Intensive driving course feedback

At BIG TOM, we take customer feedback about our intensive driving course very seriously.  In that way, we can continue to refine our service to meet our customers’ needs.

Customer surveys are routinely sent out post-course to ask for feedback.  The one being shown on this blog was received this morning.  Tom Ingram (owner of BIG TOM) says:

“I am always very grateful to customers who take the time to provide feedback.  In order to stay focussed on the needs of people who use our service, it is an integral element for responding to feedback.  Thank you to all customers who engage in our customer service process; you are helping us to continually improve the standard of our service for future pupils at BIG TOM.”

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Help learning to drive

A helping hand.

Are you feeling worried, frustrated or confused about learning to drive?  BIG TOM driving school offers plenty of pre-booking support to help you.  David from Sleaford also felt the pressure of needing to learn to drive for a new job.  This is what he says about his BIG TOM two week intensive driving course:

“I did the BIG TOM 2 week intensive course as I was due to start a new job which required a driving licence. I cannot recommend Tom highly enough, he has a wonderful ability to put you at ease and he really let me take control of my own learning.
He focussed on making sure I was a confident, competent driver and not just focusing on scraping a pass.
The 2nd week was all about confidence and refinement of my skills & his honesty really helped in making sure I was more than prepared for test day.
Fantastic course, top guy, couldn’t recommend any higher.
David’’

It is very natural to feel emotional when there is a need to learn to drive but for whatever reason, it isn’t going how you want it to go.  Take control of the situation, call the BIG TOM advice line on 0800 689 4174 and let us start relieving you of some of that pressure you are feeling.

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Spotless intensive driving course

Clean as you go BIG TOM intensive driving course

Symptoms of colds and flu can sometimes arise at the change of seasons.  As we are now marching into Autumn and soon the winter, BIG TOM does all we can to provide a germ-free learning environment.

Prior to every driving training session, the car controls are cleaned with an anti-bacterial wipe.  The weekly valeting includes use of an interior upholstery shampoo so that customers know that headrests, seats and mats have not just been vacuumed but also treated.

We do everything we can to provide a germ-free intensive driving course for our customers and we ask them to help us in our aim.

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Broaden learning

BIG TOM announces key pledge to broaden driving training

The Road Safety Statement 2019 details a commitment from the DVSA to broaden the range of driving training that learners experience before taking driving tests.  They have identified three key objectives on their campaign: rural roads, independent driving and driving in the dark.  BIG TOM is proud to commit to these pledges and today announces a firm guarantee to customers.

Owner of BIG TOM, Tom Ingram says:

“My driving school is always happy to adapt to change in the interest of raising standards.  We have shown that we can respond to customer requests and also work aligned to our governing body the DVSA.  Today, my school guarantees to all customers of our popular two week intensive driving course that they will be offered driving in the dark as part of their training.  This is a firm commitment which will be guaranteed, and is with immediate effect of any subsequent bookings of the BIG TOM two week intensive driving course.”

The three pledges from the DVSA include spending 2 or more hours training on rural roads, which BIG TOM already delivers on.  It ensures learners have practised more than 4 hours on independent driving which again, BIG TOM already guarantees as standard on the two-week course.  And the last pledge is for some time to have been spent driving in the dark.  This is where BIG TOM customers will now be offered the opportunity to include in their BIG TOM Driving Success Programme© driving in the dark.

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How to be a good driver

The England cricket team show true grit to win at Headingley.

In a breathtaking day of cricket versus Australia, England managed to hold on and win the match after a gruelling spell of batting by Ben Stokes.  Shane Warne in the commentary has made mention of Stokes’ work rate when practising.  Stokes always puts 100% effort into his practice; the frequency, duration and intensity is always high quality.

Owner of BIG TOM, Tom Ingram says:

“This is a great lesson for pupils learning to drive.  Good quality practice combined with a deep desire to succeed is a winning formula.  Only by putting the hours in practising, can you then rely on good techniques and habits when you are in stressful or high pressure situations such as the driving test.  There really is no substitute for continuous, high quality practice.  BIG TOM offers pupils the opportunity to practice driving in a wide range of locations on their intensive driving course therefore picking up experience of differing driving conditions.”

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A beautiful day for a driving test

Ben Parker passed his driving test in Peterborough today with soaring temperatures in beautiful sunshine.

Ben from Bourne completed his BIG TOM two week intensive driving course yesterday and went on to pass his driving test on the first attempt today.  He is over the moon at how quickly he has passed his driving test saying to his BIG TOM driving instructor: “I didn’t think I would be able to learn to drive so quick but you proved me wrong.”

