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Auto Podcast Introduction

Auto Repair Stories Connect Customers to Shops

Almost everyone has one or more auto repair stories they could share . . . a story that countless drivers can relate to. Here’s one of my own about a brake pulsation problem on our 2003 Buick that was proving difficult for our repair shop to pinpoint. After multiple trips and repair bills that didn’t resolve the problem, I wasn’t sure what to do next. Then, on a routine oil change visit, a different technician checked my car over and found a loose ball joint that could be responsible for the brake pulsation problem. Imagine how please I was when having the ball joints replaced ended up fixing the problem.

There were, of course, additional details to my brake pulsation problem, but the point is that there was a story. Whether it’s a recent situation or a remembered experience as a kid or a new driver, we all have stories to tell about the cars or pick-up trucks we’ve been in.

Stories get spread in many ways and for many reasons. Word-of-mouth horror stories about auto repairs gone badly are all too common. The stories we want to include in our interviews will be of a different sort. We want the focus to be on fun, interesting, and helpful stories that can help bring about improvements in the automotive service industry.

Why Share Auto Repair Stories?

They are a compelling way to engage attention or touch the heart and mind of an individual without offending or losing them in the process.

But how can a story bring about change in the auto repair industry. We all know from experience that confrontation is a common but oft ineffective way to bring about change. By relating a story about a repair shop experience we had and how it made us feel, we can connect with automotive repair professionals in a much more effective and non-threatening way planting seeds of ideas that suggest the value of change.

Hearing stories can be fun and informative. While interviewing, some questions will introduce the vehicle owner, some will bring out their story, and others will allow for helpful bits of information to be shared that might help someone else improve their repair shop experience.

As shop owners and managers listen to these stories shared by a vehicle owner who might one day be their customer, they can then choose to modify or adapt policies or procedures in their company with the aim of improving customer satisfaction. Then these happy customers will tell their stories to family, friends, and co-workers.

All Auto Owners have Stories to Share.

While every interview will be a little different, most auto owners will be asked to answer several questions designed to help listeners get to know them personally. Here are some examples of what you will have a chance to share:

  • A little about yourself – your first name; the city you live in; how long you’ve lived there
  • Where you work or what field your career is in
  • A memory relating to cars from your childhood; a favorite memory or incident you’d like to share
  • The make, model, and cost of your first vehicle; other vehicles have you had over the years; which was or is your favorite; what if any names you gave a car
  • Which vehicle do you wish you still had

Next are some specific questions relating to experiences with auto repair that everyone will be asked:

  • Which type of shop you use for your auto repair and maintenance
  • What most influences your reason for the type of shop you use
  • Describe an exceptional experience you’ve had at a shop

As stated in a previous post, the over-arching goal of these interviews is to share your preferences and likes or dis-likes about auto repair experiences you’ve had to provide feedback for repair shop owners. In this way, you can help them improve the way they do business as they make changes to win the trust of their existing customers and any new visitors to their auto repair and maintenance business.

How Auto Shop Connection will Help You Share Your Story

While the first interviews on this site will likely be from among my friends and family, I will also be using social media and other means to identify additional vehicle owners willing to share.

Most interviews will happen over the phone or via Skype. Prior to an interview, general information and a list of probable questions will be emailed to provide an interviewee the chance to formulate a response. You may select which questions you are most comfortable with. There will also be an opportunity for you to share question ideas of your own providing they fit the scope and purpose of this program.

Interview conversations will be recorded via computer or app. While some editing may take place, the interviewee will be informed prior to actual publication on the podcast/blog section of the Auto Shop Connection website. Both audio and a written summary will be included along with any additional information or links about the interview.

My hope is that this information will help answer questions you have about the interview process and illustrate my goal for this website and podcast. If you have auto repair stories you’re willing to share, please join the free auto owner membership. Once you’re a member we you will find resources about setting up an interview.

I look forward to the process of connecting with you and helping you connect with the auto repair professionals in your community.

 

Categories
Auto Podcast Introduction

Why Produce an Auto Repair Podcast

 

Three observations about changes within our society and the auto repair and service industry answer the question “Why produce an auto repair podcast?”

  1. Automobiles are becoming more and more complex requiring auto repair and service providers to keep improving to stay competent and relevant
  2. Social media and technology provide access to information about industry shortcomings
  3. Today’s tech savvy consumers are using mobile devices to share their experiences and expectations through conversations and by writing reviews

Consumers report an increasing sense of frustration with vehicle service and repair and a decreasing optimism that this will improve. I believe the solution to this problem is twofold. The industry needs help knowing what consumer expectations are and how to do a better job of meeting them. Consumers need to know what options are available for securing a more satisfying vehicle repair experience.

