Leading franchise car dealership Vertu Motors is advertising 19 new jobs at its Gateshead headquarters to handle increasing sales enquiries from across the UK. Men and women are equally as welcome to apply of course but I noticed that the majority of staff working in their North East call centre are female so clearly these roles have considerable appeal for local women who must also see Vertu as a female friendly employer.
The majority of the vacancies are to book cars in for car servicing, MOTs, mechanical and accident repair work via their contact centre but there are also two roles for receptionists.
Vertu Motors was the first Top Ten UK Dealer Group to sign up to FOXY Choice’s female friendly garage network in 2011. They commit to ATA, Kitemark and OFT quality schemes so they instantly ticked our criteria for measurable quality standards. They also seem to employ more than the industry average of female managers and service staff. So it wasn’t at all surprising that they wanted to display our FEMALE FRIENDLY logo to reassure local women and promote their time saving and stress busting services both inside and outside FOXY Lady Drivers Club.
Joining the FOXY Choice female friendly garage network was therefore a shrewd tactic to grow its car servicing, MOT and repair work and profits by marketing these more effectively to women and through them to their family and friends.
During the early part of the recession Vertu had specifically targeted older vehicles through lower pricing; a foxy strategy that recognised that many motorists driving older cars suspect that they cannot afford dealer prices.
As an aside – this is no longer always the case. At least if you go to a dealership you can be sure that the mechanics looking after your car have been trained to manufacturer standards whereas this isn’t necessarily the case with independent garages because anyone can set up a garage business without a license, the industry isn’t regulated and mechanics don’t have to be qualified. Which is why the industry makes so much of its complaints procedures I suppose.
Vertu has 83 dealerships and passed the £1 billion turnover mark recently.
Even Robert Forrester, Vertu’s Chief Executive Officer (seen in the photo), has been surprised by the extent of the Group’s continuing progress in such tough trading times.
“When four of us founded the Group from a single office in Newcastle in late 2006, it was difficult to imagine that we would quickly employ nearly 3,000 people across the UK.”
Undoubtedly Vertu is doing better than many in bucking the trend. In my experience, businesses that are lean and flexible are quicker to spot sales opportunities and respond to demand.
Assuming that Vertu employs more women than men in these customer service positions, this proves they are both a female friendly employer and entitled to their place in our female friendly garage network because of this. I say this because women (customers) tend to trust women (staff) more than men in a male dominated industry like the UK’s garage industry.
It therefore makes sound business sense for car dealerships’ MOT, car servicing and repair work to be trusted by women, knowing they are the gender spenders and that the aftersales side of the business is the one that makes the lion share of the profit, not the car sales side as it once was…