Auto Repair . . . A New Perspective
This website is where auto repair consumers and shop owners will find introductory information about my mission to facilitate improvements in the auto repair industry. Its focus is to give readers access to new perspectives, concepts and helpful tips.
I’ve identified it as a “new perspective” because, in my opinion, the industry is long overdue for an introspective look at its policies, practices, and the attitudes that drive them. While I’m not saying I have all the answers to fix the industry, I do have the experience of a 40-year long career in the industry. Over the years, I’ve worked with many exceptional people in the auto repair industry. Many of them have a wealth of knowledge and keen insight into ways repair shops can improve the services they provide.
I’d like to take a minute to clarify my reasoning behind use of the phrase “new perspective.” By definition, the word perspective can mean – a particular attitude toward or way of regarding something; a point of view that sees all the relevant data in meaningful relationship; a true understanding of the relative importance of things; a sense of proportion.
My perspective, or point of view, is such that I believe the automotive service and repair industry has room to adjust and adapt to a different way of doing business. Changes in technology and the way our society functions on a daily basis means that a repair shop doing business “the way” it’s been done since the 1960’s is out of sync with today. Auto repair consumers would be better served by a repair professional willing to build a relationship with them based not only on the customer’s needs, but the customer’s wishes and desires.
Don’t misunderstand this to suggest there are no repair shops in operation who have good relationships with their customers. I’ve seen exceptional shops whose loyal customers regularly return for vehicle service and repair because of a longstanding relationship of trust in the care they and their vehicle(s) receive.
What I am suggesting is that the percentage of trusting and mutually beneficial relationships between shops and their customers is decidedly small. In other words, a much larger percentage of auto owners and shops could be building trusting relationships based on clear communication, cooperation and flexibility as well as delivery of quality repair services that meet customers needs and exceed their expectations.
I believe repair shops would benefit by surveying vehicle owners to discover what they need and want from the vehicle repair or maintenance experience. This involves evaluating and adjusting their business practices in ways that demonstrate willingness to provide extra value to their customers by working with them, not just for them.
There have been significant changes in the world in the past ten years. These changes have affected the automotive industry and its customers in very specific ways:
• Vehicles are radically enhanced with electronic advances
• Social media has facilitated virtually limitless information sharing as well as provided a venue for consumers to post positive and negative views
• The economy is vastly different than it was ten years ago
In spite of these changes, auto repair shops continue to operate in much the same way as they have for over 50 years.
Bringing the industry up to speed with these changes is a very large undertaking that many individuals and organizations that have been working on. While I acknowledge I don’t have all the answers, the focus of this website and blog is what my experience and perspective can contribute to facilitate changing the auto repair and service industry for the better.
As an auto repair advocate, I’m on a mission to facilitate improved delivery of auto repair services by the auto repair industry. This mission includes helping auto owners learn how to find and work with the best automotive service and repair shops in their communities.
When accomplished, the result for repair shop owners and employees will be a more pleasant and prosperous work experience, while auto owners will experience exceptional automotive repair and service. The process will involve three-steps:
1. Interviewing automotive repair shop professionals who are providing exceptional service and helping them share their story.
2. Interviewing auto owners willing to share some specifics about what they want and need from a repair shop as well as the chance to tell an entertaining auto story from their life.
3. Making interviews from both groups accessible to interested listeners via the Auto Shop Connection podcast and website.
The result will be engaging and helpful information for today’s connected community members made available in audio, video, text, and social media platforms.
The goal for auto owners is the possibility of a more cost effective and less frustrating experience with the auto repair and service process. The objective for repair shops is to become a workplace environment where employees feel satisfied, are rewarded, and want to stay.
Do you have any thoughts about industry improvement? Would you be willing to participate in an interview? Do you know of someone you think would be a good resource to have on an episode? Please leave answers or comments below.