Personal service with a smile, quality work, and fair prices are a difficult set of standards to find at a single automotive repair shop in Tyler, Texas. However, one shop stands out among the rest — Robertson Automotive, a Confidence Plus Certified Service Center and Auto Value customer of ABC Auto Parts, Ltd. This repair shop offers a completely different experience upon entering the building.
“You’ll experience something very different when you walk through the doors of Robertson Automotive Repair,” says Kevin Robertson, the shop owner and president. He has been in the automotive business since 1983 and Master ASE Certified since 1987. He opened Robertson Automotive in 1992 and has run a successful business ever since. He says this is because his employees don’t approach customers as numbers.
“Each of our customers presents an opportunity for us to share our automotive knowledge and skills to keeping their automobile in the best shape possible. Every client receives friendly, personal service with a smile and can rest assured that we sincerely care about the well-being of their vehicle.”
From a modest beginning in an old, two-bay Texaco station in 1992, Robertson Automotive expanded into a 10,000 sq. ft. tire store down the street in 1999. The shop then opened a brand new 17-bay facility a year and a half ago.
“The town grew away from us on that side of town. I did a zip code mapping study and found that 80% of our customers were located where we are now, so we just decided to move to be in a more convenient location for our customers,” Kevin says.
Robertson Automotive is a Confidence Plus Certified Service Center and Auto Value customer of ABC Auto Parts, Ltd. The shop also belongs to the Chamber of Commerce, BBB, NFIB, ASA, and the ASE Blue Seal Program.
The shop has six ASE-Certified technicians who continue to train online, and participate in dealer training at the shop when available. “Any time I can get them into a class, I do,” Kevin says.
The shop specializes in repairing all makes and models of vehicles, including classic hot rods and even motorhomes. The services include, but are not limited to, tire and brake repair, air conditioning services, alignments, oil/lube/filter services, and their specialties — diesel services and computer diagnostics.
Customer Service Expertise
The company’s “personal service with a smile” philosophy has allowed for a better experience for the customer.
“It’s all about customer service to us. I believe true customer service is a lost art these days and we strive very hard to make it our niche,” Kevin says.
The shop’s employees pay attention to detail when servicing vehicles and make sure the job is done right the first time. Kevin explains, “We also believe in treating our customers fairly and work hard to make sure we are providing quality services at quality prices.”
At Robertson Automotive, they show each customer they care and make them feel as if they are the only customer they have. They put their customers first in everything they do, “from the time they show up on the service drive and we greet them, to getting a vehicle through the shop efficiently,” Kevin explains.
He also reminds his employees regularly about the importance of taking pride in their work.
Customers won’t even be able to tell that their vehicle was taken apart when the shop’s employees finish the repair.
They take pride in personal appearance, shop appearance, and vehicle appearance, so when a vehicle leaves the shop, “there are no handprints on it, the clocks are reset, and every screw and bolt is where it’s supposed to be,” Kevin continues.
The shop’s employees pay attention to the details, which not only allows for successful repairs, but also ensures customer satisfaction.
They are able to attract and retain customers through advertising and “very personalized customer service.” Advertising and word-of-mouth are necessary to “keep the cars coming” to the shop for repairs and scheduled maintenance, Kevin says.
The new facility also attracts customers with its professional appearance, and keeps customers coming back with its continued use of advanced technology, professional and friendly employees, quality services, and fair prices.
The turnaround time for vehicles is great, too.
“No one wants to be without his or her vehicle, and we understand that, so we try to get it in and out as efficiently and quickly as possible,” Kevin says.
Robertson Automotive offers a unique way for customers to understand the repairs and other services their vehicle is receiving.
The shop is able to effectively interact with customers by using Bolt On Technology, an automotive software innovation system, on a tablet, to communicate information with pictures, texts, and emails.
Customers can see if a leak was found, and are provided with a visual status for larger jobs such as a timing chain replacement.
The shop uses the digital inspection program because it utilizes videos and pictures to communicate the vehicle’s state of health to the customer, Kevin says. “People always say, ‘A picture is worth a thousand words.’”
With a picture, the customer is able to better understand the repair by looking at visual representations from the program. This is an advantage for the shop because several problems can be pinpointed by using the system, and it does not require disassembling the vehicles, Kevin explains. His employees are then able to clarify the vehicle’s issues to the customer.
In addition, the digital inspection program allows for them to educate their customers about the importance of vehicle maintenance.
They also interact with customers through their website. It’s a great way to reach customers who don’t yet know of Robertson Automotive, Kevin says. Their website is organized featuring their services, staff members, as well as photos of their new facility. Customers are also able to make appointments online.
Not only is the shop committed to reaching out and connecting with customers, the customers can also reach out and connect with the shop. Kevin and his employees depend on Sure Critic, an online review platform, for customer feedback on their services. Utilizing programs such as these ensure customer retention because it provides necessary information so the shop’s employees can continue to improve their services.
Productivity & Profitability
The company has hired a shop foreman to oversee shop flow and efficiency, including parts delivery and their return policy. Kevin works on the business by watching labor profit and parts profit daily. He keeps his shop up-to-date with the latest equipment in order to service the vehicles in the most efficient way possible.
A key factor in the shop’s productivity and success is having dedicated employees who are well-trained to perform the necessary tasks to help the shop grow its customer base. They are constantly being taught new skills through dealer classes or training opportunities sponsored by the Alliance.
Plus, they are experienced and committed to their work. Kevin says his technicians have been with him for more than 10 years; his service writer, David Brown, for nearly 15; and his general manager/business partner, Lynn Shaver, for almost 25 years.
“She’s the brain and I’m the brawn. I’m the guy who can fix anything, and she’s the business mind who has trained me how to be a business owner through the years,” Kevin says.
To show how appreciative Kevin is of his exceptional employees, the shop offers what he calls “creature comforts” such as the giant ceiling fans in the bays and a really nice break room with a full kitchen where employees can relax on their lunch hour. These extras have had a positive impact on employee retention.
Satisfaction = Loyalty
Robertson Automotive is the place to go for all kinds of automotive service needs in the Tyler area. Its team of dedicated employees has expertly tuned-up all types of vehicles over their many years in business, and they have a loyal customer base as a result. So, how does this thriving shop continue to get rave reviews on its website? According to Kevin, it’s because they offer the best customer service; they employ the best workers; they implement superior training for their employees; and they utilize modern technology. For more information about how Kevin and his team at Robertson Automotive are continuing to raise the bar, visit robertsonautotyler.com.