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.