Service garages today fall into two basic classes: the dealership and the independent.
The dealerships keep the sales floor full of new vehicles for sale and a service writer between you and the tech that does the actual work on your car or truck. As a matter of fact, most independent garages work much the same way, they just don’t have the showroom full of new cars to distract you with. Many of us who have given up on the dealership to service our car just learn to put up with the metal buildings and sounds and smells of the service bays. It is part of the experience.
This automotive service center has made the investment to change all that.
I talked to Lisa and Don Frantz, the owners and operators. They saw that the customer was changing and that meant that the way the service garage looked along with the customer experience needed to change as well.
A few years ago vehicles were brought in for service primarily by men. It didn’t seem to be an issue how the waiting area looked or even the outside of the building. It was all about the relationship and could the mechanic fix the car.
Today more than sixty percent of the cars are brought in by women and usually they have children along with them. The customer relationship still matters, but now that relationship includes the image and impression of the shop itself. It needs to look good and be clean and neat inside and out. It needs to have character.
This reminds me a lot of the change the Penske style of race team management had on motor sports when he showed up at races with polished cars and organized pits.
Frankly I like this shop. It presents a great character and image on the outside and this continues as you move into the reception area and waiting room. Many service garages look pretty stark in the waiting area and, as a customer, you often feel like the fact that you are waiting there is an inconvenience. The seating is usually worn, uncomfortable, and limited. The lighting is poor and you have a choice of drinking burned coffee or watching Jerry Springer on a TV that is in need of degaussing.
By contrast the Frantz service center has a well lighted and clean waiting/reception area that allows you to feel like a special guest and that is the way it should be. You are treated like you are valued and so is your car.
I was very impressed that Don and Lisa made the substantial investment that they did. They recognized that the future of this service industry is changing and they are at the forefront.