When it comes to WAVs, there’s one man our customers have come to count on time and time again. To many in the industry he’s known as Tom McKeown, TBC Sales Manager, but to his customers, he’s known as Tom McKeown, superhero and Mobility expert.
Let’s find out what makes our very own WAV warrior tick and where his superpowers really come from.
When did you start working with TBC Conversions Tom?
It was a warm summers day in August 2008 that I became the 9th employee of the TBC team. David Donnell, MD and part-owner of TBC Conversions was the 8th, starting just 6 weeks before I did.
I had started my career with Norwich Union in June 1979 as a Claims Handler. After 4 Years there I joined a firm of Loss Adjusters/ Claims Investigators based in Birmingham. Here I worked in GB and Northern Ireland dealing primarily with Bomb Damage, and any kind of property damage as a result of Flood, Storm, Theft etc.
After 14 years as a Loss Adjuster, I was approached by a packaging company based in Dromore Co. Down and Kansas USA where I worked for a further 9 years, starting in logistics and then moving on to Sales Development all over the UK, and parts of Europe.
From there I went on to spend a number of years with Henderson’s / Spar as their Business Development Consultant. My duties included assisting the growth of their Wholesale Business to Business section.
It was then that, after a chance meeting with Terence Donnelly, I was made aware of a new Donnelly Group venture called TBC Conversions, they were looking for a Sales Manager and the rest is history.
What are the most important messages for clients of TBC Conversions to be aware of?
At TBC Conversions, our ethos is to “keep our customers central to everything we do”. Working in sales and industry for so long you get to learn that talk is cheap, words are free, but walking the walk and making this happen is what matters.
Time after time it is the belief and commitment that the entire TBC team deliver that makes the difference. From mobility experts to sales team members, workshop technicians and aftercare teams, every person in the TBC family is involved in achieving our goal.
God gave us two ears and one mouth, a sign that we should listen twice as much as we talk. Our customers know what they want or more often need, and as a mobility expert, it’s my job to guide and support my customers. It’s up to me to make their wants and needs a reality.
One thing our WAV customers often need the most is assistance navigating the financial constraints, limitations and legislation surrounding the conversion of wheelchair accessible vehicles.
By developing close relationships with our customers, keeping them informed and educated and managing their expectations, treating them with Intelligence, Empathy and Care come easy.
If you could pick one moment you are most proud of working with TBC, what would it be and why?
In 2009, TBC Conversions became the first UK converter recognised with the highest engineering standard within Europe, the full European Type Approval. This came following the pull and crash testing of our very first wheelchair accessible vehicle, the VW Caddy Maxi Life.
Following this, we were also granted a letter of no objection from Volkswagen AG, another first for a UK based conversion company.
More importantly, and because of the high standards by which we operate, every time I see the expression on the faces of our customers, after handing over their bespoke converted vehicles, I know exactly why we do what we do.
What do you see for the future of TBC?
We have continued to test all our converted vehicles to the full European Type Approval standards. It is this attention to detail, which we have maintained from 2008 to the current day, that keeps our customers safe and enables us to consistently deliver quality service.
Continuing to match and exceed our customer’s expectations, innovate with the latest technology and keep informed of best practices used by mobility experts is of paramount importance to us.
I look forward to being able to shake our customer’s hands again, meet them face-to-face, and develop lasting relationships with the people I dearly enjoy working with.
How have the effects of the current pandemic changed your day to day?.
Keeping your distance is not something that ever entered our minds pre-COVID.
It was commonplace to hold the hands of the disabled children whose future car I was demonstrating or receive a hug from happy customers on handovers. Now that none of this is possible, it has brought into focus the small things we all took for granted.
Today, I complete socially distanced home demonstrations wearing a face-covering, face shields and gloves. Whilst understanding this is completely necessary, it does not lend itself to “The Personal Touch” TBC Conversions are so well known for.
Our clients will sometimes only use facial expressions and non-verbal communications to interact with us, for mobility experts everywhere I’m sure it’s this restriction that has certainly changed the way we build and develop relationships with the people we deal with.
We have adapted, finding other ways to uphold and provide our vital services including home demonstrations, new vehicle handovers and important annual WAV checks. Both ourselves and our customers are conscious about keeping each other safe, adhering to social distancing regulations and personal safety precautions, during these activities.
Working together, we will come out the other side of this pandemic, stronger and wiser than we were before.
So, come on, what gets Super Tom up in the morning?
I’ve always been an early riser, so I’m up at 6 am every day.
Workwise each day is different at TBC, the one constant is the privilege our customers give us, trusting us with their safety and comfort and allowing us to guide them into the most suitable vehicles.
This is my superpower.
How do you think TBC Conversions stands out among other vehicle conversion companies?
Everyone in our TBC family will try to go the extra mile for our customers.
Starting by matching the correct WAV to their particular needs and requirements, secondly, during the lifetime of that vehicle, we will remain accessible to our customer being the first and most reliable port of call for all concerns, queries and advice.
At TBC Conversions we will always do our utmost to help our customers with guidance on servicing support, breakdown recovery and repairs, helping them navigate the industry and connecting them with their local dealers.
It’s this deep understanding of all our customer’s needs that give TBC one of the most of its most outstanding qualities, keeping the customer at the focus of everything we do.
Finally, what would your dream car be and why?
Without a doubt the Audi RS4 Avant, 2.9 TFSI V6 444 BHP Quattro, (Lamborghini engine).
A vehicle with absolute aeroplane performance and, unless you are a true Petrolhead, the man in the street would not recognise it as a Special Car.
Like a true superhero in a supercar, even wanting to remain conspicuous in his dream motor, Tom McKeown is an asset to the TBC Conversions Sales team and a champion to his customers.
With mobility experts such as Tom, delivering the core standards of TBC Conversions service and care seems easy. It’s only when we get to know more about our customer and go that extra mile that we see real results, and our customers return for more.
For advice and guidance from mobility experts at TBC Conversions and to start your own TBC journey, call 0800 999 5090 or email firstname.lastname@example.org today.