We want to build a loyal and satisfied customer base, and this can be achieved through our scale, convenient locations and technical expertise.
Building our Autocentres brand is an ongoing process as we leverage our capabilities and scale to strengthen our relationships.
We recognise that with any brand, trust is key to attracting and retaining customers. Our strategy to achieve this is four-pronged, and at the centre are our people.
Be first choice for motorists
Making our Autocentres the first choice for motorists across the UK is both the first step and the ultimate aim of our strategy.
We want to build a loyal and satisfied customer base, and this can be achieved through our scale, convenient locations and technical expertise. Offering consistent service and pricing, such as our single price MOT, will help to position Halfords Autocentres as reliable and dependable across the nation. We aim to provide an easy online booking system, including mobile devices.
Give a service that customers come back for
While our convenient locations and consistent pricing can attract new customers, great service is what will keep them coming back. We are creating a culture of customer service among our colleagues, where their skills, knowledge and attitude combine to form great relationships with our customers.
To attract and retain the most passionate and skilled colleagues to our autocentres, we are focused on improving recruitment and engagement. We offer competitive benefits, ongoing technical training and are making improvements to working conditions. To nurture our colleagues' abilities, we are prioritising training and development in line with that of the Halfords Retail business. Alongside this, our apprenticeship programme is delivering colleagues with the values of quality service already instilled. Around 200 apprentices are on board so far, with more being recruited towards the goal of having one in every centre.
In order to continue learning, we regularly review feedback from our customers. All our colleague incentives are underpinned by customer service measures, giving them an extra level of motivation to deliver exceptional service. We believe great service, delivered by engaged and motivated colleagues, who value customer feedback, guarantees a loyal and satisfied customer base.
Run a Grand Prix operation that we are proud of
Excellent technical service isn't all our customers expect. We want centres we can be proud of, offering customers the consistent experience they expect from the Halfords brand. That means clean and tidy receptions, friendly colleagues willing to help and a great environment to wait for their vehicle. We want our colleagues to do the best job they can and we'll continue to invest in the latest equipment to help them take pride in what they do.
So that we can keep delivering on our goal of building trust, we have struck a balance between expansion and improvement. We have slowed the number of new centres opening in order to improve the quality of existing locations. This year nine new centres were opened, including a new concept centre in Croydon - see more information in the box below.
Leverage the Halfords brand and Group capabilities
The strength of the Halfords brand and the wider Group capabilities will help to ensure the success of our Autocentres. While Retail and Autocentres are separate parts of our Group, their capabilities are clearly linked, and cross-selling our services is a key part of our strategy going forwards.
Offers in common across both Autocentres and Retail will be based on our knowledge of each customer base, and will encourage customers of each to become customers of both. These incentives, along with the ability to push our Retail products in our Autocentres, can improve the performance of the Group as a whole. In the last year we introduced Halfords branded batteries and lubricants to all Autocentres.