Recorded Live at AAPEX 2023, Carm is joined in studio with Aftermarket Radio Network hosts Brian Walker and Matt Fanslow for milestone episode 900. Carm discusses the process of creating the podcast, the journey to expand to the Aftermarket Radio Network and how his daughter Tracy became a crucial part of the team, starting as an editor and eventually working full-time with him. Carm also reflects on the challenges he faced when starting the podcast, the importance of consistency, quality, and good editing, and the shifts he had to make along the way.
Recorded Live at ASTE 2023, twin brothers Mario and Martin Rojas and their employer Jason Athanas, discuss their work in the automotive industry, the importance of continuous training and staying updated on technology, and their unique business model. Mario also talks about his YouTube channel ‘Super Mario Diagnostics, which is used for training and customer engagement.
Bob Ward discusses the importance of early and thorough succession planning, using real-life examples of both successful and unsuccessful transitions. Bob emphasizes the need for business owners to develop their successors and to consider their employees’ career goals. It’s never too early to start thinking about the future of your business and who might be capable of carrying it forward.
Travis Troy, owner of Honest Wrenches, discusses the importance of conference planning and attendance for team development. He dives into the process of selecting classes, professionalism at conferences, and the significance of investing in training and planning for the future.
Our panel discusses the topic of language and terminology changes in the automotive aftermarket service industry. It’s important to use clear and professional language with employees and customers, as well as the significance of honesty and trust in communication. They also touch on the distinction between “technician” and “mechanic” and the need for ongoing training and teamwork. We hope that our discussion will inspire you to reflect on your own communication practices and make necessary improvements.
“The art of asking the right questions: this approach, inspired by the Socratic method, helps uncover valuable insights and ensures a thorough understanding of situations. Authenticity is key in every interaction.”
Carm Capriotto introduces a panel to discuss the importance of listening to service advisor calls. Rena Rennebohm and Clint White are service advisor coaches, while Collin Ashin and Tyler Nichols are their clients. They discuss the benefits of reviewing recorded calls, such as identifying areas for improvement, enhancing problem-solving skills, creating a safe environment for feedback, the value of coaching, and the need for continuous improvement. Remember, the journey to self-improvement begins with a single step.
Jon Kloosterman, the Director of Operations at West Side Service in Zeeland, discusses their recent acquisition of a business and their approach to training and retention of technicians. The acquired business had been a pillar in the community for 72 years and was ready for a change in ownership. Jon also highlights the importance of maintaining professionalism and focusing on the right KPIs in your business.
Rick Levitan shares his experience and insights on real estate in the automotive industry. He discusses the importance of developing a strategy when expanding and finding new locations, as well as various methods for finding potential sites. Rick advises against falling in love with a specific location and highlights the option of leasing with an option to buy. He also discusses the role of real estate investment trusts (REITs) and the importance of demographics when considering a new location. Rick emphasizes the need for careful planning, good advisors, and transparency when acquiring a business or property.
What are some of Rachel Spencer’s “Rachelisms?” The Power of Consistency: Rachel emphasizes the importance of consistency and communication in her operations. She believes in creating habits, holding each other accountable, and striving for perfection while acknowledging that mistakes can happen. Customer Communication is Key: Rachel’s approach to customer service is all about overcommunication. You must provide customers with as much information as possible upfront, offering financing options, and sending vehicle health and safety reports via text. Rachel also shares her experiences with recruiting technicians including reaching out to institutes with automotive programs.
“Do our technicians, when they close the hood, take the rag, you know, they rub the hood, make sure there’s no fingerprints? Do they really think about the role that they had in that customer’s life? Most of them don’t.”
Dan Taylor shares a personal experience where his technician played a crucial role in getting his wife to the hospital in a life-threatening situation. This incident made Dan realize the importance of our mission in ensuring the safety and reliability of vehicles. What is the ‘why’ behind someone’s work and why is that important?
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Carm Capriotto visits Scott Felser’s shop to showcase the renovations he made since the last visit. They discuss various changes, including adding a door to the parts room, implementing a four-day workweek, and upgrading facilities like a coffee bar and bathroom. They also highlight the overall design and decorations, with input from Scott’s wife, new security cameras, new phone system, the positive customer feedback, and Scott’s involvement in the “Brakes for Breasts” campaign.
“There isn’t a technician shortage,” Said no one ever.
Please welcome our panel of guests to discuss the topic of recruiting talent with a staffing agency in the automotive industry. Shop owners Kathleen Callahan and Michelle Tansey share their experiences and challenges in finding skilled technicians and how partnering with Promotive, a full-service staffing agency, has been a game-changer for them. Joelle Pollak and Amy Gerardi, Cofounders of Promotive, discuss the process of understanding individual shop needs, sourcing candidates, and the importance of communication and partnership between the agency and shop owners.
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COO’S Max Orsborn and Dave Askwith discuss the importance of training and defined leadership in automotive businesses. They highlight the need for effective training that goes beyond just checking boxes, emphasizing accountability and pressure on individuals who attend training sessions. The conversation also touches on the significance of transparency and communication within organizations, focusing on clear communication during promotions and changes. Max and Dave share their experiences as leaders, with insights on admitting mistakes and making adjustments in hiring, as well as the importance of staying true to one’s beliefs and vision.
