Second annual ASA-CO symposium speaker urges shops to plan for ‘tomorrow’

Golden, Colo.—CARQUEST’s Chris Chesney presented a luncheon keynote, “Service Bay of Tomorrow,” at the ASA-CO Independent Automotive Professional Symposium, Jan. 26, at the Denver West Marriott in Golden, during which he urged members to manage their customers’ time, not waste it.


ASA-CO Executive Director Käri Foster said 240 members attended the association’s second annual one-day training and networking event, which was an increase from last year. In addition to Chesney, attendees participated in daylong workshops featuring speakers David Talavera of ACDelco, Vin Waterhouse, of The Waterhouse Group, (who also provided the opening keynote address), Jason Virdin of CARQUEST, and I-CAR’s Toby Chess.


“This area, more than any other in the country I visit or speak at, has a better foundation in the automotive service industry in regard to top-quality shop owners and managers,” said Chesney, industry trainer and CARQUEST director of professional markets. “As an association, it’s your challenge to encourage its growth and vitality, and to make sure you have a plan to service your customers into the future.”


Chesney focused on how shops need to manage their customers’ time effectively and efficiently. Customers want to be listened to and not treated like an interruption, and they want to be serviced while being kept informed, he said. “Customers don’t want their time wasted, so shops need to be service-ready.”


By 2025, the average fuel economy standards will double to 54.5 MPG and shops will see new technology and standards rolling into their bays, he said. “Gas-direct injection, eight- and nine-speed automatics, automated manual transmissions — all those technologies are coming in your bays today and will continue to.” Chesney added that a third of vehicles on the road by 2025 will involve evolving technology — hybrid, battery electric, and fuel cell — for which shops must also prepare for.


Between now and 2017, he said, shops will see dramatic changes in body technology to reduce vehicle weight using plastics, alloys, magnesium, and titanium so engines are more efficient and economical.


“Shop owners and managers must adopt processes that ensure when a customer walks in they have the means to service them without having to run to a computer or make a call — they have to be service- ready,” he said. “If you’re not, you’re wasting their time.”


Training is not treated as a high priority, but it needs to occur every week, whether it’s technician training, management training, or customer service training, he said. “Technicians not also only need the proper tools, but they must know how to use them and be prepared for whatever comes into the bay.


“Your customer walked in and made a choice to invest time with you; don’t mismanage it.”


Parts & People

Parts & People is published monthly by Automotive Counseling and Publishing Company, Inc., a Colorado corporation, P.O. Box 18731 Denver, CO 80203, 303-765-4664. President-Lance Buchner. Founded by Lance Buchner and Dave Lucia.