Through the month of November, the men of Columbia Auto Service, in Waterloo, Ont., grew moustaches to raise money for prostate cancer. Together they raised over $3,000 in their “Movember” efforts, rounding off an outstanding year for the shop owned by Jim Voigt.
The banner year began with a prestigious award from Napa Autopro. Columbia Auto Service was awarded the Napa Leadership award for excellence in customer service. Russ Gougen, the Ontario Autopro Coordinator for Napa Canada said, “Jim and his staff are very committed to the highest level of customer satisfaction at each and every vehicle service occasion. Consistency in managing day-to-day customer relationships through communication and follow up is what delivers the wow factor to their customer experience.”
Columbia Auto Service has been a Napa Autopro member for 28 years and has been recognized by this international organization several times in the past, receiving this award twice in the last four years.
Shortly after, the service centre officially became a Tirecraft dealer, joining the over 140 dealers across Canada. The partnership with Tirecraft allowed Columbia Auto to provide their clients with a larger variety of tires at more competitive prices than ever before. As a Tirecraft member, they participated in a breast cancer fundraiser throughout much of the year. Through the sale of pink valve caps, Columbia Auto helped to raise over $20,000 Canada-wide.
Joining Tirecraft was the first step of their major expansions. In the springtime, the shop on Columbia Street underwent renovations, making the five-bay shop into a seven bay shop. To serve their customers better they added two hoists and with the extra space were able to create a car wash station. As an addition to superb auto service, they now offer their clients courtesy car washes at every visit.
The Columbia Street expansion was just the beginning. In May of this year, the team at Columbia Auto officially launched Columbia Auto Sales Detailing and Tire Centre. The new shop on Colby Drive offers quality car cleaning and detailing, rustproof undercoating and tire sales and storage. The facility is also a registered OMVIC pre-owned vehicle dealership, offering the community competitively priced pre-owned vehicles. All vehicles sold are certified by the licensed technicians of Columbia Auto Service and adhere to their industry-leading dedication to quality and safety. After six months, the Colby Street location continues to grow and become well known throughout the region. Both Columbia Auto Service and Columbia Auto Sales were recognized by The K-W Record’s Reader’s Select awards, winning gold in their respective categories.
This year Columbia Auto also held a Customer Appreciation Barbecue with its suppliers, Valvoline, Britton Auto Parts and Tirecraft. Despite the rainy conditions of the day, many customers and their families came out to meet the staff, check out the expanded shop and win some door prizes!
During this one-day event, Columbia Auto collected donations for Nutrition for Learning, and were able to raise $580 for elementary school breakfast programs throughout Waterloo Region. The day was so successful, the Columbia Auto team has decided to make the Customer Appreciation barbecue an annual event!
With their charity fundraising efforts, expansions and record-breaking sales, 2011 has truly been the most successful year the business has had in its 43 years of operation.
But, for owner, Jim Voigt, the highlight of the year is the addition of his daughter, Sarah to the team. As a service advisor and courtesy shuttle driver, she is the fourth generation of the Voigt family to work in the business, and upholds the strong family tradition of excellent customer service. With the knowledge passed down from her great-grandfather she works hard to maintain the families dedication to quality service and customer satisfaction.
Looking ahead, Columbia Auto Service and Sales has a positive outlook.
“With our upgraded facilities and hard working staff we can continue to exceed our customers expectations. We hope 2012 will be another record-breaking year, and we look forward to maintaining our level of customer service for years to come.”
Columbia Auto Service and Columbia Auto Sales are owned and operated by Jim and Laurie Voigt of Waterloo, ON. The enterprise has a staff of 18, and on average service and maintain over 3,000 vehicles annually.