Accurate Auto of Beaverton 13980 SW Tualatin Valley HwyBeaverton,Or 97005
(503) 626-6090 icon
Accurate Auto of Lake Oswego 7025 SW McEwan RdLake Oswego,Or 97035
(503) 620-8225 icon
Accurate Auto of Hillsboro 2759 SE Tualatin Valley HwyHillsboro,Or 97123
(503) 693-8366 icon
button

The Brain Behind The Business – Interview (Owner)

admin – 04.17.2016

The Brain Behind The Business

Are you a gear head--the guy who’s always worked on cars, put together lawnmowers and took them apart? 

Actually I’ve never fixed cars. I raced motorcycles, that’s how I got into the business. I went to work for the Honda motorcycle parts department and sold parts. When you sell parts, that’s kinda how you learn. So that was my education, “This is what this part does.”  I never diagnosed cars or removed them, I never touched anything like that. I knew what parts were, I knew what they did. By listening to and training service advisors I began to understand how they all worked in conjunction, but I didn’t have any formal training.

The one thing I did know that nobody else seemed to grasp back in the 90s was that client service is what this was all about--anybody can fix a car, but if you don’t know how to care for those clients properly, they will go somewhere else. Knowing that is more valuable than knowing all about cars, especially with today’s technology where you can go to Google and figure out how the darned thing works.

Do you think that not being a gear-head gives you an advantage in explaining to customers what might be going on with their vehicle?

 

I think my not being a gear-head is more relatable. I’m a consumer just like everyone else when I go somewhere else. If I go to my computer repair man and he tells me all this crazy stuff about what’s going on with my computer, my eyes will roll around to the back of my head and glaze over. Between him and my CPA they both get the same look. I understand when my customers tell me that.

I think information coming from somebody who hasn’t worked on cars is a lot more relatable.  In fact when I train my service advisors, even in my interview process, I genuinely look for guys who haven’t been mechanics. I want people who are stronger in communication than they are at understanding why the sprocket turns at whatever rate it’s supposed to.

Relating to people is a more important skill, and probably a harder skill to train. We can teach technicians, and we’ve designed an apprentice program, but it’s difficult for me to teach somebody communication. It’s something that’s a life lesson, not something you can just sit down and learn.

button
HONESTY & INTEGRITY

HONESTY & INTEGRITY

We will never suggest a service for your vehicle that is unnecessary
QUALITY & VALUE

QUALITY & VALUE

We offer the best products and services at the best value.
SAFETY & DEPENDABILITY

SAFETY & DEPENDABILITY

We take your family's safety seriously , as if it were our own.
Why Auto Repair (Accurate Auto)
Accurate Auto of Beaverton 13980 SW Tualatin Valley HwyBeaverton,Or 97005
(503) 626-6090 icon
Accurate Auto of Lake Oswego 7025 SW McEwan RdLake Oswego,Or 97035
(503) 620-8225 icon
Accurate Auto of Hillsboro 2759 SE Tualatin Valley HwyHillsboro,Or 97123
(503) 693-8366 icon
button

Why Auto Repair – Interview (Owner)

admin – 04.13.2016

Why Auto Repair?

How did I get started in the auto repair business in general?

My start in the auto repair business was because of a woman, of course, a very long time ago.

I grew up in restaurants. My mom was a restaurant manager; she was a bartender and she worked her way up to managing a couple of restaurants for a guy, so I grew up in those restaurants. My mom always had huge customer service ethics, so that’s how I thought the world worked.

I always thought I’d end up being a manager of a restaurant or a hotel or something of that nature. I wasn’t too far off--I started off working in restaurants at age 14 and by the time I was 19 I was a manager and also a bartender on the side. I was just having a good time, you know, it was really easy to make money and have fun doing it. I loved my customers and they loved me. Being sort of naïve, I thought that was how the world worked--people give you money and they’re happy to do it.

 

I met a woman when I was 19 or 20 years old. I wanted to marry her, so I asked her parents for permission. When they said, “No,” I was beside myself. I couldn’t believe it. They said, “No.” They told me the reason was because I really didn’t have a future, I didn’t have anything to offer, and I wasn’t really going anywhere--that I was just a bartender. Technically I was a manager at a nice hotel/restaurant, but that wasn’t really anything in their minds. I needed a “real” job, and that was that.

