When Charles Calise opened Signature Tire & Auto Care in Tampa, FL, he wanted to make sure his customers had a pleasant experience while waiting for the vehicles to be repaired. The waiting room features a kids-free business center, kids play area and picture windows so customers can watch their vehicles being repair. Calise invested approximately $45,000 into the waiting room and projects to get that back within a year or two.
Below is the article as it appeared on the TampaBay.com website.
Automotive repair shop tricks out waiting room for Tampa customers
By Mark Albright, Times Staff Writer
September 7, 2011
TAMPA Charles Calise decided to jump into the auto repair business while waiting for his car to be fixed.
"I was trying to get some work done in this decrepit waiting room with my laptop balanced on a metal folding chair that was held together with duct tape," recalled the 43-year-old former packaged goods industry executive. "It hit me that auto repair is among the last industries getting away with abusing its customers. As a marketing guy, I saw that as a point of difference."
Research told him motorists keep their cars longer. Two-thirds of all repair work is done at nondealer shops. Half the customers are women who think repair shops overcharged them for years.
So at his 2-month-old Signature Tire & Auto Care at 2205 W Kennedy Blvd., Calise is trying to one-up even the new car dealers who ladled on creature comforts.
A no-kids-allowed business center equipped with a desktop computer, color printer, HDTV with a remote, free WiFi and easy chairs with laptop holders.
To read the entire article on the TampaBay.com website, visit http://www.tampabay.com/news/business/retail/automotive-repair-shop-tricks-out-waiting-room-for-tampa-customers/1190077.