Three observations about changes within our society and the auto repair and service industry answer the question “Why produce an auto repair podcast?”
- Automobiles are becoming more and more complex requiring auto repair and service providers to keep improving to stay competent and relevant
- Social media and technology provide access to information about industry shortcomings
- 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:
- Podcasts are easy to access and listen to while doing other activities
- Videos provide helpful tips and resource on almost any smart device
- Webinars or courses enable learning in the comfort of an individual’s own home
- Email, texting, and instant messaging allow communication from virtually any location
- 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.