Well, I used to go into the Honda motorcycle shop all the time. I raced motorcycles with my buddies. Two of them were mechanics and worked at the Honda Shop. This dealership had motorcycles on one side and cars on the other. One day I went in to get some parts for my motorcycle and they had a job that came up in the parts department of the motorcycle side. I thought, Well, you know, it’s got to be a good career. I liked motorcycles as much as I liked waiting tables and bartending, so I took the job and made a big, whopping $7.50 per hour. About a month later a position opened up on the car side and that was big bucks--about $9 per hour. I was excited and transferred over there.

That was really interesting, because the parts department was right next to the service department. One of my good friends was a service advisor. I didn’t even know what that job was, all I knew is that we would sit there and joke around and act like 20-year-olds all day long. When someone as annoying as a customer would either call or show up to pay for their bill or ask questions it was a huge inconvenience and we didn’t get to have fun anymore. I would listen to my buddy tell the customer whatever they wanted to know. 

After a few months of this I started thinking, I could do that job better. Now the guy was my buddy. I wasn’t going to do his job and take his job from him, but I had known from my years in the restaurant business that people deserve good communication, especially when they spend a lot of money. When I was a waiter, a $100 dinner was a lot of money. I knew that if you do a good job you’re gonna get a $20 tip, which was pretty good.

And I’m listening to them talk about tiny belts and water pumps and spark plugs and all these things--these people are not happy, and they’re not getting any good service. They do not understand anything and they’re asked to spend $1,500 – $2,000. This is absolutely asinine to me--a little was lost on me.

Working for this dealership I must have run into the owner’s office a million times, trying to tell him how I thought that we could make the place better. I must have been a year or two into it when he finally sat me down, closed the door and said, “You’re a really nice kid, you do a really nice job, but we’ve been here a long time. We do a really good job here. If you want to stay, that’s fantastic. But you really don’t need to come in and tell me every week the next greatest thing. I’ve heard it all.” And he opened the door for me and let me walk out.

I was really sort of taken aback. At that time I thought, Well maybe I should just move on.

So I went to work for a Honda dealer next to my house. It was a big group, a huge group; they owned 30 to 40 dealerships all up and down the West Coast. They’re really progressive. I went to work in the parts department again, because it was what my background was. But somewhere along the line they bought more dealerships and I was given the opportunity to run the service department. Mind you, I had never even written service at this point, I had just listened to it, but the general manager and I became friendly because we both liked motorcycles and he had a lot of faith in me. I was 27 years old when I got my first service department.

When you’re in a small department and you’re the manager, you’re the writer too and you do it all. That’s how I got into the business. From there I progressed up and went through all the dealership ways. I was 30 by the time I made Parts and Service Director and taught other people how to sell automotive service to all of their service advisors.

button
HONESTY & INTEGRITY

HONESTY & INTEGRITY

We will never suggest a service for your vehicle that is unnecessary
QUALITY & VALUE

QUALITY & VALUE

We offer the best products and services at the best value.
SAFETY & DEPENDABILITY

SAFETY & DEPENDABILITY

We take your family's safety seriously , as if it were our own.
Accurate Auto Hey Im An Author (Accurate Auto)
Accurate Auto of Beaverton 13980 SW Tualatin Valley HwyBeaverton,Or 97005
(503) 626-6090 icon
Accurate Auto of Lake Oswego 7025 SW McEwan RdLake Oswego,Or 97035
(503) 620-8225 icon
Accurate Auto of Hillsboro 2759 SE Tualatin Valley HwyHillsboro,Or 97123
(503) 693-8366 icon
button

Hey, I’m an author! – Interview (Owner)

admin – 04.06.2016

Why did I decide to write this book?

I decided to write a book primarily because through my years in the auto repair business I began to understand that the industry of vehicle maintenance and repair is really about being able to provide people with transportation. That includes the cost of transportation; it’s not just about repairs, it’s everything. It’s about car ownership in general.

I believe that there is a bigger message than just, “Hey we’re going to bolt an alternator on there,” it’s that I really want to educate people about why it’s good to invest in the vehicle they already own. I started off with a business to fix cars, and the more I spoke with clients the more I understood their need.

But the biggest reason of why I chose to write a book is because people have such a bad understanding of the value of transportation and their vehicle; and that’s what keeps people from making good decisions regarding their cars.

button
HONESTY & INTEGRITY

HONESTY & INTEGRITY

We will never suggest a service for your vehicle that is unnecessary
QUALITY & VALUE

QUALITY & VALUE

We offer the best products and services at the best value.
SAFETY & DEPENDABILITY

SAFETY & DEPENDABILITY

We take your family's safety seriously , as if it were our own.