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Drop the Keys and Fix It [RR 641]


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Andy Bizub from Midwest Performance Cars in Chicago is also a native of Chicago. His first career was 25 years as a commodity trader. He entered the professional auto industry in 2014 by acquiring a failing shop in downtown Chicago that he was a customer of and started a turnaround. Andy now has two locations. He bought his first car at age 19, a 1972 Triumph Spitfire, which was the start of his gas, oil, and automobile obsession. Look for Andy’s previous episodes HERE.

Charlie Marcotte is the owner of American Pride Automotive and Founder of Transportation Matters. After serving in the U.S. Army, Charlie and his wife Diane moved to Virginia in 1988 and started their family in 1992. Putting food on the table was the primary goal that started Charlie working on cars (illegally) from a 10' by 20' storage unit. A strong work ethic and love of cars allowed those humble beginnings to flourish into American Pride Automotive, with 4 locations serving the Virginia Peninsula. The family unit has always been Charlie's driving force, with three successful children and a bouncing baby Grandson: Life is Good. Building a solid business is a point of pride for Charlie, but his true passion is Transportation Matters. The transportation Matters mission drives positive social change while delivering a competitive advantage to the independent automotive repair industry—the same industry which has provided Charlie with so much opportunity.

Key Talking Points

  • Early bird drop offs- loyal customer, comes in for routine services 
  • Key dropper- hold out keys and wants to be called when done
  • Trust- yours to lose in everything you do. 
  • Relationships- discuss things besides the customer’s car to establish a connection
  • COVID 19- has started training customers to not wait in the waiting room. Customers have changed their behavior and it stressed the value of their time.   
  • Communicating with customers- text, calls, email. Make it convenient and streamline
  • Be neutral and objective instead of being black or white without seeing gray. Most production takes place in the middle when you can pivot, listen and adjust to your customer’s needs. 
  • Independent shop owners are not the competition- the competition is new car dealer/franchise. The independent shops are grassroots, boots on the ground, and have community ties.  
  • “Who not how” Dan Kennedy- how do you get your customer to look at you as their “who” for auto repair? 
  • Phone calls- the best insights into customer’s expectations and if they’re being met.
  • Market to existing customer base instead of all going to new customer acquisition- producing word of mouth referrals  
  • Subscription service for VIP customers- guaranteed 24 hour appointments? Is being too busy hindering your clients? Dentists prioritize broken teeth for emergency appointments, what about broken cars?
  •  

 

  • Thanks to Andy Bizub and Charlie Marcotte for their contribution to the aftermarket’s premier podcast.
  • Link to the ‘BOOKS‘ page, highlighting all books discussed in the podcast library HERE. Leaders are readers.
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As a member of the NAPA family, AutoCare Center owners can take advantage of the NAPA National Health Program from the NAPA Insurance Center. This “NAPA only” program gives you and your employees access to national “large group” rates on medical insurance with premiums discounted up to 30 percent. These rates are based on the collective purchasing potential of 22,500 NAPA locations including both NAPA AUTO PARTS stores and NAPA AutoCare Centers.

The NAPA Insurance Center can help you with a variety of other insurance benefits too. For more information about The NAPA National Health Benefits program as well as all of the insurance benefits available to your AutoCare Center and your employees, visit the NAPA Benefits Center, at www.napabenefitscenter.com or call the NAPA Benefits Center at 844-627-2123.

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  • Have you checked out Joe's Latest Blog?

         0 comments
      It always amazes me when I hear about a technician who quits one repair shop to go work at another shop for less money. I know you have heard of this too, and you’ve probably asked yourself, “Can this be true? And Why?” The answer rests within the culture of the company. More specifically, the boss, manager, or a toxic work environment literally pushed the technician out the door.
      While money and benefits tend to attract people to a company, it won’t keep them there. When a technician begins to look over the fence for greener grass, that is usually a sign that something is wrong within the workplace. It also means that his or her heart is probably already gone. If the issue is not resolved, no amount of money will keep that technician for the long term. The heart is always the first to leave. The last thing that leaves is the technician’s toolbox.
      Shop owners: Focus more on employee retention than acquisition. This is not to say that you should not be constantly recruiting. You should. What it does means is that once you hire someone, your job isn’t over, that’s when it begins. Get to know your technicians. Build strong relationships. Have frequent one-on-ones. Engage in meaningful conversation. Find what truly motivates your technicians. You may be surprised that while money is a motivator, it’s usually not the prime motivator.
      One last thing; the cost of technician turnover can be financially devastating. It also affects shop morale. Do all you can to create a workplace where technicians feel they are respected, recognized, and know that their work contributes to the overall success of the company. This will lead to improved morale and team spirit. Remember, when you see a technician’s toolbox rolling out of the bay on its way to another shop, the heart was most likely gone long before that.
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