In this series, ActionCOACH Mary Ann Hauser (MAH) and team virtually sit down with business owners to learn how they are working through COVID-19. Check out their inspiring stories for tips on how to cope with and successfully recover from this pandemic as well as ideas on how to avoid making common mistakes. And be sure to look at special offers from these businesses – we can all use a little extra help right now!
BKN: What do you do and how long have you done it?
DM: We provide collision repair and wrecking service and have since 1964. Jerry Mattis, my brother, pioneered the program with Precise Tech to have students here in the shop. Students would come and spend a semester with us learning on the job. We would end up hiring some of the students from the program. 15-20 people have come through the program and through our shop.
BKN: Who would you say is your best customer or target customer?
DM: Best customers are those that do not wreck their car. We have customers that reach out to us for just about anything. Knowing the community and doing the right thing really does pay off. We have relationships that go beyond these doors. We really pride ourselves on that. We have had so many people that comes by just to say "Hi". When you wreck your car you are not going to be in the best mood, but we like to put their minds at ease.
BKN: What has been the biggest impact on your business with COVID-19?
DM: It has impacted our business in the fact that we now, have to take time to disinfect the entire car before and after service. We all wear mask and we have to clean the office well every day. We have not had a slow down in business. The cleaning and maintaining has been the main change. We are people orientated, we have a lot of conversations. We are a big part of our local church and try to direct people to the church to get the help they need. We feel it's not just about fixing the car.
BKN: What are some actions you had to put in place because of the Pandemic?
DM: Wearing mask and sanitizing before and after car services. Extra cleaning of our space.
BKN: What has been your biggest learning since becoming a Business Owner?
DM: Be true to yourself, try to reflect who you are to your customer and build relationships. In today's time with the internet and reviews, you can just get so caught up in that. There are some things you don't have control over, you have control of being yourself, and trying to be a good person. Everyone will get a bad review. Just be honest. Companies are having to run their business with so much in mind about the surveys and reviews. They are always walking on egg shells and not being true to themselves, running their business always looking behind. Now is a tough time. In this business we deal with paint, chemicals, and many moving parts. So sometimes a customer may have an issue or question. We pride ourselves on if a customer has an issue, our mindset is not to try and prove them wrong, we are thinking lets make this right. We just want to take care of our customer and make it right.
BKN: Do you have any special offers you'd like to share?
DM: We offer free estimates. We like to tell customers that if they have a small wreck, hit a mailbox or something small-- Come by, we will do a free estimate. We do a good estimate, one that you can use to make a decision. Maybe you get that insurance claim because you hit your mailbox, and they have a $500 deductible and the estimate is $700 well now they have a $200 claim. We like to give a good accurate estimate to help our customers make the best decision.
BKN: What do you find the most inspiring?
DM: People in general are inspiring to me. God created a beautiful earth and we love people. Interacting with people and helping to put them at ease. On my way to work sometimes I am driving right into the sunrise and feel God is saying "Good Morning"! Family is important. My mom instilled a lot of these values into us.