Choosing a car repair shop: referrals


Hey guys, my name is Bogi. I am a master mechanic, the owner of the 180 Degrees Automotive, and one of the host of the TV show All Girls Garage. Now, I didn’t start out as a mechanic, so I started out much like many of you might, on the other side of the counter, bringing my car in for repair. And I remember feeling really vulnerable, I didn’t know any of the highly technical terms, I felt like because I didn’t know what I was talking about, I had this big target on my head and I was potentially going to get ripped off or taken advantage of. But I’ve learned since becoming a technician and becoming a shop owner, and now as a shop management consultant, I really don’t feel like there are as many people out there trying to take advantage of you as we necessarily might think, especially as women. I think we are told often as women that shops are going to take advantage of you and “be careful!” And it does happen. But the way to avoid that and to minimize that is by doing a couple of things: so, number one is find a good shop. And then develop a relationship with them. We don’t go to a different doctor every time we are sick, and yet somehow with our cars we think it’s okay just go to a different mechanic every time. Well, it’s really hard to develop a relationship and develop trust with a shop if you are going to somebody different every time. So find a good one and stick with it. But how do you find a good shop? So there is a couple of things I recommend. One is recommendations and referrals. That’s the best thing you can do. If you are in a new town, or you are traveling somewhere and you don’t where to go, ask people. If you don’t know anybody in the area, ask the interwebs, right. There is all sorts of referral services and review services, read the reviews. Read the bad reviews, and I generally recommend going after those bad reviews and looking at how the shop responds. It’s really easy to provide great customer service whenever things are going smoothly, but what happens when things don’t go so smoothly? How is the shop reacting then? Do they have a good response? Are they taking a time to respond? Do they raise their hand when they mess up and take ownership for the problem? So that’s number one: go to review, go to referrals, find the place that other people you trust, trust, and try them out.