Five female marketing experts are putting their feminine touch into one of the most masculine industries in the UK, in an attempt to finally bring the automotive fast fit industry in line with many high street shopping experiences.
The HiQ fast fit network is enlisting the skills of the marketers in an attempt to create a lasting, memorable retail offering, after independent research revealed that a staggering 70 per cent of women believe they receive a dishonest and untrustworthy service when they visit a garage.
The research, commissioned by HiQ, also disclosed that 24.3 per cent of women charge the men in their lives with taking their car in for new tyres because they found the whole so unpleasant.
HiQ, whose philosophy of ‘fast fit you can be sure of’ is driven by a team of female marketers.
“Women drivers have always been important to us. We are a family motoring brand, active in our communities and proud partners with Breast Cancer Care under our Project Pink programme,” says HiQ’s marketing manager Geraldine McGovern.
“As women who are passionate about changing retailing standards in fast fit, the results of this research really shocked us.
“We knew women sometimes distrusted garages but this was far worse than we thought. We need to rebuild that level of trust.
“The comments from women drivers in the UK include ‘iffy’, ‘overpriced’, ‘rip-off merchants’. This has to stop, now. We need to radically change the whole experience of buying a tyre, so it feels as trustworthy as any shopping on the high street.”
Researchers from independent pollsters OnePoll spoke to some 2,000 motorists.
The research comes as HiQ takes the lead in challenging the way the fast-fit industry sells tyres to the public, and in particular women, by ensuring that its entire network of more than 150 branches is as customer and female friendly as possible.
HiQ’s innovative steps include a programme of investing in clean and pleasant customer surroundings; producing clear, jargon-free pricing and menu boards so customers know exactly what they are buying – and how much it costs; creating an online ordering service; and sending its technicians for professional assessment under the ATA accreditation programme.
And, to ensure that its high standards are rigidly adhered to, HiQ sends mystery shoppers to its franchises, as well as carrying out daily telephone checks.
These run alongside HiQ’s industry leading mirror hanger customer feedback programme and online feedback pages.
“With this in mind, we are doing what no other fast fit network is doing – offering a unique combination of retail and technical skills to provide motorists with a genuinely memorable and expert retail experience.
“Our comprehensive HiQ Tyre Expert Programme includes technicians being fully trained in offering the very best advice to motorists, demonstrating how seriously we take this issue.
“Our female customers deserve to be treated with the same standards, respect and honesty that they’d demand in any other high street store.”