The Farnborough based school has been short-listed for a 'Biz' regional award, organised by Eagle Radio for Surrey and Hampshire. 1st Gear is a finalist in the 'customer focus' category, which aims to identify an outstanding organisation which engages customers and delivers 'exceptional standards of service'.
1st Gear has trained 18,000 riders during the past 17 years and operates from one of the largest motorcycle training centres in the South of England.
Customer engagement is a huge strength of the business, which has fostered a group of over 500 customers, who regularly meet up and enjoy ride outs.
The school is also one of the latest in the UK to become 'accredited' by the Motorcycle Industry Accreditation Centre (MCIAC). MCIAC has been developed to encourage and signpost a national network of high quality training businesses, and 'accreditation' is maintained by surveying every single customer.
Winners will be announced on April 20th.
Using insurance quote data from the MCIA's Two Wheel Data Centre, it is interesting to see Farnborough has a slightly different rider profile to the rest of the UK. 12% of those looking for quotes for a motorcycle were women, in contrast to the UK average of 8%. Of those women looking for quotes within a ten mile radius of Farnborough, 55% had a full licence, compared to 37% for women across the rest of the UK.
Speaking about the school’s accreditation, 1st Gear owner Andy Neill says, “It helped to enhance certain areas of the business particularly with team building, which in turn has enhanced our customers overall experience into the world of motorcycling.”
Karen Cole, Director of Safety and Training at the Motorcycle Industry Association, which runs MCIAC says:
“We set up MCIAC to make it easy for new riders to find excellent schools like 1st Gear. Safe riding starts with high quality training and having read feedback from 1st Gear customers, it is easy to see why the business has been nominated for an award.”
1st Gear has a vibrant facebook page, which has pictures and comments from pupils here.
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