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The End Of The Movie Always Has The Good Stuff

Bob Stout says people will drive 5-15 miles for an honest shop. He’s pleased to welcome them.

DVD sales have been in decline for at least the past decade, say people who know such things and I, for one, will miss them if they disappear completely.

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It’s the bonus features on a DVD that make it special.

When you come to the end of the movie and the “MORE” tab comes up in the menu, you know you’re gonna find the good stuff – the in-depth analysis, the “making of “ featurettes, the deleted scenes, the blooper reel. You know, all the parts that were recorded but for one reason or another didn’t make the final edit but were still deemed interesting enough to remain relevant.

Magazine articles are just like those movies in a way – when writers interview a shop owner, for example, there is usually a great deal of material that gets left on the cutting room floor. 

Our recent cover story featuring Bob Stout from Fuerst Automotive in Broadview Heights, OH is no exception. The extra features available could fill an entire sequel to Bob’s story – but, spoiler alert: in this version, Bob still gets the girl, still gets the accolades and still gets to retire on his terms.

Bob says the investment he made with his management consultants has given him an understanding of who his customers are and how that relationship has changed.

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“I heard people say they would travel 5 to 15 miles to go to an honest shop, which blew me away. The old surveys used to say people wouldn’t go more than 3 to 5 miles.”

“In the old days, we had a lot of great relationships with our customers, where they would bring their keys in, drop them on the counter, and say, ‘Hey, fix whatever it needs. Call me when it’s done.’ Today, it’s very, very hard to build that trust.”

Stout says he was shocked to find out just how desperate customers are for that trust.

“After one of our DRIVE management classes, I sent employees out to find out just how far customers would travel to a shop they trusted. I heard people say they would travel 5 to 15 miles to go to an honest shop, which blew me away. The old surveys used to say people wouldn’t go more than 3 to 5 miles.”

The most important bonus feature Stout found from his survey was when he asked what is most important from a shop? “Honesty and transparency was number one; next was family values. That’s why I’m excited that my son, Mitch, wants to take over the shop eventually.”

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Stout says for him, that scencario is extremely comforting.

“He’s going to earn the right to take over the business through training and certification,” Stout says. “And he’s definitely heading in the right direction.” 

The article on Bob Stout appeared in the October issue of ShopOwner.

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