help and inspire our customers with their life on the move
Great Place to Work
- We're all colleagues - one team
- Genuine concern for colleagues
- Committed to our local communities
Shops to be proud of
- Full, clean, inspiring stories
- Continuous improvement
- Acting like an owner
Wow every customer
- Always going the extra mile
- Passion for solving customer issues
Services that make us the best
- Linking the omnichannel world
- Unrivalled auto fitting
- Industry-leading cycle repair and service
- One Halfords
Our Retail Service Revolution is all about Helping and Inspiring Our Customers with their Life On The Move and has four clear objectives. To make Halfords a great place to work; to provide shops that we are proud of; to have services that make Halfords the best; and to WOW every customer.
A great place to work
Our colleagues are absolutely central to the growth plans we have.
Quite simply a great place to work creates a great place to shop. Last year we recognised that in this part of our Service Revolution programme we had to improve our approach to recruiting the very best people and provide a structured development programme for all our colleagues. All of this is underpinned by the ambition to deliver a friendly, expert service for our customers.
During the year we introduced a new process to recruiting store colleagues. Now they apply online, their application is screened; candidates are then telephone interviewed and if successful they go to store for a rigorous three-stage process: an interview, a role play and a 'road test'. We now have the opportunity to see candidates in action before offering them a job making sure they are right for Halfords and Halfords is right for them.
In May 2013 we launched the 3-Gears programme, focusing on practical training as well as e-Learning, whereby all eligible colleagues now undertake a structured three-month induction (Gear 1), followed by a programme lasting up to nine months (Gear 2), which includes workshops, e-learning and demonstrable expertise on the shop floor. Gear 3 focuses on high-skill training for a limited group of colleagues which will establish them as real technical experts in Auto or Cycling.
We now have our eligible colleagues through Gear 1 and we are now focusing on Gear 2 with the aim to get 50% of colleagues through this part of the programme by the end of FY15. We have supported the completion of 3-Gears in stores by putting laptop computers into our stores which enable colleagues to work on the training in-store before or after their shifts.
The 3-Gears programme is just one part of our development activity. In addition, we have developed and built the Aspire, Accelerate and Engage programmes. Aspire is a structured programme to help colleagues develop into their first Assistant Manager role and for current Assistant Managers to develop into Store Managers. Accelerate is a three day leadership programme for store managers whilst Engage is a programme for our Area Managers that also focuses on leadership skills.
All these activities show that we are fully committed to our colleagues, their well-being and development. Our colleagues are absolutely central to the growth plans we have, so the Board was delighted that our colleagues voted Halfords as one of the Sunday Times 25 Best Big Companies to Work For in the UK (February 2014). We are striving to become a truly great place to work.
Stores to be proud of
Our stores need to be places that our colleagues are proud of and that our customers are happy to visit. There is a need to improve and strengthen our operational standards – the essential element of managing great stores. This year we have focused on our price mechanics, labelling, merchandising and basic availability standards. We have also worked hard on resource planning and holiday management to ensure we have the right colleagues in the right place at the right time.
We have also introduced a balanced scorecard of measures that allows us to identify great and poor performance in our stores. This is key to our store operations as we will never be satisfied or complacent about the level of service our customers deserve. Some examples this year have been the introduction of trading feedback, changes to rotas to meet colleague and store needs, as well as simplifying our communications from the Support Centre.
"i am retired and i was needing help with choosing paint to cover up scratches on my car. i was served by an assistant called lewis higgins his customer service was absolutely outstanding"
bristol, winterstoke road store
Wow every customer
Last year as well as recognising that we need the right people in store we also recognised that we need to create an environment in which colleagues had the time and expertise to delight our customers. We knew that we needed to reduce the amount of time our colleagues spent on non-value added tasks, increase customer contact time, and incentivise colleagues to deliver a great customer experience and thereby drive sales.
Reinforcing the ethos that the customer is the most important person in the store is key to our business and we continue to make sure our teams prioritise customers over other tasks they have to perform. We have prioritised net promoter score ("NPS") as our key service metric and over the year we saw it rise to 72%. We are also making sure that we understand why, if things go wrong, what we have to do to stop that happening again. We have a real opportunity to solve customers' problems using our wide range of products, colleague expertise and genuine concern for the customer. To illustrate this, the imminent roll-out of tablets in every store will give us a further opportunity to delight our customers with an extended range of products and online ordering in-store.
We are proud this year to be on the sunday times 25 best big companies to work for list.
We continue to aim to be an employer of choice, where our colleagues enjoy equal opportunities to help our customers and prosper within a rewarding and inspiring team.
Services that make us the best
Halfords' position as a natural destination for auto and cycling products makes it a natural place for us to offer associated services. Sophisticated car production is causing a long-term shift amongst customers from a Do it Yourself ("DIY") to a Do it for Me ("DIFM") attitude. As the UK's No.1 Cycling retailer we are in a position to support our customers' purchases with advice, bike builds, bike care plans and service and repair. As our 3-Gears programme bears fruit this service area gives our colleagues the opportunity to showcase their expertise.
Within our Car Maintenance category we supply our unique wefit service, especially with the fitting of bulbs, blades and batteries ("3Bs"). This offer allows our colleagues to build a close relationship with our customers, developing an understanding of our customers' needs and offering further help and advice as appropriate. It offers convenience for the customer, with parts being professionally fitted at the point of purchase. At one point in 2013 our stores were fitting a bulb, blade or battery for our customers every six minutes!
We also offer a wecheck service free of charge to customers to ensure that any automotive part or consumable required is not only needed, but is the correct part for their vehicle. All of our stores provided customer reference lists and we are rolling out digital vehicle registration look-up devices to enhance this offer.
In our Cycling category we build our customers' bikes free of charge, but where this is not the case we provide a weassembleservice. We provide weservice where, on purchase of a bicycle, we provide a free six-week check. Customers can also purchase a bike care plan ("BCP") to have the labour element of any regular maintenance covered. A focus of the last year has been werepair as we seek to develop our colleagues' expertise in repairing and servicing cycles and enhance Halfords' credentials as a comprehensive Cycling destination. Details of the number of jobs performed in FY14 and of the associated revenues can be found in the Retail KPIs.
We are an equal opportunities organisation with clear expectations about how we all behave both internally and with customers and other stakeholders, including in relation to diversity and gender. Historically there has been a tendency for more males than females to be attracted to working in our stores and autocentres; however, through our recruitment, talent and development programmes we seek to become more reflective of the customers and communities that we serve.
JOBS IN FY14.