When customers visit 60 Minute Tune, an Auto Value Certified Service Center and a customer of Warren Distributing located in Granada Hills, CA, they’re greeted by the smell of fresh coffee and friendly, smiling faces. Shop owner David Jackson wouldn’t have it any other way.
“When you come to 60 Minute Tune, you’ll notice the friendly atmosphere,” says owner David Jackson. “You enter the office, which has a coffee shop-type feel. People are laughing, telling stories; it’s not a greasy, nuts, bolts and gear feel. Our office projects nothing about cars, it’s just comfortable. Our techs are in uniform, and the area is clean. Fresh coffee, smiles and snacks are found here.”
If it sounds inviting, that’s because it is. Jackson says he subscribes to the Golden Rule and has done so since he bought the shop after working there for only nine months. He’s doing something right, as the shop originally opened in 1988 is still going strong.
“Our customers are our friends,” he explains. “Their children know which drawer to open to find the candy. And when you look on our wall, you’ll see a collage of pictures of our customers as well as their pets.
“Taking genuine interest in people is key,” Jackson continues. “We are in the people business. We just happen to repair cars, as well.”
Employee Retention & Training
While 36 percent of the vehicles serviced and repaired at 60 Minute Tune are Toyota and Lexus models, Jackson says his four full-time techs work on a variety of other makes, including Ford, GM, Chrysler, Honda, Nissan and European models. To stay current on the full spectrum of maintenance, diagnostic service and repairs they perform, Jackson says they take advantage of different avenues for training.
“We believe it’s critical to keep up to date with the ever-changing car market,” he says. “We have online training available, as well as traditional instruction in the classroom. We also have suppliers who now are offering ‘lunch and learns’ where an instructor comes to our facility for one to two hours during lunchtime and everyone gets to participate in updated or new training together.”
While the shop has had very little turnover, Jackson said when they are in need of a new technician or service writer, they usually turn to people they know.
“While finding new talent is a growing problem in our industry, we have found referrals to be the most reliable source to recruit new technicians,” he explains. “Some of our techs have been with us for more than 20 years, but we have been looking for an additional technician to join our family for more than six months. They are hard to come by these days!”
Having seasoned employees helps the shop maintain a high level of productivity, as well as high levels of customer satisfaction when vehicles are repaired on time and correctly the first time.
“We impact shop productivity by getting vehicles diagnosed quickly and having the parts ordered and ready for the job assigned to the technicians,” Jackson says. “We also partner with suppliers who offer us quality parts and timely delivery service. You can’t do it alone. Having suppliers that service your shop well is key. Being an Auto Value Certified Service Center and the support we receive from Warren Distributing gives us an advantage.”
As a sitting member of the Auto Value/Bumper to Bumper Service Center Advisory Council, Jackson also helps guide the Aftermarket Auto Parts Alliance with its shop-focused programs.
60 Minute Tune is also affiliated with the Automotive Service Councils of California (ASCCA), Auto Value/Bumper to Bumper’s Confidence Plus Warranty program and ACDelco’s Professional Service Center program. Jackson says these connections have proven to be invaluable over the years.
“We believe it’s important to have representation and a voice in the industry,” he says. “Partnering with these associations and parts suppliers has given us a legislative voice and access to training and industry insight. They are a huge asset to us.”
When potential customers visit 60MinuteTune.com, they’re greeted by the same smiling faces they’ll see when they bring their vehicle into the shop. Connecting with customers via the Web, Jackson says, is absolutely essential for getting customers into your shop.
“A website that is mobile-friendly is a must,” Jackson explains. “Building systems that are interactive with your customers is also important, such as the ability to request service appointments and a map to get directions to the shop.
“Links with information for service and vehicle history can be valuable to people making purchasing decisions,” he continues. “We will also be adding a link for a store-branded credit card soon, as well as updating our photos.”
The shop’s website lets people know that the goal at 60 Minute Tune is to provide “a warm, friendly and professional environment and to ensure that the total experience meets or exceeds everyone’s expectations.”
“Repairing cars correctly and in a timely manner is important, but taking genuine interest in the needs and wants of your clients is what keeps your shop ticking,” Jackson concludes. “Be involved in the community. Donate to your local charities and schools. Pick up and deliver. Help your customer with their personal needs even if it’s not for profit. You can be the best technician in the world, but nobody cares how much you know until they know how much you care.”