Mark Watson is the man in charge of the Sussex branch of the Hometyre franchise. As a mobile tyre company, they don’t have fixed premises – everything they need is found in their specialist vans, that are kitted out with all the latest tyre-changing equipment. Covering all sizes of tyres for large vans, 4x4s, caravans, horse trailers and cars, as Mark says, ‘It doesn’t matter if you've got a Mini or a Rolls Royce, everyone needs tyres and they all need changing.’
A husband and wife team
Mark and his wife Lyne took on the franchise eight years ago, following Mark’s redundancy from an engineering firm. Mark is out in the van daily, while Lyne works with him one and a half days a week. In addition to tyre-changing, the husband and wife team also unlock wheel-nuts, for people who have lost their wheel-nut key, as well as offering wheel-alignment and installing Tyron safety features on caravan wheels.
It was a big change from working in engineering, but Mark says he enjoys meeting all the different customers and being able to share his working day with Lyne when she joins him in the van. They work on a wide variety of vehicles, but he told us that he particularly relishes the challenge of changing tyres on vintage cars. As he said, ‘They have inner tubes and wire wheels – it’s a bit different from your average tubeless tyre.’ They get to work on vintage cars maybe once or twice a month, as satisfied vintage car customers will pass their names on to fellow enthusiasts in the area.
Which? Trusted Traders - a natural fit
Mark joined Which? Trusted Traders two years ago. As he had previously read Which? magazine he felt that it was the ideal scheme to join, as Which? have the reputation of giving honest opinions and provide a level of reassurance to potential customers. Some of his customers choose Hometyre Sussex purely because they are a Which? Trusted Trader and actively look for the logo on his van.
Which? Trusted Traders felt like a natural fit for Mark and Lyne, as they always put customer service first. They want to stand out because of the way they treat their customers well and encourage repeat business as a result. ‘We want to be different,’ Mark said, ‘and have people choose us not just because of the tyre price but because we go a bit further. We check all our customers’ tyre pressures all the way around the vehicle when we do a job. We check the spares, we check all their tyre depths – even the ones we’re not changing, and do those extra little things to make their car safer for them.’
Mark’s advice to other Which? Trusted traders is to promote the membership of the scheme as much as possible, whether that’s through social media or using the review cards. He finds that people are more prepared to leave reviews using the cards. And as customers have repeatedly asked him where his Which? Trusted trader logo is on his van – it’s on the side, he’s going to put another logo on the back, just so there’s no confusion!
Well done to Mark and Lyne of Hometyre Sussex, our September 2016 Trader of the Month.
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