TMO Talks To Pamela Worley, Owner
Tip Top Service Centre is a family-run business with more than 25 years of industry experience. Located in Flint, and overlooking the North Welsh countryside, the garage provides motorists with body repairs, car servicing and MOTs.
TMO: How long have you worked at Tip Top Service Centre?
PW: Tip Top came about around six years ago due to both my husband and I being out of full-time work. We created a plan and a vision, and didn’t expect that it would all happen as quickly as it has done.
TMO: Why did you choose to work in the automotive industry?
PW: I didn’t really have a much of a choice, but I have always been a bit of a petrolhead. As a teenager, I really wanted to train to be a mechanic, but they didn’t make it easy for females to access male orientated subjects and courses when I was in school. I don’t mind getting my hands dirty – my first Saturday and summer job was working in the garage in our village serving petrol. It didn’t take me long to be in overalls helping the lads out in the garage. I used to love to repair punctures using just tyre levers to remove the tyre from the wheel. In the early days of Tip Top, I was hands on prepping bodywork for Paul to paint.
TMO: What do you most enjoy about your job and your work in the service and repair sector?
PW: I love building relationships and trust with customers. It is so important for vehicle owners to take their car to somewhere that they can trust and that will work with them. It’s lovely to have returning customers as it shows that we’re getting our services right.
TMO: What are your career highlights?
PW: It has to be moving into our current premises in 2017. This was a goal that Paul, my husband, and I have worked towards and it happened a lot sooner than planned. We can now provide a one-stop shop of body and mechanical repairs, car servicing and MOTs.
TMO: What do you do to encourage more women to take up a role within a garage or the motor industry?
PW: I always promote the industry and our business, and will always encourage females interested in pursuing a career in engineering or the motor industry. We’ve not had any females apply for any of our technician vacancies, but I would encourage them to. Females have a good eye for details and can bring different aspects to the industry.
TMO: How many female staff work for you, and in what roles?
PW: We have one full time female member of staff who works on our front desk and deals with all aspects of customer service. Helen is amazing, and is fantastic with all our customers. She has a great working relationship with the rest of the team in both the mechanical and body repair workshops.
TMO: What do you think the main challenges will be for your business this year?
PW: Unfortunately, I’ve got to mention the ‘B’ word…Brexit. We’re all fed up of hearing about it. We could find that people stop spending on their cars for a while. On a positive note, we could find an increase in the availability of quality technicians. I do believe that the media has a direct effect on people’s spending and do more harm to the economy….time will tell.
TMO: What approaches do you use, or what events do you run to make female customers more at ease with using a garage like yours (e.g. customer/open evenings)?
PW: I attend local networking meetings to promote our business, which I believe helps other business owners to feel more confident about approaching us, especially women. Generally, garages don’t market themselves or attend networking meetings and events. I receive very positive responses from speaking to people at these events. We have staff photos, including myself, on our website for customers to become familiar with us and see that we are female- friendly. Our team is excellent at explaining things to our customers to make sure they understand why there is a problem, how it can be addressed and how we can move forward with a solution. We appreciate that not all vehicle owners, male or female, understand how a car works or how we can repair them, and that’s what we are here for.
TMO: How does your business benefit from being accredited to The Motor Ombudsman’s Motor Industry Code of Practice for Service and Repair?
PW: Being accredited to The Motor Ombudsman gives reassurance to customers that we are a professional business. It also gives us a Code of Practice to follow to make sure we meet a standard for our customers. It also provides us with an important online presence through The Motor Ombudsman’s website.
Interview conducted in conjunction with International Women’s Day on 08 March 2019.