Synergy beats top firms for service index

All smiles: Paul Parkinson, managing director of Synergy, is pleased with the firm's NPS score. Pic: Simon Hulme
All smiles: Paul Parkinson, managing director of Synergy, is pleased with the firm's NPS score. Pic: Simon Hulme
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Building a business on values such as care, trustworthiness and reliability leads to a happier customer base, according to the boss of a small business that has trumped many Fortune 500 companies on service standards.

Harrogate-based vehicle leasing provider Synergy Automotive has secured a rating of 94 in the Net Promoter Score (NPS) index for almost 50 consecutive months, putting the company ahead of the likes Apple and Netflix.

Paul Parkinson, managing director of Synergy, attributes the success to measures implemented internally at the business.

“It started with an idea and that idea was we wanted every one of our clients to have a great experience,” he told The Yorkshire Post. “That was the starting point.”

Mr Parkinson added: “Clients want to be listened to. They want to feel like people care. Care sounds like a basic work but people who care deliver. They’re trusted and when you become trusted you become recommended.”

NPS is an index which ranges from -100 to +100 and measures customers’ willingness to recommend a company’s products or services.

Synergy, which was founded in 2006, smashed through the leasing sector’s average score of 52.

Colin Tourick, professor of automotive management at the University of Buckingham Business School, praised the Harrogate- based firm saying its NPS was “extraordinarily high”.

“Synergy must be recruiting the right staff and training them well to get such a high NPS score,” he added.

Mr Parkinson said that the company was punching above its weight. He said: “It highlights the degree to which we punch above our weight as an SME by measuring ourselves against global giants and constantly exceeding our clients’ expectations.”

Mr Parkinson says that business has had to change people in order to attain such high levels of service. He added that as the business has grown it has had to hire the right people.

The managing director sees this as another Yorkshire success story. He said: “We’re leading the way in terms of not only fintech, deals etc. We’re also leading the way in terms of quality of service that we provide.”

Mr Parkinson added: “What we’ve now got is a business that’s been built on care, trustworthiness and reliability in a marketplace that’s known for just transactional activity. Those things don’t cost money but they are difficult to master.

“A daily infusion of that (ethos) goes into our sales team and into our client services team to continue to drive that forward.”

Synergy has increased staff by 50 per cent over the past 12 months, bringing its total headcount t0 40.

The business is also nearing the completion of a major expansion programme to double the size of its Harrogate headquarters as part of a five-year plan to expand the business by 300 per cent.

Motoring in the industry

Paul Parkinson began working in the motoring industry in 1984 as an apprentice.

After starting off as a mechanic he ended up in sales.

In 2006, he launched his own business with Synergy Automotive.

Andrew Cope, founder of Zenith Vehicle Leasing, came on board as an investor in 2016.

The origins of the Net Promoter Score (NPS) lie with Frederick F. Reichheld in the US in 2003.

He devised the question “How likely is it that you would recommend this company to a friend or colleague?”