Reporter's Blog

The Welcome Wagon

Create an inviting atmosphere

Order Reprints

June 20, 2019—Times change. And by that, Steve Isom means the hours of operation.

Ultimate convenience for customers means being open later, and that's often after dark during the winter months. Isom says that it wasn't always like that, and the shops that haven't been updated show it.

“The new ones really stand out being nice, bright and much more inviting," says Isom, EVP of operations for Stonebriar Auto Services in Frisco, Texas. "You look at old quick lubes. When the industry started in the 70s and 80s, the hours weren’t very extended.”

Maybe it wasn't the buildings. Isom says that parking lot lighting is important, too, because people will feel more comfortable in a lit space while they're waiting for an open bay.

“You want to be inviting, whether its daytime or nighttime," Isom says. "So newer stores typically have brighter, well-lit parking lots."

This was one thing Isom and his partners considered as they made plans for some 150 quick lube and auto service shops across the country. They will open over the next several years.

More business, less energy

An upgrade to just a shop's lighting and signage can be a sharp update, and it could lower operational costs.

“Innovations in lighting and signage like LED lighting where stores are brighter inside and out," Isom says. "You're saving money. Those are nice improvements.”

As Isom says, that's true for waiting rooms, too. Take care of that blinking halogen light and your customers will thank you. In general, the industry is moving to place a lot more attention on the quality of waiting rooms and lots as a part of customer service.

“You want to be inviting, whether its daytime or nighttime," Isom says. "So newer stores typically have brighter, well-lit parking lots."

Related Articles

The Key to Additives Retail? Just Ask Customers

AOCA: OEM Maintenance Language Violates Warranty Act

Implementing Better Two-Way Texting With Customers

You must login or register in order to post a comment.