The show followed Alex Polizzi’s efforts to turn around Guide Bridge MOT, a car mechanics and MOT testing centre based in Ashton Under Lyne, on the outskirts of Manchester in north-west England. As an experienced hotelier, Polizzi was quick to focus on the customer service provided to a handful of new customers she had sent in to test the garage. She made it clear to the Lord family, who run the business, that despite being nice people operating a family-owned business, the experience they offered their customers didn’t differ from their competitors in any way at all. Even basic communication, like telling customers when their cars would be ready, was absent.
60 minutes of edited television can only show a fraction of what took place and the closing scenes were of the garage re-launching with a refurbished office and waiting area, so we didn’t get a chance to see how the company is running now. Hopefully the Lord family’s experiences with Alex in hospitality and fine dining have encouraged them to script and choreograph their customers’ experience with their company. From the moment the customer arrives in the car park, Guide Bridge MOT has a chance to stand out from the competition by providing a memorable and positive experience for their customers.
One of the biggest and under-utilized selling-points of the company is the ladies who work there. Jan Lord runs the company and works with daughter Nicola to organize the mechanics’ timetables and deal with the customers. Alex Polizzi pointed out that they were well placed to fill a big gap in the local market by promoting themselves as a female-friendly garage. Polizzi also encouraged them to re-start their `Women at the Wheel‘ car maintenance training and education program for women, which is now a regular weekly fixture.
Hints were provided at what the company has achieved with its re-launch, with customers remarking that they liked the new fixed-price servicing menu. Guide Bridge MOT also had their service status upgraded for corporate fleet work, having increased their customer service levels enough to qualify for the extra tier of fleet customers and increase their turnover.
The broadcast of the programme last night will no doubt boost new customer enquiries for Guide Bridge MOT. I wish Jan and the Lord family every success with their re-launched business and encourage them to keep up their marketing efforts.