His BIG TOM driving instructor Tom Ingram says:

“I’m really pleased for Ben.  He came to BIG TOM with no previous driving experience and has turned it all around really quickly.  He picked up experience driving in Stamford, Grantham, the A1 and on the multi-storey car park in Peterborough.  It’s always lovely to see BIG TOM customers realising their goals in these kind of timescales.”

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Anxiety when learning to drive

Managing stress levels when learning to drive is key for maintaining positive mental health.

BIG TOM intensive driving courses are designed so that the mental and physical well-being of our pupils is monitored.  The resources provided help to cope with feelings of self-doubt, anxiety and hopelessness.

BIG TOM admin explain further:

“There are some superb resources made available for customers.  Some of them have been designed and refined by BIG TOM over the years.  Others are external links to resources such as the charity run “No panic”

The owner of BIG TOM, Tom Ingram has completed a FAA Level 3 Award in Principles of Safeguarding and Protecting Children,  Young People or Vulnerable Adults”.

Tom Ingram adds:

“For some reason people tend to give the impression to learner drivers how easy it is to learn to drive and it is simply not a given.  In my experience, I have recognised the need to question and monitor pupils regarding mental and physical health while they learn to drive.  Learning environments can cause high stress and anxiety for some individuals and this is a serious subject that needs to be positively managed in training programmes.”

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End of the road for driving?

With the latest figures for learning to drive being dramatically down – we ask “Is this the end of the road for learning to drive?”

BIG TOM Admin have been busy collating the latest stats for BIG TOM customers:

The numbers of people taking theory and practical driving tests has taken a steep decline for Apr 2018 – Mar 2019 being 5% and 3% (respectively) lower than the year before.  In addition to that for the first time in several years the theory test pass rate is down 1.4% for the year too.  A fact that is causing many in the industry to scratch their heads.  And if all this were not enough to ponder on, there has also been (misleading) speculation as to why the practical test pass rate has fallen nationally to 45.8%  In terms of the pass rates for test centres that BIG TOM uses, the latest yearly statistics range from a high for Boston of 51% down to just 45% for Peterborough.

Owner of BIG TOM, Tom Ingram adds:

Customers should be reassured that the quality of BIG TOM intensive driving courses is not being compromised at all despite these latest national figures.  It would be very sad for the industry if training providers were compromising quality due to the lower numbers of learners learning to drive and I sincerely hope that is not the case.  BIG TOM continues to thrive with record numbers of pupils coming to my driving school and has no need to start cutting corners in order to attract bookings.

The thing that sets us apart from others is that we give our customers the opportunity to experience clocking up serious mileage in a range of driving conditions across different towns and cities.  We have the flexibility to identify where our customers’ training needs are and choose suitable locations to raise their confidence and competence in their driving skills.  We offer driving training on rural roads, motorways, in the dark, at weekends, and our two week (40 hour) intensive driving courses are extremely popular.

But we do not get too comfortable sitting in a state of complacency.  Our Admin work very hard in requesting customer feedback so that we can adapt our service to meet the needs of new learners in the future.  It has always been very important to my business to monitor and respond to different learning styles.  We also recognise the importance of effective working relationships with parents who share our philosophy of professional driving training aligned to the DVSA driving standards.

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New format driving test stats

The DVSA has just released an impact evaluation research report for the new format driving test that was introduced in December 2017

The report is publicly available and can be downloaded here

Owner of BIG TOM, Tom Ingram says:

“It is important for driving schools to keep up to date with the latest independent research within the industry and I am pleased to confirm to our customers that our range of services is precisely aligned to the findings of this new research.  It is very important to BIG TOM customers that they know that the training they are receiving is up to date, accurate and reliable.  We do our utmost to provide a range of resources to ensure that the training is meaningful to the wide variety of attitudes that our pupils have to learning the skills involved in driving.  We will continue to take the feedback from our customers seriously so that we can adapt our resources to their needs.”

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Two week intensive course

Get the most out of your summer by doubling up on to the popular BIG TOM two week intensive course.

BIG TOM continues to listen to customer feedback and provide a first class service.

BIG TOM Admin explains more:

“Our two week intensive courses are incredibly popular.  Absolute beginners can choose a combination of timing that suits their busy schedule.  For instance, why not start with a weekday evening slot where the roads are a little more quiet?  You could then move on to a week’s worth of daytime driving.  There are combo’s to suit all, including weekends.  Just get in touch with me, and I will be happy to provide you with a course price.”

Owner of BIG TOM, Tom Ingram says:

“I’m very keen to demonstrate that the service BIG TOM provides is flexible enough to adapt to customer feedback.  There is: home collection service, same car – same instructor guarantee, and free refreshments as examples of our commitment to make the BIG TOM experience the best it can be.”

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