As a brand highly respected for its values of honesty and integrity, the Automobile Association (AA) has announced today (SUBS:: 13 June) it is making its position clear regarding what it deems is the deteriorating status of the towing industry in the country, and what needs to be done to fix it.
Speaking alongside the AA’s industry partners at a media briefing in Midrand, the Association’s CEO Mr Collins Khumalo, said the towing industry has developed an unfortunate reputation for being non-inclusive, resistant to transformation, and lacking customer focus.
“This has been an issue for us for a long time and something we needed to look at very closely. What we’re doing now is committing ourselves to ensure transformation in our sector, and hold not only ourselves but our partners accountable to the South African public through to a Service Charter which we will sign,” explained Mr Khumalo.
The Service Charter outlines four key areas which the AA believes are essential first steps towards fixing the industry’s reputation.
- Always being available to Members and Customers,
- Ensuring Member and Customer satisfaction is a priority,
- Being accountable to Members and Customers, and,
- Valuing its partners and suppliers.
“An important element of how we will operate going forward is through driving transformation in our industry. We will do this by assisting previously disadvantaged towing companies with skills training, development plans, and a fair and equitable allocation of income,” says Mr Khumalo.
He says by committing the AA to these levels of service and transparency in the way it does business, it hopes to influence the industry as a whole.
“With this Charter, we are encouraging our industry colleagues to join us in making meaningful and sustainable changes to the way we operate. This industry must change and we are taking the first steps to ensuring this happens. It’s a move we think is to the benefit of everyone in this sector but, more importantly, to the benefit of all road users in the country,” notes Mr Khumalo.
Mr Khumalo adds that the strength of any industry is generated through free and fair competition based on providing the best services to customers, who will ultimately reward good honest service.
“Customers will build up the most customer-focussed providers and prune those who put petty profit and ego above customer and road user interests,” concludes Mr Khumalo.