Adapt or Die – A Look Ahead [THA 174]

Carolyn Coquillette of Luscious Garage, San Francisco, CA chairs the ASCCA Connected Cars Committee, serves on the ASCCA Board of Directors and is active in her local San Francisco chapter. She’s also the Founder and CEO of Shop-Ware. Look for Carolyn’s other episodes HERE.

Scott Brown is an ASE Master Certified Automobile Technician with over three and a half decades of professional service industry experience. He and his wife own Connie & Dick’s Service Center Inc., a 57-year-old independent shop in Southern California.

With a strong focus on engine performance and electronics, Scott began collaborating with other industry professionals, online, beginning in the early 90’s. Since 1995, he has been an instrumental resource in the development of the largest online community of automotive service professionals, the International Automotive Technicians Network — iATN where he once served as company president. Additionally, he serves on the NASTF Board of Directors and is a member of the following associations: ASCCA, CAT, ETI, I-CAR, & SAE.

Scott is the founder of Find other episodes that have featured Scott HERE. Diag.Net HERE

Chris Cloutier is co-owner of Golden Rule Auto Care in Dallas Texas and CEO of Auto Tex Me. He spent many years in the software industry developing solutions for companies like Southwest Airlines, and Wyndham Intl. He’s worked for companies that understood the marriage of service and software, and have applied it in an effective way. Chris has his ASE C1: Automobile Service Consultant Certification Test (C1). He brings the business side to the business and his brother Pat brings the Braun. Chris is also a musician. Hear Chris’s previous episodes HERE. website HERE.

Sheri Hamilton is the Midwest Auto Care Alliance (MWACA) Executive Director. She does not only lead the shop owners in six Midwestern states, she is also the Conference Manager of VISION Hi-Tech Training and Expo. Hear Sheri’s previous episodes HERE.

Key Talking Points:

  •  Serving your customers will need innovation based on each customers way of being served
  • Innovation and evolution on looking outside the industry to find new and different ways to serve, survive and compete
  • We meed to present the details and complexity of the car to our customers in a clear way so they understand
  • Embrace change. Become a change agent.If you choose to change you decide not to change
  • Be careful not to say ‘Never’. You will adapt. Don’t fight it.
  • The 5% of people that separate the good leaders from the great leaders. We’ve been forced in the last few months to make those tough decisions.
  • We should be in a continuous loop upgrade to your systems and processes. The slowdown should have prompted you to spend time looking at this critical area of your business
  • People have different learning styles and on-line webinars are for them. Some cannot pay attention with digital training. LMS (Learning Management Systems) will be involved to test if knowledge transfer happened.
  • We are a resilient industry when confronted to do somethingYou must move and act to keep ahead of the pack
  • Many shops have not missed a beat and their numbers Shops must become more efficient
  • Look at their marketing skills
  • They are reminded that everything matters
  • They are missing communityOnline networking has helped  
  • “A person who thinks they are leading and no one if following is just taking a walk.” John MaxwellAs an essential company, how did you lead your people through the crisis?
  • No one told us to disinfect cars, protect our customers and people, what our customers wanted in a touchless, sanitized transaction. We had to figure it out on our own
  • There are so many government agencies that put pressure on businesses to shut you down, don’t let your leadership skills hurt your business
  • Scott Brown is extending his branding on loaner cars by putting a sign inside the car that says it is a Covid19 support vehicle
  • Change does not come all at once like a waterfall. It is iterative. Incremental. Agile. Put into practice and see if it works.
  • Being an essential business was good for our mental state. Even is no cars to fix we had a place to go every day.
  • Sheri Hamilton. There will be changes in the meeting industry. It will be dependent on the facility. Theatre vs classroom seating
  • Check-in methods will be different
  • Possibly health screening
  • Meeting face to face will continue to be important
  • If you have DVI and do texting, don’t stop there.Will 3D printing be in our future?
  • Voice technologies will grow. Will touching become taboo?
  • Alexis skills.
  • Keyboards and mouse is old tech. Will voice take its place
  • On-line meetings. Will they become the standard?
  • New car sales slump will help our industryWe can help our customers keep their vehicles for 200K+ miles to improve their ROI
  • We need to tell our customer that we are going to keep your vehicle safe and relatable and have a sanitized experience.Tell them how we are going to handle the transaction. 
  • Reassure them that you are doing everything to keep them safe
  • Book: The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership John MaxwellLink to Books Page.
  • Use your credit facilities to help customers do the right repairs. Look at the ads on TV for Car brands. They have 0% and 84 month terms. They are creating a ‘credit’ buzz around buying a new car.
  • If your organization has a negative ‘state of mind’, you need to lead it up and out.Build the team by asking them to help solve your problems
  • Ask them for solutions to their problems
  • Be empathetic if you lay someone off
  • Explain that you did not save enough money for a rainy day
  • Be truthful and learn to lead. Be transparent
  • Associations are an important resource and to build community so you know you are not going through any challenge alone
  • Don’t be an islandNot one person has all the answers
  • Networking
  • Continue to adapt. Every day learn something new. Ask your team.     
  • Marginal gains. Google it.The compounding effect of making one small change every day
  • Give yourself credit for what you are doing great
  • Don’t beat yourself up if you stumble
  • Eat an elephant one bite at a timeWill you change or will someone make the decision for you?
  • Chris hates the name aftermarket and it should be promarket
  • Go to a conference when things open upConnect with shop owners. We don’t know everything
  • Our industry has achieved a lot. We should be proudWe’ve been through a lot and reflect on what you did. Learn from it.


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About the author, Carm Capriotto, AAP

Carm is the founder and host of the Remarkable Results Radio Podcast and the pioneer of automotive aftermarket podcasts. Carm calls on his years of experience in the aftermarket to bring engaging stories from his guests.

Listen to raw, unfiltered, honest, and sincere stories that include insights, trends, best practices, and expertise. Each interview brings an opportunity to learn one new thing through the stories of personal achievement. Many podcast guests tell their story of transformation from working in their business to working on it.

As host of over 1,000 episodes, Carm uses his enthusiasm and passion for the aftermarket especially the service sector to take his listeners on a journey showcasing successful service professionals’ paths to Remarkable Results. He also enjoys interviews with aftermarket industry thought leaders who bring their industry perspectives to his listener.

Follow the podcast on your favorite podcast listening app and always listen to learn just one thing!