NASHVILLE, Tenn.-Bridgestone/Firestone Inc. has introduced an interactive education program designed to teach retail and wholesale salespeople about basic tire knowledge, the marketplace and BFS products. Participants in the ``Pro Certification Program,'' which is available to employees of the company's independent and affiliated dealers, are provided with workbooks, reference materials and videos and can answer random test questions through an interactive toll-free telephone line.
``What makes our program different is the interactive phone system, which lets participants answer random questions by punching numbers on their touch-tone phone,'' said John Rastetter, BFS product information specialist. ``They know immediately when they have passed the test and can then move on to the next educational module.''
The Pro Certification Program is tied into the company's marketing efforts, according to a BFS spokesman, who said education modules will be released along with product introductions.
For example, a module explaining the light truck market will be released later this year in conjunction with the Firestone Firehawk RNT tire, the spokesman said. A snow tire module also will be released in northern sales districts featuring the Bridgestone Blizzak.
Participants must pass each module before moving on to the next one. The program, which went online at the beginning of the year, allows salespeople to become fully certified when they pass the first three tests.
The tire maker also said salespeople can earn incentives for passing additional tests after they have become certified through the program.