Praised by both our expert judging panel and waves of happy customers, IN'n'OUT Autocentres in Wigan has been named Which? Trusted Trader of the Month.
The company, which deals with MOT testing, car servicing, brakes, tyres, repairs and more was delighted to be accredited as a Which? Trusted Trader back in 2015. Its rigorous assessment involved checks on credit reports, staff interviews and customer satisfaction reviews.
IN’n’OUT Wigan is managed by Syd Valli, who has been in the industry for more than18 years, having worked in both small and large independent garages. The Wigan team is made up of six people in total, with a further 170 colleagues spread across IN’n’OUT’s 27 autocentres across the country.
We caught up with Syd to discuss the Trader of the Month win and the benefits of signing up to the Which? Trusted Trader scheme.
Do you think your company has what it takes to win? Read our guide on how to be the next Which? Trusted Trader of the Month.
Setting the bar high
IN’n’OUT’s Marketing Executive David Holmes told us that the Wigan branch has one of the highest numbers of repeat customers across the company’s network. This proves that local reputation, supported by the Which? Trusted Trader endorsement, can be key to retaining and attracting business.
To inspire other IN’n’OUT centres and encourage some friendly rivalry, Wigan’s application for Trader of the Month was circulated around the company’s other branches. Our judging panel found this particularly impressive – it’s a clear sign that IN'n'OUT Wigan is an inspiration to other garages.
So what’s the key to IN’n’OUT’s success? A can-do attitude certainly helps. Syd told us: ‘I start the day with a personal objective of making sure all customers have left satisfied. As you can see from our customer reviews, I have pride in the work I do and I’m immensely proud of my team.’
‘I enjoy working within the automotive industry. Every day is different, but always rewarding.’
We were pleased to see the Wigan branch doing its part for good causes. The centre regularly donates to selected charities at a national and local level, also sponsoring charity bike rides and offering MOTs and servicing as prizes. In the reception area, you’ll spot a Make-A-Wish charity box that offers customers a quick snack in exchange for a donation.
Managing a business at a difficult time
In light of the COVID-19 outbreak, IN’n’OUT Autocentres are offering NHS workers a free MOT and 50% off car servicing. This scheme got a big thumbs up from our judges, who were delighted to hear that the initiative has been rolled out to all other branches.
Speaking on working practices, Syd told us: ‘I am proud of my company’s values which are to act with integrity, honesty and respect’.
‘The entire team at IN’n’OUT work closely together and have the desire to succeed. By working with this mind-set, I believe we will continue to grow’.
Helping drivers get back on the road
As we were looking through IN'n'OUT’s Trader of the Month application, two customer-care stories jumped off the page.
Back in February, the Wigan branch had a visit from a student whose car went on to fail its MOT. The customer was understandably disappointed with the result and was unable to afford the quoted repairs.
To help the customer out, IN'n'OUT Wigan offered a unique payment plan with 0% interest, spread over four equal payments. The customer was delighted to have her car made safe and returned without having to pay the final bill upfront. As a thank you, she treated the team to a box of chocolates. A job well done.
In the same month, an IN’n’OUT Wigan customer left his car for an MOT during a Wigan FC football fixture. The car failed its MOT and needed repair work, so the team used video technology and sent an email to the customer to run him through the necessary fixes. The team didn’t get a response and knew he would be back after the game to collect his car, expecting it to be roadworthy.
To make sure the issue was resolved, the garage stayed open late. Once the customer had returned to authorise the repairs, the parts needed were fitted the same evening, which took an additional hour. This commitment on show from the Wigan team was praised by our judging panel.
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Showing off the Which? Trusted Trader logo
IN'n'OUT Wigan proudly displays the Which? Trusted Trader logo inside the garage. If you take a trip over to the group’s website, you can explore the autocentre through a 360-degree virtual tour. We saw the Which? Trusted Trader logo all over the autocentre and our judges liked the level of transparency on show.
You’ll also spot the Which? sticker on all of the company’s marketing material. IN’n’OUT Wigan is working with its uniform supplier to get the logo added to all new uniform ordered for staff.
We asked Syd whether or not customers truly appreciate the fact that IN'n'OUT Wigan is a Which? Trusted Trader. The answer was a definitive ‘yes!’
‘It gives assurances that we have had to reach a high standard of customer care through good working practises and that we will look after their car honestly. Motorists can see, at a glance, that we can be trusted and that we hold customer service front of mind in all our activities.’
‘Having a Which? Trusted Trader endorsement is great for building your brand and it keeps you focused on looking after your customers’.
Congratulations to IN'n'OUT Autocentres Wigan for winning April 2020’s Trusted Trader of the Month.