Shop Profile: Tech One Automotive
Danny Wisian has hiring down to a science. Since opening Tech One Automotive in Austin, TX, in October 1999, Danny has focused his hiring efforts on assembling a capable team of managers, service advisors and technicians. His tried-and-true methods have resulted in an experienced staff with a laser focus on customer service.
“One of the best tools is the Berke Assessment test, which I learned about during Elite Worldwide’s Fly with the Eagles Management Class,” Wisian explains. “I hired two of my latest employees, one service advisor and one tech helper, based on their high scores on the Berke Assessment. They have both proven to be excellent employees.”
Wisian says he’s also had success finding employees through help wanted ads on Craigslist and Indeed, as well as through connections with other business owners.
“I’ve also started building a pipeline of the best techs in the area who I have met at various Auto Repair classes so that when I open my next shop it will be easier to find the best technicians quickly,” he says. “Family is also a good source for finding reputable employees. My brother, David, has been my service advisor since 2001, and both of my sons and one of my nephews have worked with us during their summer breaks.”
While the five bays at Tech One Automotive are usually filled with Hondas and Toyotas, the shop’s ASE-certified technicians work on all makes and models.
“We offer bumper-to-bumper auto repair,” Wisian says, “and we do an extensive amount of scheduled maintenance, brakes, timing belts, air conditioning and electrical work. We also perform state emissions testing, as well as tire replacements and wheel alignments. Your one-stop shop!”
To help our four techs, which include two ASE-certified Master technicians and two who are in the process of becoming ASE Masters, stay up to date on the latest repair information, Wisian pays for their training in local classes and through online opportunities.
“I encourage them to take at least six classes per year to sharpen their skills,” he says. “We will start online, hybrid training by the end of the summer.”
In addition to training, Tech One Automotive’s employees also receive paid vacation, weekends off, holiday pay, company-matched retirement plan, all in an ethical, drug-free work environment with an outstanding community reputation.
“We give our employees all the tools and resources they need to make their time here as comfortable and efficient as possible,” Wisian says, adding that “employees are very important to us, and we always welcome their input. Many positive and productive changes were based on their suggestions.”
To boost productivity and efficiency at the shop, Wisian says they realized they needed to make their processes more efficient. That meant adding a technician repair station, as well as installing computers closer to the technician work area. Adding another service advisor and entry-level tech has also improved the shop’s workflow and production.
“Technicians can keep working without waiting for the service advisor to inform them what needs to be worked on next,” he explains. “We also have added a lot of extra lighting and an extra overhead door. All these changes have helped increase our shop productivity by about 50% over the last six months.
“As any good manager should, we keep a very close eye on parts and labor profit margins,” Wisian continues. “This allows us to give the best service at a fair price, while keeping our profit margins much more consistent.”
Customer service today isn’t about just one thing, it’s a combination of: shop appearance, qualified/professional staff, how soon a repair will be completed, length of warranty and outstanding digital online presence. Wisian says about 20% of the shop’s appointments are made online and 50% of new customers come from the internet. The website also prominently features the shop’s welcoming front desk and waiting area.
“I have always believed that shop appearance is very important,” Wisian says. “We keep our waiting room, restroom and technician work area clean throughout the day. We have several customers who stop by occasionally just to use our clean restroom. My wife, Kathy, helped me design the layout of the customer’s waiting area, and we are constantly finding new ways to make it more comfortable and attractive.”
In addition to the inviting waiting area, customers also appreciate the staff’s positive attitude and the shop’s willingness to stand behind its work with a two-year, 24,000-mile warranty.
“We pride ourselves in exceeding their expectations by giving them the best customer service they have ever experienced,” Wisian says. “We offer a courtesy vehicle inspection on every car that comes in and prioritize the needed repairs. Our recommendations are then followed up with emails and postcards. We work mostly by appointments and offer same-day service on most repairs. We offer a free shuttle service to and from work or home, and we have recently started providing loaner cars.”
For Wisian, running a successful shop all comes back to the people who service the customers’ vehicle each and every day. Treat them with respect, he says, and you’ll grow a staff that treats customers with respect as well.
“I believe that the number one key factor in running a shop is to hire honest, ethical people,” he says. “Let them know thattheir input is important. Never take too much time away from your family or the employees’ families. Never put money ahead of people, and have fun.”
By treating every customer who comes through the door in a friendly manner and with that same respect, Wisian is sure to be providing quality auto repairs well into the future.
Courtesy Shop Owner.