The criteria used to determine the ACDelco Top Shops include building talented teams. From left is Service Writer Chad Stackley, Technician Ryan Williamson, Technician Jeff Hyatt, Technician Steve Sampson, Owner Jeff Bates and Technician Derek Mohart.“We are looking forward to the next wave of diagnostic tools to come out because we have heard that they are going to become even more user friendly,” he says. Jeff Bates offers free shuttle service to his customers.

ACDelco shop makes ‘The List’ with high-ranking customer service and strong team

Bates Automotive named runner-up in ACDelco’s Top Shop Contest

Crystal City, Mo.—Jeff Bates, owner of Bates Automotive, was approached about becoming an ACDelco PSC shop in 2011 and it has paid off recently as his shop was named a runner-up in the 2017 Top Shop Competition from ACDelco.

“It was a pretty good deal. They reached out and let me know that we were chosen as a finalist and after a few more phone calls we found out that we were chosen as a runner-up,” Bates said.

The criteria used to determine the Top Shops included excelling in prioritizing customer service, building talented teams that operate state-of-the-art facilities, and showcasing leadership in their communities.

“We pride ourselves on customer service. I am not going to upsell on things that are not necessary. We are going to educate the customer on what is wrong with their vehicle, offer the best solutions to repair, and be honest throughout the entire process,” he said.

Bates added that most of his customers are brought in through customer referrals and that it is important to keep that new business coming in by providing the best customer service possible.

“We get most of our new business from people who have heard from friends or relatives that we are an honest shop and that we are not looking to take advantage of anybody.”

Bates also provides a free shuttle service for customers that need to drop off their vehicle for overnight or multiple day repairs. “It’s the little things that go a long way with our customers.”

Bates has also supported several local schools and other community programs throughout the years.


Building a trained team

As far as building a talented team, Bates Automotive’s success can be attributed to a few factors.

“I started the shop as a one-man operation in 2008 and in 2013 I made the decision to move from my original location to where we are currently, so that I could expand, hire new technicians, and acquire new equipment that could handle anything,” Bates said.

What began with Bates in a small repair shop has now become a 4,200 square-foot facility, equipped with four inside bays, and one outside bay. Bates employs four full-time technicians and one service writer. Three of his technicians are ASE Master technicians. Bates is an ASE Certified World Class Technician in which he was one of the first ten in the country.

“We stay educated. That’s very important. We attend classes at the ACDelco Training Center on a regular basis. Wade Jackson, the main instructor there, does an excellent job of keeping us educated on recent technology and repair solutions.”


Proper tooling for proper repairs

Bates and his staff use a Snap-on Solus Edge,a Snap-On Ultra, and a GM Tech II, when troubleshooting a vehicle.

“Snap-on does a fantastic job of keeping their equipment updated, which allows us to be able to work on pretty much anything that comes through the door. We are looking forward to the next wave of tools to come out because we have heard that they are going to become even more user friendly, like adding more video solutions,” Bates said.

The technicians have access to AllData, Identifix, ShopKey, and iATN which allows them to have solutions and help if needed for repair issues.

“We also have the technology on-site here to program computers because we have the GM Tech II and the AEZ Flasher. We actually are sourced work from other local shops.”


Industry relationships, benefits

Bates sources most of their replacement parts from Pevely Plaza Auto Parts.

“Darvin Pauley, the salesman for Pevely, is the reason we are an ACDelco PSC shop and had this opportunity at all. He approached me in 2011 about coming on board and we both thought it would be a good fit.”

Being a PSC shop has its perks, he said. There are several programs offered to both the shop and to their consumers.

“We get a good discount on ACDelco replacement parts, which we order mostly online. We also have a roadside assistance program that we can offer our customers through the PSC program.”

ACDelco is scheduled to award the shop and all its employees with ACDelco brand prize packs for being named a runner-up in last year’s contest.   

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.