It’s not always about the money, it’s also about service level

Most folks will tell you that going to a repair shop doesn’t top their list of how they would like to spend their time, or their money. Who leaps out of bed in the morning with fevered anticipation of having their vehicle worked on?

It’s like going to the dentist, sitting in the chair while they prod and poke, hoping they don’t find anything. I regularly go to the dentist as a preventative maintenance measure, instead of waiting and pushing it off until there’s a real concern, so I often don’t expect any big surprises.

If they tell me I’ll need a new set of teeth (or yet another x-ray) and I know they’re working just fine — what do you think is one of the first things I’m telling myself? They’re trying to sell me something I don’t need.

Consumers would likely visit their neighborhood shop or dealership more often for preventative maintenance and factory-recommended service intervals if it wasn’t for one thing — the concern that they’re going to be sold something they don’t need. It’s not always about the money.

Aside from a few bad apples behind the service counter, the vast majority of repair facilities are straight shooters. In the very few instances where I’ve been sold unnecessary, or suspect, service, I’ve often concluded that the shop’s intentions were good, but their diagnostic training and trouble-shooting skills were questionable and lacking, or they didn’t, for example, provide me with a detailed digital inspection that was documented with corresponding photos. It’s not that they don’t want to provide the best service, it’s that sometimes they don’t know how.

“There are a lot of shops out there who are struggling and that can use some help,” Kukui CEO Todd Westerlund told me, who has recently launched an industry recognition program that identifies top aftermarket talent (see related article in this month’s paper).

If a shop needs help and wants to improve operations, Westerlund’s program has the means to assist them with highly vetted and recommended vendors. The program’s mission is to single out coaches and businesses that are best suited for shops to achieve the maximum success and return on investment. It’s an opportunity for the best of the best to help some shops go to the next level.

“It’s a big industry — but also, in a way, a small industry, too, and the more we work together everybody will be better off for it,” he said.

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.