Throughout Lynn Wood Service Center’s long history, one thing has remained constant: A commitment to customer service.
General Manager Kameron Butcher is carrying on the tradition started by his wife Kellie’s family, the Woods, all the way back to the end of World War I. That’s when Clifford Wood started his automotive repair career working on Model T Fords.
Clifford then leased and later built his own garage in Clearfield, Utah, with his young son, Lynn, helping him around the shop when World War II resulted in a shortage of manpower. Lynn built a new facility when he took over management of the shop in the 1950s.
It was that two-bay garage where Kellie’s father Don got his start in the family business, pumping gas and learning the ropes by checking oil pressure, washing windows and repairing flat tires. A new, larger facility followed in Clearfield in 1973, as the shop grew to six bays.
“I started out in the automotive industry in 1998 as a parts delivery driver for a local Ford dealer,” Kameron says. “It was supposed to be just a summer job! Months turned into years and I moved my way up to assistant to the parts manager.
“In 2005, I joined the Lynn Wood Service Center family as an assistant manager and helped open our Clinton location,” he continues. “In 2014, my father-in-law Don made the decision to retire and serve with his wife on a humanitarian mission in Ukraine for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. At this time, he asked me to ‘take the wheel’ of his stores in Clinton and Layton, and try to carry on the great legacy that he and his father before him had left behind.”
Today, Lynn Wood Service Center boasts 10 bays in its Layton and Clinton locations and employs 22 associates. Technicians perform maintenance and repair on all makes and models.
“We provide tire service, brake services, steering, suspension, alignments, check engine diagnostics, engine maintenance, transmission maintenance, and more,” Kameron says. “We try to be a one-stop automotive maintenance and repair shop.”
Just as Lynn Wood Service Center has been providing repairs to the local community for years, some of the shops’ technicians have been with the company for 20 plus years.
“We spend as much time with each other as we do with our own family,” Kameron says, “so we try to provide a family-like work environment. We try to work with their schedules and give them time off when needed. Good employees are hard to come by this day and age, and we want to keep them happy.”
Technicians at both Lynn Wood Service Center locations hone their craft through continuing education classes that are a requirement of their employment.
“We provide live, in-person training classes that we pay for annually so our technicians can gain knowledge of the ever-changing world of automotive repair,” Kameron explains. “The more we know, the better we can take care of our customers.”
Kameron learned early on that previous shop managers had discovered the key to success: Keep people happy, and they’ll return with family and friends. He says they’ve been able to rely in part on customers to spread the word about the quality repair and service Lynn Wood Service Centers offers.
“We advertise with a mix of TV, commercials, print mailers, and social media, and to be honest, we spend a lot of money on advertising,” Kameron says, “but word-of-mouth has always been the best advertising there is. We have fourth-generation family members coming in because their great-grandparents started coming to us many years ago.”
An impeccable appearance is also a big draw in keeping and attracting customers. For Kameron, a clean place of business is a must and means constant maintenance and attention to detail.
“I think everyone would agree that when you go into any place of business that is clean, it creates a warmer, welcoming environment,” he says. “We have a lot of customers who prefer to stay and wait for their vehicles, and with that in mind, we provide free Wi-Fi and cable TV. Our Layton shop features a counter with stools so our customers have a place for their laptops and can get work done.”
In addition to a pristine environment, customers at the company’s Clinton location also appreciate its close proximity to stores and restaurants.
“Our Clinton location is part of a shopping strip, which, to my father-in-law’s credit, was a brilliant idea!” Kameron says. “It gives our customers the opportunity to drop off their vehicle and have places to shop or eat within walking distance.”
Kameron says the staff is always thinking of new ways to engage with customers, and some recent customer service programs have been a big hit with regular patrons.
“We recently started a monthly ‘Date Night’ drawing that our customers who come in for service can enter,” he explains. “We give away gift cards for a night on us, including area restaurants as well as local theaters.
“We also just started ‘Every Day is Ladies Day,’ ” Kameron continues. “We want our shops to be friendly places that all women feel comfortable coming to. To show our gratitude to these women, we give out free drink gift certificates to local shops where they can grab a specialty soft drink after they leave our shop.”
Kameron concedes that keeping a shop functioning effectively “is a struggle for all businesses.” He believes that rather any one thing, such as increased car count, profitability comes down to a combination of tactics.
“I think our approach over the last few years is more of a focus on customer service and customer satisfaction,” he explains. “Quality rather than quantity! If we truly take an interest in our customers and show them that we care, that will bring in more business because we are building relationships that will last a lifetime.”
Incentivizing the work of technicians has also helped boost the shop’s bottom line, Kameron says.
“We’ve implemented a few different incentive programs for our techs,” he says. “With some of them, we’ve implemented an incentive that includes a bonus if they produce a certain number of hours. With others, we have a monthly ‘Tech of the Month’ award that recognizes a specific technician with a gift card to show them our appreciation for their hard work.”
Another way independent repair shops can remain successful is to participate in industry associations, and Kameron says becoming part of the Bumper to Bumper Service Center Advisory Council has been one of the best decisions he’s made as general manager of the Lynn Wood Service Center family.
“I feel that Bumper to Bumper really wants our company to succeed and has provided us with many tools to help us along the way,” he says. “We are now able to offer the Confidence Plus North American Warranty program, which is the best in the industry and covers our customers nationwide on the repairs we perform. I would advise any shop to definitely take a look at becoming a part of the Bumper to Bumper Certified Service Center Network.”
Kameron says running a successful shop today comes down to four things: treat your employees like family, don’t be afraid of industry change, keep an open mind, and build relationships with your customers.
“Having been family owned and operated for four generations, one thing I can say about the previous three generations is that they were known for their integrity,” he says. “I, along with the help of our employees, hope to carry on this great tradition.
“It’s been a challenge trying to fill these big shoes, but I am so grateful for the opportunity that Don Wood has given me. And with the help of all the great people that work for Lynn Wood Service Center, the legacy lives on.”