Episode Description

In this week’s episode of Beyond the Wrench, we are joined by Mary Kelly, Event Leadership Economist, Productive Leaders. Mary shares with us advice on asking for testimonials, how to find quality employees, the importance of having a vision, and overall great tips on how a shop can be more profitable with less work.

Watch the Full Episode

Where Improvement Needs to Happen

  • Ensure pictures and videos on a shop’s website are within the last decade.
  • Get testimonials from customers. Customers want to know if a shop has helped people like them.
  • Pay attention to the small details, and look at things from the perspective of a customer.
  • It only takes one bad experience to drive a customer away. Customers want reliability and honesty when it comes to fixing their vehicles.

Advice on Asking for Testimonials

  • When a shop has a loyal customer and they say great things about their experience, ask them if they could say it on video.
  • Loyal customers care about the shop and the success of the business. They’ll want to see their testimonial on the shop’s website and are happy to help.
  • Online surveys after a service are not the time to get testimonials. The testimonial should be a face-to-face interaction.
  • Get the praise at the moment of pain. As soon as the pain has been relieved, that’s the time to ask for a testimonial.

Finding Quality Employees

  • People are reluctant to fire bad people because they think they’ll never hire somebody else, but that’s not true.
  • Get employees to do testimonials, as well as customers. Ask them what they love about their job.
  • Create an onboarding process that will make new employees excited to start working at the shop.
  • Try to get a sense of people who want to show up and do a good job everyday.
  • Hire for attitude over skill. Technicians can be taught new skills, but it’s hard to fix a bad attitude.

Importance of Having a Vision

  • Vision is where the shop is going and what the shop is going to do in the future. Get people excited about what the shop does.
  • Look at who the shop is serving now: Who is the bulk of the shop’s customers? Are we currently serving the people we want to serve in the future?
  • What are the changes happening in the automotive industry? That’s going to impact what a shop does differently in the future.
  • A shop’s vision should be forward-looking and be so compelling that people will want to take their car there.

Show Notes


The Leaders Blind Spots Assessment

5- Minute Plans

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About Our Host:

Jay Goninen
Co-Founder & President, WrenchWay
jayg@wrenchway.com | 608.716.2122

About Our Guest:

Mary Kelly
Event Leadership Economist, Productive Leaders


Lithia Motors, Inc. is one of the largest automotive group retailers in the United States and is among the fastest growing companies in the Fortune 500. Lithia offers a truly exceptional variety of used cars for sale. Lithia’s used cars are known for quality, and you can find a safe used car and a reliable truck at Lithia dealers.

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