Female marketing team striving for ‘High Street’ experience at HiQ
Iffy. Rip-off. These are but two words used by women to describe the experience of taking their vehicle to a garage, as HiQ recently discovered. Using statistics from online researcher OnePoll, the fast fit network found that some 70 per cent of women believe they receive dishonest and untrustworthy service when they visit a garage. The HiQ commissioned survey of approximately 2,000 motorists also found 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 experience so unpleasant.
But it doesn’t have to be like this, HiQ believes. To counter the negative perceptions held by many female motorists, the company is utilising the knowledge of five female marketing experts to “finally bring the automotive fast fit industry in line with many high street shopping experiences.” HiQ describes itself as being “driven by a team of female marketers” and is undertaking a programme to make its more than 150 outlets more woman-friendly. This includes, HiQ explains, 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 technicians for professional assessment under the ATA accreditation programme. To ensure these standards are adhered to, HiQ sends mystery shoppers to its franchises and carries out daily telephone checks.
“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,” comments 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.”
McGovern says HiQ is “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.” She adds: “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.”