The 21st Century Automotive Shop

We were recently interviewed by Auto Inc. in celebration of the 60th Anniversary of Automotive Service Association to discuss what it takes to be a successful automotive shop in today’s auto care industry. Here is a Q & A from our interview:  

What does shop management look like in a 21st century automotive shop and how does it differ from the past? Is there an emphasis on training and continued education?   

Technology has given shop managers freedom that could not have been imagined in the past. With the use of GotomyPC, we are able to access our shop computer from any location that has internet access. The downsize of portable computers such as the Dell Inspiron Mini Notebook and the Apple iPad have also provided convenience. Training and education have benefited immensely from technological advances.  It is no longer a requirement that shop owners and employees take time away from work to attend training classes. Webinars have made training less costly and more efficient. We have invested in computers for training purposes and smart phones for our management and customer service employees. We strive to provide the best customer service and keeping up with technology and continued education is the key to our success.

How have you used social networking and the internet as a marketing tool for your business?

A number of years ago, we realized the importance of a presence on the internet and developed a website for Terry Wynter Auto Service Center. This marketing tool has proven to be invaluable as internet marketing has become an important source of referrals. We also created a blog to provide our customers with the latest auto care news and tips.

Most recently, we set up a Facebook page and Twitter account. These social networking sites have made it easy for us to connect with our customers while providing valuable automotive, service and maintenance tips. This inexpensive marketing tool has produced referrals and created an additional presence for Terry Wynter Auto Service Center on the internet.     

Although it’s a challenge to stay current with technology considering social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter were not even in our vocabulary a few years ago, we have found this inexpensive form of marketing incredibly useful.  

Do you provide specialized servicing in your automotive shop?

We have recognized that the female customer has become a major decision maker when it comes to automotive repairs. This is drastically different from years past.  In an effort to appeal to this important customer, we offer free Knowledge is Power Women’s Car Care Seminars to assist women in becoming more informed consumers.

How has today’s automotive shop visually changed? 

A focus on cleanliness and organization is of utmost importance in today’s shops as most customers do not have any understanding of what takes place in the shop.  Cars have become much more complicated and most customers make their judgment of a shop’s competence by the shop’s appearance and the professionalism of the employees. This is especially true for the female customer.

What amenities play a role in today’s automotive repair shops?

Convenience is an important feature of our mission statement. We offer customer conveniences such as Wi-Fi, a coffee bar, shuttle service, and a comfortable waiting area. 

Are tools different today, in a 21st century shop, than they were years ago?

The evolution of tools in our industry is happening at a rapid pace. We have gone from a tool box of primarily hand tools to some electronic tools in the 80’s when engine analyzers became available.  Fast forward to today when we use scan tools that fit in the palm of your hand and data is being streamed over the internet for reprogramming.

We’re honored by the opportunity to share what we have done to make Terry Wynter Auto Service Center a successful 21st century automotive shop. We look forward to continue providing affordable and dependable auto service to the Southwest Florida community. Visit http://terrywynterauto.com/index.html to learn more.