Is it possible to grow your shop’s revenue by $1 million? Together, our panel of marketing gurus discuss the importance of marketing for automotive repair shops and provide insights on effective marketing strategies. The panel emphasizes the need to understand the shop’s current situation and goals before developing a marketing strategy. They also discuss financial aspects, setting goals for growth, seeking advice from successful shop owners, and creating memorable customer experiences. They stress the importance of strategic and proactive marketing and financial planning to drive business growth in the auto repair industry. Remember, marketing takes time and should be trusted as a process. Always be marketing, and don’t stop when business is busy.
In this episode, Reggie Stewart covers a range of topics from dispatching and business operations to shop renovations. Reggie recently undertook renovations at his shop in Kokomo, Indiana, he modernized the colors and feel of the shop to give it an upscale vibe, with the help of an interior designer. He also discusses the importance of building a positive culture and is currently working on creating job descriptions and manifestos for each position to better define expectations and attract the right people.
COO’S Andrew Marcotte and Melissa Parker discuss growth and succession in the industry, emphasizing the importance of having a sellable business. They share their experiences with acquiring and managing new shops, highlighting the value of cultural fit over work experience. Andrew and Melissa also encourage others to build relationships within the industry, learn from other operations and have a ‘butcher clean’ shop!
Now, I know what you’re thinking, “Culture again?” But trust me, this episode takes a deep dive into how culture can truly make or break a business. Every business has a culture, whether it’s intentional or not, and it’s crucial to evaluate if it’s the right one for retaining employees and attracting customers.
Imagine an auto repair shop that truly understands the frustrations of car owners and aims to provide honest, knowledgeable, and reliable service to give them peace of mind. That’s the kind of culture that draws customers in and keeps them coming back.
Chris Lawson suggests checking out an article in the show notes that discusses the impact of culture on over 40 business metrics. Studies have shown that employees are more motivated and efficient in a happy work environment. So, investing in your company culture can actually boost your bottom line.
If you’re a business owner or someone interested in creating a positive work environment, this episode is a goldmine of information. Carm and Chris provide practical guidance on building company culture and emphasize the need for strong policies, procedures, and teamwork.
A new build in 4 months? How did Bill DeBoer do it?! When his father suggested knocking down an office building and building a shop in its place, Bill didn’t hesitate. He took charge of the project, handled the financing, and oversaw the construction. This podcast episode is filled with insights on fleet management, business strategies, and the importance of having a reliable network of professionals.
Mac Akram, the owner of Mack’s Complete Auto Repair in Chandler, Arizona, discusses the importance of professionalism in the automotive industry, including keeping the shop clean and organized and using digital vehicle inspections to provide better service. Mac believes that raising the standards of the industry is crucial to gaining the trust of customers. Mac also encourages shop owners to invest in training for their technicians.
Are you tired of the same old auto repair experience with poor customer service and no personal touch? Look no further than Adam and Son Auto Repair in Colorado Springs. Owner Dan Adam and VP of Social Impact and Strategy Stacy Burns, share their insights on creating a unique customer experience and positively impacting their community.
Dan Adam founded Adam and Son Auto Repair with a mission to improve the way auto repair businesses are run and provide exceptional customer service. He achieved this by defining 28 fundamentals that create behaviors for team members and ingrained them in the company culture through weekly messages and daily huddles. But the customer experience at Adam and Son doesn’t stop there. They have implemented social impact initiatives that provide free car repairs to single mothers, domestic violence victims, and disabled veterans through their Stranded Motorist Fund. This program aims to provide safe and reliable transportation to those in need and has gained positive feedback from the community. Adam and Son have gained high-quality customers who support their business by providing excellent customer service and making a positive social impact.
Tatsu Tsuchida discusses his experience transitioning from a Japanese-only shop to an all-makes and all-models shop, his marketing strategy, and his experience taking over an existing business. He also discusses the challenges of owning a family business and the importance of having an exit strategy. The episode also includes a tour of Tsuchida’s second location.
“The service advisor is the face of the brand and the first point of contact for customers.” Join our round table discussion as our panel shares their experiences and strategies of successful service advisors, highlighting the importance of communication skills, creating a positive customer experience, and building customer trust and rapport. It’s also essential to be an educator rather than a salesman and help customers understand how to maintain their vehicles to avoid breakdowns. The discussion also emphasizes the need for investment in service advisor training and development.
Recorded Live at Vision 2023, Carolyn Coquillette, founder of Luscious Garage and CEO of Shop-Ware, discusses rebranding her business from Luscious Garage to Earthling Automotive. She talks about the challenges of choosing a new name and logo and moving to a new location. Earthling Automotive will also be a training center for EVs and hybrids.
Chris Lawson is back for Part 2 of our discussion about finding technicians in our industry. This episode focuses on the advanced strategies for finding technicians on Indeed and Facebook. Do you require a resume on Indeed? Find out why you shouldn’t!
Recorded live at AAPEX with Andy Bizub, Midwest Performance Cars, Chicago and Northbook, IL. Andy shares a story about how his branding connected two customer’s in Croatia and how he is able to be a remote owner while living in Texas.