Bridgestone is promising to upskill the automotive industry - and scores of technicians working within it - courtesy of a unique training scheme for fast fit networks.
Bridgestone will invest a six-figure sum in the City & Guilds offering, which will also benefit motorists and improve the retail experience on garage forecourts.
Bridgestone’s ‘Winning in Premium’ courses have been described as ‘game-changing’, as training is given about understanding motorists’ unique driving habits and what to look out for when they arrive at the counter. Running in parallel with this is expert tuition on the merits of each and every tyre in the Bridgestone range and what each product is designed to do best.
Informed conclusions can then be made on the individual needs of each customer and the most appropriate recommendations can be made by the technician, rather than looking at a price tag alone.
It is hoped that the provision will bring the fast-fit industry in line with many High Street shopping experiences, where assistants have been treating customers in a similar way for years.
Bridgestone’s marketing team leader Mark Fereday said: “The conversation needs to be diverted away from price, which is usually the common denominator when it comes to purchasing tyres. Whilst we acknowledge that this will always be an important factor, we are keen to teach managers and technicians how to actually identify a premium customer in the first place and provide expert advice thereafter.
“We are going to empower managers and customer-facing staff to recommend and sell premium products, having gained an understanding of what tyres motorists require for their specific driving needs.
“Many garages sell budget and mid-range alternatives because the see it as the easiest thing to do. With the skills gained from our training offering, more relevant recommendations can be given on premium products – which would actually offer significant margins at the same time.
Bridgestone will measure sales at each garage depot before and after the training, not to mention confidence levels of those technicians who have undertaken the training.
Mark added: “We really think that this is game changing. There is nothing in the industry quite like this. Our industry is so poor at giving information and we know that motorists do want that information. They want to understand what they are purchasing and why. Our courses will help to do this, whilst upskilling technicians at the same time.”
This announcement arrives just weeks after Bridgestone won the Staff Training & Development category at the 2018 NTDA Awards. In winning, praise was given to Bridgestone’s six-figure investment in its state-of-the-art training centre at MIRA, Nuneaton, to empower commercial and consumer tyre technicians.