "Uncle Lim", as he is affectionately named by his peers and customers.
"I love cars. It's in my blood. I have been tinkering with vehicles since I was a teenager. First, it was my neighbour's motorcycle during my national service days, then later I trained at the vocational institute to be a mechanic. I started an apprenticeship at Cycle & Carriage and when my boss moved to Tan Chong, the dealer for Audi at that time, he asked me to join him. It was 1992; I haven't looked back since."
Through his genuine care for people, Lim has converted many commercial relationships into long‐lasting friendships in his many years at Audi. Some have been going to him since 1992 and cannot imagine anyone else looking after their Audi.
He says: They just drop their vehicle here with me and tell me, 'Lim, I trust you'. For urgent or last‐minute repairs, I have waited past 9pm. Of course, the wife is not happy that dinner is getting cold, but she supports me because this is my job and passion.
I have at least two customers who have been with me since Day One. One man has owned countless Audis, from the Audi 80 to the Audi 100 and every generation of the Audi A6. We have coffee near the workshop. Another one invited me to his son's wedding.
Whenever I meet difficult customers, I try to understand them, describe the technical situation in a language they understand and reassure them that they will be well taken care of.
Each visit at Audi is meticulously planned for a smooth, efficient experience. The Audi seven‐step service core process starts with arranging an appointment. Lim records the customer's information and the repair work required accurately and in detail. Next, he lays the groundwork, determining the scope of work. This pays dividends at the third stage, when the customer arrives at the direct reception: a service bay where the vehicle is hoisted up, allowing both customer and adviser to inspect the vehicle together. By this time, Lim has the exact quotation for his customer and can share how long the repair will take. Other issues can be easily identified at this stage and added to the work order in a transparent manner.
In the fourth step, the vehicle is repaired or serviced accurately and comprehensively by Lim's colleagues at the workshop. Next, it undergoes a quality check while Lim prepares a clearly laid‐out invoice. The vehicle is washed and vacuumed too. In the penultimate stage, he explains the invoice to the customer, confirming that all commissioned work is indeed completed. Finally, Lim follows up with a phone call soon afterwards to obtain feedback on the work done.
He says: The process at Audi is very detailed. Customers new to the brand tell me this is the first time they have ever seen the underside of a vehicle. And they love it. As part of our service, we offer customers alternative transportation options to see them home or back to the office after they drop off their vehicle. Above this, we sometimes surprise them with a chauffeured ride, such as in our flagship model the Audi A8, as part of our Customer Delight initiative.
On an average day, Lim sees about 10 customers with a range of different and complex requirements. Managing the large workload requires perfectly choreographed teamwork. This is why the partnership between Lim and his assistant, senior customer support administrator Alicia Tan, is important. She helps to handle appointments and paperwork, such as invoices and job orders, while Lim takes care of customers face to face.
Tan, 24, describes him as a cheerful senior and a morale booster, always ready to give a smile even under the most stressful situations. Lim also works hand‐in‐hand with his colleagues at the workshop to ensure a smooth process. Where necessary, he chips in to help wash vehicles and change the oil, drawing on his years of experience actually working on vehicles.
She says: I have been working with some of these guys for years. We have a camaraderie going on. And thanks to the relationship we have built, they will go the extra mile for me to ensure vehicles are always delivered to the customer on time and at a high level of quality.