I started out at a young age, working in a small auto repair shop in Wisconsin where I began to pick up knowledge of the business I was working for, our competitors at the time, and the industry as a whole. The preconceived notions of customers that are still stuck in my head to this day are that auto repair shops were around for two reasons:
- To scam customers
- To make money
I would like to add that I was most likely under the legal working age when I started and my ability to grasp what either of those concepts meant were minimal….but none the less those two concepts stuck. They stuck with me because the owner believed those concepts were running throughout the industry and preached against them both vocally and by his actions. He always taught us to focus on the job customers needed completed, doing it right the first time and making sure they were satisfied when they left.
I did fib a little bit – the city of Middleton was small – the shop itself was a good size and we were thriving! I’m also proud to say the owner was my uncle. Needless to say, as I matured in my position at Bennett’s Middleton, I began to see what a true auto repair shop was supposed to be like. I learned a lot in my 10 years there (I grasped these concepts as I was now legal and brilliant!)
If we look at a car as an investment (if you even call it that), it will be one of the worst investments you every make! It depreciates faster than you can spell the word and it will be worth less the minute you drive off the lot. Consumers already have to pay for insurance and gas on their amazing “investment” and then when something happens, they need to get it fixed?? That’s Correct! With that being said, I tried to find a way that would help ease the pain of my customers when getting their car repaired. I started to take the complexities of the vehicle and broke them all down to their simplest form and explained the benefits of it being serviced/repaired and the costs if it wasn’t fixed. Once the veil of secrecy was taken off and customers started to understand, they became more trusting of the business and I. That was it – Transparency! There is no need or benefit to be pushy and misleading when we can be honest and create a customer for life.