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[Podcast] RR 447: Jonnie Wright – Customer Service: What Are The Three Things You Want To Get Better At?

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Jonnie Wright was raised by three women (mother, grandmother and aunt) on a hobby farm in rural Iowa. He discovered a penchant and passion for writing and talking to people during an unsuccessful 5 year run in college, and applied both to a 20+ year career in radio and TV broadcasting.

In 2005, he “put down childish things” and entered the world of adulthood and business ownership, as he started a customer service training and marketing company called The Buyosphere. He started training retail but eventually saw greater opportunity in the auto repair service world, which he planted the flag, with the incredible help of Ron Haugen.

“I” became “we” as Jonnie and his team added trainers and clients, but the WOW moment of realization that his team were relative equals among industry giants came at VISION 2015, when he taught several classes and was honored to be keynote speaker. Then along with NAPA EXPO, they trained in front of nearly 1,000 automotive professionals. That is when things got real! Jonnie branched out beyond auto repair in recent years and also works with attorneys, computer repair shops and health care professionals. 

Not bad for a farm kid who grew up on one acre with one cow, one pig and one pitchfork. 


Key Talking Points:

  • Customer service
    • Jonnie never turned a wrench, always had a customer perspective 
  • Secret shopping- started with telephone calls then went to shops in person 
    • Took note of signage, cleanliness, organization, smells, the whole experience, incentivize return trip to the shop
    • Built training program from secret shopping experiences 
  • Phone skills
    • 70% of a phone conversation is tone
    • Words, pace and onboarding
    • Getting to know me
    • Scheduling in an organized way
    • Seeking other problems
    • Will have less importance in the future with millennials and Gen Z/Y
    • Apps and convenience becomes customer service
    • It is gut-wrenching to listen to your calls and get better. An important tactic 447 Jonni for owners and service advisor professionals
  • Future
    • The important customer becomes the one you work alongside 
    • Three types of customers- external, internal (coworkers), a customer inside our heads
    • How do you work and communicate inside the business efficiently? 
      • Creating an army of the  – committed to vision and mission of the company
  • Negative reviews
    • Opportunity to make things right- more afraid of customers that have a bad experience about and never posts about it
    • Always respond to negative review somehow

Talk soon,





  • Thanks to Jonnie Wright for his contribution to the aftermarket’s premier podcast.
  • Link to the ‘BOOKS‘ page highlighting all books discussed in the podcast library HERE. Leaders are readers.
  • Link to RepairPal website HERE.
  • Leave me an honest review on iTunes. Your ratings and reviews really help and I read each one of them.



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NAPA AutoCare’s recent partnership with CarVantage gives your AutoCare Center an easy way to take advantage of telematics, increasing customer retention and boosting customer spend. You provide customers with a CarVantage sensor that plugs into their vehicle and connects via Bluetooth to their smartphone.NAPA-AutoCare-Logo-Vert-A.gif Then you set up automated marketing campaigns that target customers based on their vehicle’s next maintenance interval, for example, or whenever a check engine light is detected. That gives customers peace of mind and the best experience in the market. They also love CarVantage because it’s free to them. A special offer only for NAPA AutoCare Centers lets you give CarVantage a try at a very affordable price. And it includes free sensors. Other plans and enhancements are also available.

Learn more about CarVantage and the hundreds of other benefits NAPA offers. Talk with your servicing NAPA store or visit www.NAPAAutoCare.com.



Click to go to the Podcast on Remarkable Results Radio

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  • Have you checked out Joe's Latest Blog?

      Most shop owners would agree that the independent auto repair industry has been too cheap for too long regarding its pricing and labor rates. However, can we keep raising our labor rates and prices until we achieve the profit we desire and need? Is it that simple?
      The first step in achieving your required gross and net profit is understanding your numbers and establishing the correct labor and part margins. The next step is to find your business's inefficiencies that impact high production levels.
      Here are a few things to consider. First, do you have the workflow processes in place that is conducive to high production? What about your shop layout? Do you have all the right tools and equipment? Do you have a continuous training program in place? Are technicians waiting to use a particular scanner or waiting to access information from the shop's workstation computer?
      And lastly, are all the estimates written correctly? Is the labor correct for each job? Are you allowing extra time for rust, older vehicles, labor jobs with no parts included, and the fact that many published labor times are wrong? Let's not forget that perhaps the most significant labor loss is not charging enough labor time for testing, electrical work, and other complicated repairs.  
      Once you have determined the correct labor rate and pricing, review your entire operation. Then, tighten up on all those labor leaks and inefficiencies. Improving production and paying close attention to the labor on each job will add much-needed dollars to your bottom line.
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