|Plano Star Courier
Thursday, August 22,1996
| By Sally Gruss
Customers Still Get Highest Ratings
Better customer service is always topmost in the minds of the entire staff at The Auto Shop.
Their obvious dedication to excellence in every aspect of auto repair and customer service is reflected in business. Increase of 30 to 50 percent over every month one year ago, according to Jerry Kezhaya, owner.
"We just keep growing," said Kezhaya who began the business in Plano 15 years ago. He has guided it's growth through four moves to the present 35,00 square-foot facility, which houses 63 work bays, an in-house parts department and a $65,000 alignment center.
We're gearing up for further expansion," he noted.
With the business increase Kezhaya is adding five more lifts to take care of his increasing customer demands for quality car care. Also he said he will hire another 12 employees.
However, business increases have not made Kezhaya a workaholic. In fact, he has recently made a change in the shop's business hours. The shop will no longer be open on Saturdays.
"It's simple. I wanted to be with my children and family. I think family's very important. After all, we are a family business," he explained.
He made this change beginning July 1, announcing it to his customers with a message of regard for their understanding that it would be of benefit to all the families of The Auto Shop staff. The business hours are from 7:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Monday through Friday.
"If there's a question or a problem, one person is directly involved in every job in that area and will know the answer."
"For a parts question, instead of going to the general manager, he now goes directly to the parts manager. It's faster, it's more accurate."
"It's better customer service," Kezhaya said.
It's no surprise that The Auto Shop recently won a most prestigious honor, one in a long list of honors awarded to the shop over the last several years.
The Texas division of American Automobile Association (AAA) presented the automotive repair shop with a certificate of achievement for receiving a 100 percent satisfaction rating from all it's customers.
The certificate of achievement presented by AAA is part of a new service that identifies top-notch automotive repair shops. Called Approved Auto Repair, the program sets guidelines for members, including annual reviews of services and verification that all mechanics are certified by the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence.
"To achieve this level of service is very difficult," said Kim Cash of AAA. "So many people walk away from repair shops with a bad feeling, because they think they have overpaid or don't think the problem was even fixed."
But, according to customers, The Auto Shop has made a habit of providing competent reliable service. In addition to recognition by AAA, an annual survey of Plano business has named the repair shop the No. 1 car repair business the last four years.
"This (recognition by AAA) just means that we have to work harder," said Jerry Kezhaya.
"We have all the state-of-the-art computer and diagnostic equipment available," Kezhaya said. "We have to because cars are so complicated these days. If a car is loaded with computers, it's going to take that kind of equipment to fix the problem. We put all our profits back into the company."
One customer turned to The Auto Shop after the dealer sold her a Chevrolet Suburban could not find what was causing the engine to miss. The truck had been wrecked, all repairs had been made, and everything was back to new except the engine.
When she took the truck to Kezhaya's shop, technicians began hooking up computer trouble shooters and expensive equipment to the engine and quickly found the problem: a faulty distributor cap. It's an easy problem to identify and fix, Kezhaya said.
"High-tech equipment is essential to being in business today, but sometimes it just takes some common sense," he said. "You have to listen to the customer."
Customer satisfaction has always been a priority at The Auto Shop. That customers have been pleased is reflected in their written statements. Kezhaya is proud of these returned evaluations.
Examples of some of the responses received from customers are:
"Very pleased with the facility, the people and the service."
"I began using this facility a year ago. I am most impressed with the knowledge and courteousness of everyone."
"This is the best auto repair facility we have ever used."
"This is the only place I can trust."
"Knowledgeable staff. They went out of their way to assist me with my schedule."
"They always fix it right the first time."
Excellent service. Eric took the time to check whether my car was under warranty for this repair, which it was, and he referred me to a dealership."
Those having used The Auto Shop trust these friendly people to be fair and honest about what needs to be repaired.
Kezhaya and his staff have done everything to make the operation customer friendly, as well as efficient, accurate and credible. In addition, Kezhaya said he has not raised his shop hourly rate in three years.
He and his staff offer many extra services and amenities.
They have a courtesy shuttle service. They have a computerized record of each auto's mechanical history. Towing is available. Rental cars can be obtained. The shop has a safe children's play area, a kitchen, clean restrooms and a waiting room stocked with current magazines.