One way to facilitate change is to utilize technology and communication to bring two groups, the industry and consumers, together in mutually beneficial ways that can energize positive change. Podcasting, social media, and website memberships enable members of both groups to connect, work together, and bring about improvement.

My career in the automotive service industry has been multifaceted and provided me with extensive experience. I’ve worked in all types of facilities . . . dealerships, independent repair shops, franchise shops, and educational organizations. I’ve worked in a variety of capacities . . . as a technician, a service advisor, shop foreman, manager, parts and service director, instructor, and as an OEM manufacture trainer.

This wealth of experience, as well as my genuine desire to help people, puts me in a position to function as a liaison between the industry and its customers. My objective is that these podcast episodes serve as a platform that offers opportunity to build relationships and enhance communication and understanding between the professionals who work in and the consumers who are served by the auto repair and service industry.

Reason for Starting an Automotive Repair Focused Podcast

In reflecting on the auto repair & service business, I see concerning issues that are not being addressed from the largest automotive dealerships down to the smallest local independent repair shop. Here are a few reasons why I believe change must take place for improvements in service to happen:

  • Today’s vehicles are more complex and require a high degree of skill and specialized equipment for efficient service and repair
  • There are just NOT enough skilled technicians to effectively service the large number of vehicles currently in use
  • Customers are frequently dissatisfied with the quality and cost of service they receive
  • Independent and franchise repair shops have difficulty keeping up with the training and equipment needed for the advanced technology on newer cars
  • Dealerships are often perceived as too big, too expensive, and too impersonal

Bringing about the necessary changes will require a new perspective on the part of all auto repair service providers. My goal for this podcast and website is to present ways those changes can come about by providing a way for auto repair and service businesses to utilize contemporary technology in listening to their customers needs and wants. Any business willing to listen can then choose to make changes to move in the direction of meeting customer needs in innovative ways.

What is Working Well In the Auto Repair Industry?

While there are definite ways the auto repair industry, as a whole, needs to change, the last 10 to 15 years have shown me ways that some automotive professionals have already been working to improve:

  • Use of social media and reviews as a resource for consumers to evaluate shops
  • Repair shop owners who have started, led, and promoted automotive associations
  • Owners and managers who have invested time and money making positive changes in their own business
  • Consultants “coaching” business owners in implementing positive changes
  • Manufacturer and engineering personnel who volunteer to serve in industry associations and groups

My vision for this podcast and the Auto Shop Connection website is to improve services available to repair customers by involving them directly in the process and also by giving repair personnel the ability to showcase their expertise and commitment to providing quality work for their customers

Benefits of this Auto Repair Podcast and Website

For many people today, owning and maintaining their vehicle(s) is the second highest expense in their budget. Add to that the fact that the cost of everything is going up faster than most people’s income. Helping auto repair shop consumers discover ways to save money, time, and frustration when dealing with repair shops has never been more important.

In today’s information age, these podcast episodes help highlight various ways consumers can get connected to the kind of help they need:

  1. Podcasts are easy to access and listen to while doing other activities
  2. Videos provide helpful tips and resource on almost any smart device
  3. Webinars or courses enable learning in the comfort of an individual’s own home
  4. Email, texting, and instant messaging allow communication from virtually any location
  5. Social media sharing and reviews offer recommendations on demand!

As a membership site, AutoShopConnection.com lets members access more resources as well as providing a place to share their experiences and ideas for the benefit of others. Contributions by members will expand and broaden the site’s content in a synergistic way as more people contribute. In this way, valuable information becomes easily available and accessible as experience shared facilitates more positive auto repair and service processes.

Improving Satisfaction Rating for Car Repair and Service

Unfortunately, auto repair complaints are frequently high on the list of top 10 complaints consumers bring to the Better Business Bureau (BBB). Many consumers express a lack of trust in repair shops and fear that they are being ‘ripped-off’ or ‘cheated’ when having repair or maintenance work done. Keep in mind that complaints happen in other industries as well. As an impartial, unbiased resource, this podcast can facilitate positive, trust-building connections between vehicle owners and repair professionals.

By listening to the interviews in these podcasts, foundations for positive, trust-building relationships can begin as:

  • Auto owners get to hear a personal philosophy of doing business from individual shop owners/employees
  • Shop owners/employees hear the thoughts and experiences of individual auto owners – a valuable source of feedback for evaluating change that can better meet the customer’s needs

Building Relationships with Automotive Repair Providers

In working in the industry as well as in having my own vehicles serviced and repaired, I have seen many examples of poor quality work and experienced first hand situations where competence or integrity were lacking. While these things can happen, they are not always intentional. By showcasing the positive and helpful information of reputable repair shops, I hope that substandard repair experiences will disappear as repair providers who lack integrity have fewer and fewer customers.

