Jamie’s Autopro Auto Service in Val Caron, Ont., was named the Autopro of the Year at the 2009 Ontario NAPA Autopro Convention in Niagara Falls, Ont.
Owners Jamie and Donna Ernst gave strong words of support for the benefits they received through their association with the Autopro program. Calling NAPA a “silent partner in their business,” the owners say that it has helped their 16-year-old business in every way imaginable.
Jamie Ernst selected the Dave Meunier training as one highlight. “The three-day training from Dave Meunier was the single biggest thing we have done for our business.”
Wife and co-owner Donna Ernst says that the management services have helped on a number of levels. “We can plan here in advance and be a lot more consistent,” she says. “ProShop has shown how we can manage our shop and our employees better.”
Other Autopro shops honoured included Leadership Award winners Roy’s Service Centre, Orangeville, Ont., Bob Berg Autopro in St. Catharines, Ont., and Dr. H Automotive in Etobicoke, Ont.
Attendees of the convention were treated to a full day of business training and exposure to Autopro programs, as well as trade show exhibits.
Among the days’ events was the freeform Business Development Group session. Dave Redinger, owner of Dr. H Automotive and a key facilitator at the session, said that the biggest concern of many shops was grants and funding–“how to qualify and how to get it,” he said.
That fact was also a highlight of the J. D. Power and Associates session on the Autopro “360 Program,” which enables shops to discover where they may be lacking in customer service and how to improve.
Frank Meiboom’s M&R Auto in Trenton, Ont., served as a case study for the presentations. Though his is an excellent shop with an excellent customer service score, Meiboom still found that subscribing to the site analysis uncovered some deficiencies and ways to address them.
Meiboom said that the service cost him $1,700, but he was able to recover some $1,500 of that through municipal business grant programs.
The benefit was that, from September to March, the facility raised the number of customers who rated their experience above average to 44% from 33%, with specific improvements in service advisor interaction.
“This isn’t a Trenton thing,” said Ryan Robinson of J. D. Power and Associates. “It’s not an Ontario thing. It’s a Canada thing.
“We need to excite and delight and keep exceeding customer expectations. We want to keep customers coming back so we can keep taking as much money as we can out of their wallets.”
The organization also rolled out its Autopro television commercials, which feature seniors engaging in youthful activities as a way to show how the organization can keep cars young.