Pit Lane, Durham, DH1 5HH

Tel: 0191 3757444

A full month and lots of pleased customers

April 28, 2013

We’ve now been open a full month and it’s given us time to get properly settled in.  Already we’ve got some ‘regular’ customers who’ve been in to see us more than once.  This is more a collection of my thoughts than a blog post but I promise its all true..

Next time I write a blog like this I’ll get real comments and some customer photo’s…..

Neil (i’ll keep his surname a secret) is probably our biggest fan.  He firstly came in just with an enquiry but since then has been back to visit with several cars belonging to different family members.  He’s a discerning type of guy and rather than speak for him I’ll ask him for some comments but he’s very positive about our philosophy of being there to serve the local community with fair prices and good advice.  He admitted to us one day that he was ‘buzzing’ after visiting us (we didn’t plug him into anything, we actually wouldn’t need too).

Neil's designer shirt works perfectly with the branding....

Neil’s designer shirt works perfectly with the branding….

I’ll call our next customer Mr Scotland.  It’s not his real name but a bit similar to this.  He lives nearby and came in with his own car for a service and MOT and it needed a fair bit of additional work.  We ran through it all with him in detail, showing the defective items and explaining individual prices and components.  He went ahead with the work and sent his wife round and the same thing happened, loads of extra work needed.  I was worried he’d think we were trying to make him these big bills but he understood again and said do the work.  He was also really pleased with everything.  These scenarios are difficult because we don’t recommend work where it isn’t needed and don’t want a reputation as somewhere where you always have a big bill.  It’s was really important to me that he was happy and he was.

Mr Cox came in who’s a long distance bus driver so knows a fair bit about vehicles.  He needed a bit of work but was over the moon.  He rung me the day after and said “i want to put a review on the internet about the garage”….I replied “good or bad”  he said “good, really good – we’ve never had a garage like this and I want people to know how good you are”.  made me feel proud.  Not sure what I’d have done if he’d said bad !

One customer who I’ll call July (not her real name) came for an MOT.  She’s rebooked for a service this week and promised to bring Bomber (Mark Poulter) a cake as it was his birthday the first time she was in.  The cake is a Mary Berry double chocolate recipe.  I said I’d give her free wiper blades if the cake arrives !  Bribery and corruption at it’s best.

We’ve had two really old customers.  One guy was I think 94, he was still driving and sat outside while we changed 3 tyres.  He’d fought in the war.  I felt like giving him the tyres for free bust just give him a good deal like everyone else.  His son, who’d brought him in, was happy which was really important.  A lady customer was also very old, she came for a tyre and thought she was at ATS, she’d been a teacher for over 40 years at a local school.  These people deserve to be looked after properly.

Another lady was coming in with a Jaguar for some changeovers ‘Winter tyres off, summer tyres on’, she rang as she couldn’t lift the tyres into the Jag and I sent Bryan down to help.  After we’d done the job he went back down and put the winters back in the shed.  She was really really delighted with the service.  I assured her this was normal.  I’ve been brought up to do these things, my mam and dad would kick my backside if they thought we weren’t being courteous and polite.

My dad’s visited about half a dozen times.  Bryan (my number 2) thinks its my Dad’s garage and winds me up about this.  He also calls my Dad ‘the master’ as though he’s some wise old Mr Miyagi figure !  His feedback is important though.  He’s brutally honest and I’m desperately competitive.  So is Bryan.  The other guys are too.  This desire to consistently deliver something really good is what keeps the standards high and the customers happy…..

Next time some photo’s and things I think !