Let me add that customers who focus solely on price when in need of car repair often end up seeking service from a shop that charges less per hour to do a job. In the end, a lower standard of quality in parts and service can result in additional expense when the customer has to return for the same or a related problem. This scenario certainly does not build trust. When the “cheaper” repair ends up costing as much or more than it would have at a shop with a higher labor rate/hour, the customer ends up adding anguish, frustration, and inconvenience to the price tag.

Here is a great place to insert that this website will NOT become a platform for consumers to call to attention a “bad” repair shop who provide substandard service. The Better Business Bureau or other consumer agencies best handle complaints of that nature.

Rather than publicizing the flaws of any particular service provider, we will default to praising, whenever possible, the way any shop excels in providing exceptional care and repair for their customers. Conscientious, honest and ethical owners, managers, and employees who work tirelessly to save customers money while providing outstanding service for their vehicles will be offered a platform to tell their story through interviews on ASC podcast episodes.

Protecting Women from Unethical Auto Repair Service

Today, women are finding themselves connecting with repair shops in higher percentages than in the past. They are also influencing many of the financial decisions involved in that process.

I’ve heard about and seen how disreputable repair facilities have taken advantage of individual women who may lack mechanical savvy. Time and again my wife has expressed relief that my experience and connections with the industry have spared her from the need to confront this type of conduct. That many women have no help in navigating auto repair situations is one of the motivating factors for me to produce this podcast.

In closing, let me summarize the reasons for this auto repair shop podcast show:

  • To address areas where the industry needs to improve
  • Because many customers feel unsatisfied with their car repair experience
  • To highlight repair shops and employees who are doing a great job taking exceptional care of customers
  • Encourage trust based relationships within the automotive service industry

Production of this auto repair shop podcast enables accomplishment of the ASC mission and makes available a membership website by bringing industry professionals and auto repair customers together for the purpose of securing mutually beneficial relationships.

If you are willing to support the ASC mission by being interviewed for a future show, let me know in the space provided for comments, email me directly at Dave @ AutoShopConnection.com, or use the contact form.

Categories
Auto Shop Owners

Auto Repair Website and Podcast Show Introduction

Welcome to the Auto Shop Connection website and accompanying podcast show where you will learn about a variety of auto repair topics that will be covered in articles and podcast show episodes. This post will introduce you to the vision and mission of the website and podcast episodes.

Having worked in the automotive service industry in various positions for over forty years, my passion is to help auto shop customers get the best possible service from a professional repair shop. This is what motivates me to offer these resources.

This site is for auto owners “looking for the best auto repair shop to meet their unique needs.” It will provide articles and audio podcasts where owners can discover how to save money, time and frustration by connecting with reliable, efficient, and trustworthy auto repair professionals.

This is also a place where auto repair shop owners can share their story and present reasons why they believe an auto owner will benefit by coming to their facility for repair and service.

I’m excited to get started on this site and podcast. A lot of thought and planning has gone into the content and methods for gathering and sharing that content. This post will introduce my vision and give details about the various formats and topics presented in the podcast episodes.

From helpful auto repair and maintenance tips to information and resources about ways to save money, my goal is to help auto owners get maximum life from their vehicle(s) by getting the best auto repair and maintenance in the most convenient and efficient way.

The following summary tells what the episodes will be like and what type of topics will be covered. To start with, I want to share . . .

Auto Podcast Interview Equipment

How this automotive podcast show will be structured

The podcast episodes will primarily be some type of interview with an occasional break from that format. The interviews will be with professionals from various sectors of the automotive industry, automobile owners, or any individual with helpful information for auto owners.

The Automotive Repair professionals interviewed will include shop owners, managers, or employees who have helpful information about:

  • How to save money on auto repairs
  • How to work with repair shops
  • How to find repair shops that will best meet your needs

The Automotive Sales professionals will share helpful information about:

  • New versus previously owned vehicle purchases
  • How to sort through vehicle purchase jargon
  • Negotiating to get your best purchase price

Automotive Parts professionals will share important aspects about purchasing parts including:

  • Differences between low and high cost parts
  • How parts are warrantied
  • How to make better decisions with your repair shop about which parts to use

Automotive Warranty professionals will explain various aspects of:

  • What new car warranties cover
  • Local versus national repair shop warranties
  • What an extended warranty is and what it covers

An automobile owner is anyone who has a car, van, pickup truck, or SUV they need to keep on the road and could include:

  • Teenagers just starting to drive
  • Working individuals or parents chauffeuring kids from event to event
  • Older adults or senior citizens on a fixed income
  • Single and upwardly mobile persons
  • Small businesses or organizations with a fleet of vehicles

Occasional breaks from our standard interview format will focus on specific topics, such as:

  • Specific vehicle systems, i.e. brakes, transmissions, steering, and suspension, etc.
  • How to work with repair shops in ways that build trusting relationships
  • How to know which type of shop to use – dealerships, franchises, or independent shops.

