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Broome’s Bridgestone Service Centre wins top national customer service award

Broome’s Bridgestone Service Centre has taken out top honours in the tyre network’s national Drive program, which was launched in 2020 to recognise the commitment to customer satisfaction in its outlets across the country.

It’s been named Australia’s regional Store of the Year, with its sister outlet, Bridgestone Service Centre Wedgefield, in Port Hedland, winning WA Truck Store of the Year after scoring the national prize in 2021.

The double win is a surprise for owners James and Lynda Hagan, given COVID-related staffing challenges during the past 12 months, which saw them several people down trying to keep up with the work.

“So to win this award is a bit of a shock,” Mr Hagan said, welcoming the easing of the mask mandate and other COVID-related measures in anticipation it would get more travellers from other States — and workers — to come to Broome.

“We had lots of customers (in 2021) because while we weren’t open to other States, there was a lot of internal travel, so we saw a lot of people from Perth and many first-timers up this way.

“Broome is a very seasonal place — May to September are our big months and I turn over three times the amount of work in July as I do in January — and tourists are a big boost.

“We’ve always prided ourselves with a focus on customer service and knowing our customers’ needs, so we’re honoured to be recognised by Bridgestone for the second consecutive year of the Drive program.

“Our approach has always been to utilise our local knowledge and understanding to ensure our customers are fitted with the product to best suit their needs — and we achieve this by letting them guide us in order to provide the best recommendation for their own use.”

Broome is a very seasonal place — May to September are our big months and I turn over three times the amount of work in July as I do in January.

Mr Hagan said he tried to get to Hedland for a week every month and talked to the workshop there three or four times a day, but was otherwise very much hands-on in Broome, working alongside the staff and chatting to customers, who were often passing through, to make sure they enjoyed their holiday.

Drive is the national recognition program for metropolitan (and big town) Bridgestone Select and regional Bridgestone service centres around the country, with outlets in the running for awards across three main categories: Franchise of the Year for Bridgestone Select stores, Store of the Year for Bridgestone service centres and Truck Store of the Year for the best performing store for Bridgestone truck, bus and re-read sales.

Bridgestone Select Busselton, owned by Jason and Shontelle Bowman, won WA Franchise of the Year.

Bridgestone Australia and New Zealand managing director Heath Barclay said he was proud the focus of the network had remained on the customer despite the challenges of 2021.

“We’re delighted to recognise our Drive program winners and showcase their commitment to (the) customer,” he said, adding that Bridgestone had been named Australia’s most trusted tyre brand by Reader’s Digest and acknowledged as having the the most satisfied customers by Canstar Blue.

“Ultimately, our customers are the real winners through the Drive program — and our stores are performing by delivering on customer needs.”

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