Welcome to the first of our new monthly blogs: This month, Chris Dodgson, Head of Strategic Partnerships talks about his background and what makes the Kindertons Sales Team so great!

21 July 2022

My entry into the Credit Hire industry was almost by chance. I’ve always had a passion for cars, having grown up in a household with heavy links to Rolls Royce Motor Cars. When the opportunity arose to Join Enterprise Rent-a-Car on a graduate scheme, I jumped at the chance as I loved the thought of being able to drive lots of different cars! Little did I know that there was a huge market that sat behind this!

Having graduated from Bangor University back in 2005, I had three years working for Enterprise before moving across to Kindertons in 2008. I joined the business in the Operations Department as a Claims Handler, which is where my journey began. 

Still in the Claims Department, I worked my way up to Team Leader then became Team Manager for our dedicated taxi team. (We’ve since acquired Sovereign Automotive so we now have a dedicated business in the replacement taxi arena rather than just an internal claims team). I finally made the transition into sales six years ago, where I’ve worked as a Business Development Manager, Key Account Manager, Senior Account Manager, and now head up the Sales Team.

I’m lucky enough to have seven exceptional Account Managers who report into me, all with at least 10 years’ experience at Kindertons and all having followed a similar career path to my own. The Account Management team are all very much multiskilled. They are all involved in day-to-day account management - being on hand as a point of escalation for their dedicated accounts, responsible for producing monthly reports and strengthening relationships.  They also keep a close eye on any potential new business opportunities alongside our dedicated Business Manager.

Our team, as well as the wider business, prides itself on our service and relationships and we rarely lose any of our accounts once they enter into a partnership with us. It is imperative that our Account Managers have the operational experience so they can be that single point of contact for anything that needs escalating out of the existing claims functions.

It’s no secret that there are many challenges within our industry at present - from the shortage of cars to repairer network capability. Luckily, we have a current fleet of almost 5,000 vehicles meaning there’s less need to rely on third party hire providers. We also now have a repair network of over 200 BS10125 accredited repairers, which is regularly growing as we try to ensure further capacity and coverage across the UK.  Last year, we re-launched our Motor Legal Expenses Insurance product, which received a 5-star Defaqto rating, and is just one of our multi-channel add-on insurance product solutions available. We’re also proud to house our own in-house call centre based in Crewe where clients can speak to us either via phone, email or via our digital environment which incorporates live chat with a fully trained Customer team that sits behind it – aiming to answer all queries within 60 seconds! The Heads of each department meet regularly to ensure a streamlined service across all areas is maintained.

The best thing about being Head of Strategic Partnerships, for me, is having an involvement in all areas of the business. I’m very privileged to have a strong team around me and that allows me to take time to step back and review all areas for growth and improvement. I’m also very lucky to be able to take time away from the office to meet both existing accounts and potential new clients in an external environment. I love the people I work with within the industry and have already made some lifelong friends.  I can't wait to see what the future holds!