Empathica Partnership Helps Halfords Autocentres Shape Business Around Real Customer Feedback

Halfords Autocentre Splash PageBirmingham, UK — 5th August 2013 — Leading independent garage chain Halfords Autocentres announced today that it has seen its customer satisfaction scores hit 93% following a new customer experience management (CEM) strategy in partnership with Empathica Inc., a leading global provider of Customer Experience Management (CEM) solutions to the world’s most respected multi-unit enterprises.

Since appointing Empathica 12 months ago, Halfords Autocentres has reviewed the feedback of over 52,000 customers which has allowed the business to implement operational changes that deliver immediate impact to the customer experience. With good value and customer loyalty key measures for the business, customer feedback levels following their visit have been reassuringly positive — with 89% of customers reporting that they received value for money and 87% stating they would recommend Halfords Autocentres to their friends and family.

Halfords Autocentres’ Marketing Director Rory Carlin said: “We want to send a clear message to our customers that we value their feedback and aim to exceed their expectations. We offer excellent value for money but want to show that value and excellent service are not mutually exclusive.”

The CEM programme which was implemented last year invites customers to provide feedback online through printed cards that are handed out by staff at Halfords Autocentres, and through e-mails sent after they have visited a garage. The data is then analysed by Empathica and fed back to Halfords in the form of focused reports that are tailored for each garage, identifying areas that can be improved and successes that should be celebrated with staff.

“Empathica gives us a dynamic customer-focussed performance measure that is now hardwired into our centre managers’ day-to-day operations and gives us another tangible measure of business success by gauging how real customers interact with and perceive our business,” comments Carlin. “The programme generates in excess of 162 customer responses per day across our network of 290 UK garages – generating a customer ‘WOW’ for exceptional performance that is flagged with centre managers, which can be very powerful and motivating.”

Gary Topiol, EMEA managing director for Empathica, commented: “We’re delighted to have successfully demonstrated how quickly a well executed CEM programme can deliver team engagement and actionable insights.  Over time I am confident that it will enable Halfords Autocentres to drive even greater long term customer loyalty.”

Carlin continues: “We are pleased with what has been achieved thus far but are continuing to invest in this strategy through a modelling initiative that will enable us to better understand what steps in the customer journey are most important to them and the development of a new portal that will empower managers to interpret and act upon customer feedback.”

About Halfords Autocentres

Halfords Autocentres is a leading independent MOT, car service, repair and tyre garage network. We employ highly trained ATA accredited technicians and use the latest in vehicle diagnostic equipment in over 290 sites — which is expanding monthly — to deliver dealership quality work at affordable prices.

Being independent experts means that we are able to service, repair and maintain any make or model of car in line with the manufacturer’s standards, whilst offering a local price match promise and peace of mind in the form of a minimum guarantee of 12 months or 12,000 miles on work carried out. (See website for terms and conditions)

The Halfords Autocentres name may be a recent addition to the Halfords Group, but our heritage spans more than three decades and we serve over 750,000 customers every year — with over 8 out of 10 of them being happy to recommend us to their friends.

Media contact:

Stuart Humphreys, Automotive PR Manager

T: 01527 513410,

M: 07738 751930

E: stuart.humphreys@halfords.co.uk

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