An award-winning car servicing garage has launched its franchise concept and is now looking for franchise owners across the UK to join its network.
iAutoUK offers customers an alternative to going to main car dealers for the servicing, repairs and MOTs of their vehicles. The garage, which specialises in servicing German cars, focuses on providing high standards of customer care, together with offering about 40 per cent less labour costs than main car dealers while still using diagnostic machinery and highly-trained staff.
The franchise is aimed at recruiting investors who have sound business acumen rather than those with knowledge or experience of the car-servicing and repairs industry.
The founder of iAutoUK, Andy Fox, began his business with little knowledge of the car servicing industry, as he had previously bought and sold second-hand cars after moving to Warwickshire from London where he had worked in recruitment.
Fox said: “I came into this industry with no mechanical knowledge, and even not knowing how to change a wiper blade, but I have shown how someone with sound business knowledge, good sales and customer-service skills can run a successful garage business.”
iAutoUK was nominated this year for one of the top-20 trusted garages by Motor Codes, which runs Office of Fair Trading codes of practice for the motor industry. The company has also won Motor Codes’ Midlands Garage of the Year in 2012.
Fox believes his company’s success has also largely been down to revolutionising the customer-service culture of the garage industry. For example, iAutoUK customers can, from their own home, have live online chats with staff, have their cars picked up, and sit in waiting rooms equipped with luxurious sofas, plasma TVs, and Wi-Fi access.
He added: “The garage industry is at one end about scruffy mechanics and at the other end highly-expensive main dealers who charge a fortune to service or repair your car.
“Our technicians use the latest technology, such as social media, email and sms, when communicating with customers.
“And we pride ourselves on being open. For example, our customer waiting area overlooks the car bays so they can see the technicians working on their cars.
“Plus, our technicians use smartphones to take digital images or video footage of any car repairs required. Using cloud-based technology, we can then share this with our customers.”
This year iAutoUK has £1.3 million of projected sales with more than 5,000 customers.
Fox said: “Sometimes I do feel amazed at that I have achieved, and that I have become such a player in this industry, but I am looking forward to sharing iAutoUK’s success with people who invest in the franchise.”
Published: 11 December 2012
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