MEET SINGAPORE’S FIRST tyre concierge. Elphin Ong works for Bridgestone, and is making it her mission to offer the tyre giant’s customers a personalised service.
Customers can contact her to set up an appointment for a new set of Bridgestones, and have her select a convenient retail location. It will be most likely be one of the brand’s comfier B-Select outlets, one of five on the island.
Ms Ong then makes sure that the tyres are waiting for the customer at the appointed time, and shows up herself to see the transaction through.
Customers looking for a specific Bridgestone model in a particular size stand to benefit most, because they run the most risk of turning up at a retailer and not finding what they want, says Ms Ong.
Along with Ms Ong, customers are met by Ken Lim, a Technical Service Engineer for Bridgestone.
Once the old tyres come off the customer’s car, Mr Lim (pictured below) gets to work, analysing the worn rubbers for telltale signs of trouble — wheel misalignment and chronic underinflation are common problems in local cars, he explains, and a close look at tread wear can reveal early suspension trouble.
The Bridgestone Concierge service costs nothing, at least at the cash register.
Instead, it is part of an effort by Bridgestone to differentiate its products from the slew of cheaper tyres from lesser-known brands in the market.
The strategy addresses a problem that tyre giants routinely face in Singapore. More than once, industry sources have expressed bewilderment to CarBuyer that drivers here will spend six figures on their cars, only to baulk at paying several hundred for quality tyres.
Perhaps a dedicated concierge can help to build bridges to those drivers.
Find out how to reach Bridgestone’s Concierge Service here