In wrapping-up this section, let me emphasize that Auto Shop Connections is NOT a site for DIY (do it yourself) vehicle repairs. You won’t find episodes about “how to” repair a specific problem, and technicians won’t be interviewed about “how to do” a particular type of repair. It is, however, possible that in the process of telling a story about a repair experience, some recommendation or word of advice about a specific repair process may be shared.

In describing the Auto Shop Connection website and podcast show, I’ve referred to it as . . .

Smartphone Ear Buds Podcast

A unique auto repair alliance to inform, educate, and share

My vision for this website and podcast is that it would be a unique venue providing impartial, easily accessible and understandable resources for anyone driving and maintaining cars or trucks. It is about connecting vehicle owners with information that will help them connect with economical, honest, and reliable auto repair best suited for their unique needs.

I also envision this website as a place where auto owners will have the chance to share what’s important to them . . . what they feel is essential for a satisfying relationship with a repair shop. In this way, repair shops can connect more closely with what customers want and make adjustments to improve the services they have to offer their customers.

My vision is to connect “good customers” with “good shops” which reflects my passion for excellent customer service and customer satisfaction. Car owners want a “good” shop that is fair, honest, and reliable where they can confidently take their car. Repair shops value “good” customers who understand the value of a “good” shop they can trust to take care of their vehicle, listen to their needs and make reasonable adjustments to accommodate those needs whenever possible.

I’m also excited to share my vision of . . .

The audience this podcast is meant for

These podcasts are designed for any individual or organization who:

  • Believes it’s possible to save time and avoid frustration by connecting with a trustworthy, reputable dealership, independent repair shop, or franchise
  • Is willing to connect via this site and social media
  • Wants to save on auto repair with a trustworthy shop whose integrity and commitment to detail helps keep repair and maintenance costs down
  • Manages their car repair dollars to keep their car working safely and efficiently

This podcast is also for any automotive shop owner, shop manager or employee who:

  • Wants an opportunity to share how and why they provide auto owners with exceptional service
  • Wants satisfied customers who will keep coming back
  • Are confident they will be recommended to their customers’ family and friends

Car Repair Exceptional Shops

Highlighting exceptional auto repair shops

The mission of this website and its podcast episodes is to give our audience the tools necessary to find the best, most convenient and fairly priced automotive service and repair possible. The episodes will showcase repair shops that are doing exceptional things to put their customers first and keep them happy and loyal. They will “hold the bar high” to motivate other shops to follow their lead.

Some of our episodes will showcase shops already providing exceptional care to their customers. Presenting negative information about any particular shop is not the goal, but rather allowing trustworthy shops the opportunity to tell their story. Those who tune-in will be introduced to the shops showcased here and to discover one best suited to meet their unique needs.

While beyond the scope of this resource to interview automotive repair professionals in every community across the U.S., it is possible to share information that can help car owners identify qualities of exceptional shops. Armed with that information, finding shops in their communities with similar commitments to quality repair and customer service is possible.

Smart Phone Podcast

The mission of this podcast and its website is to

  • Provide a method for auto owners to give feedback to repair shops
  • Enable repair shops to improve their organization by giving them a way to connect with their customers
  • Create a platform for reviews, testimonials, and social media
  • Showcase shops that are doing an exceptional job to earn customer trust
  • Spread the word so customers looking for a great car repair experience can connect with shops providing great repair experiences

Each episode of this podcast will present helpful information, offer a teaching moment about car care, or share an experience others can benefit from.

My personal commitment to the AutoShopConnection.com audience regarding the website is:

  1. To never to solicit your auto repair business or allow anyone else on the site to do so
  2. To always share factual information with integrity
  3. To remind listeners this is not a DIY (do it yourself) repair production
  4. To NEVER share an individual’s information without that individual’s permission

If you’re glad you read this post and believe you can become more informed by returning again, sign up to be on the email list. This will allow you to stay connected as more helpful auto repair and service information and tips are shared here.

As an automotive owner please consider signing up for the free membership as this will make available additional information, resources, and opportunities to interact that won’t be accessible to non-members.

In closing, I’d would appreciate your input about the following . . .

  • What topics would you like to hear about regarding auto repair and service?
  • Are you more interested in repair pricing, or how to find a good shop?
  • Would you be interested in the chance to help service professionals do a better job of meeting the needs of customers like yourself?

I welcome your questions, comments, or requests in the comment section below.

Remember, the goal of the Auto Shop Connection podcast and website is to provide the auto repair and service information you need, when you need it, from a source you can trust!