Jiffy Lube's President Looks to Push the Industry Forward
Edward Hymes took over as Jiffy Lube's president in March of 2020, shortly after a successful Jiffy Lube Conference and Trade Show. It wasn't fully clear at the time how drastically COVID-19 would change things.
In an interview with NOLN, Hymes says that the pandemic meant that his top priority was to support franchisees so they could continue business in a way that's as safe as possible.
“I’m really proud of the fact actually that 97 percent of our Jiffy Lube locations remained open throughout the height of the pandemic because of that support and us working closely together," he says.
Hymes was also able to redouble his focus on the first of his initiatives at the head of the country's largest quick lube network. That is the customer experience, and while that would have been the same without a pandemic, COVID-19 did require more attention on how customer attitudes might be different moving forward. Hymes says that he saw customer behaviors change a bit through 18 months of pandemic life, which requires service businesses to adapt to meet those preferences.
“Not only to address the consumers’ behaviors during COVID-19, but also we prepare to go forward and emerge with the new normal, I guess as they call it, from the pandemic," he says.
One way that Jiffy Lube looking to push customer experience forward is through its mobile app, called MyJiffyLube. It's one way that the company is looking to extend the customer experience beyond the bay doors and into the digital space.
While lots of quick lubes are dabbling in the digital space—whether it's social media, apps, digital coupons, or newsletters—it's still an emerging area for customer acquisition and retention. There's a lot of interest in the use of telematics information, customizable service reminders, and service histories that could really boost retention.
According to Hymes, Jiffy Lube sees its app development as a promising start that will adapt and evolve as needed.
“To be successful, we’re going to have to enable that virtual experience for our customer, providing what they want, when they want it and how they want it,” he says.
The rollout of Multicare has touched Jiffy Lube's entire network, Hymes says. It represents the second of Hymes' big initiatives, and that's to optimize the company's business model. The growth of Multicare plays into Hymes' third big initiative, and that's to grow the network. In the first quarter of 2021, Jiffy Lube added 19 service centers.
“The majority of our Jiffy Lube service centers have transitioned to the Jiffy Lube Multicare model, and all new stores that we are putting in place offer those expanded services,” he says.
The Multicare approach of adding brake, tire, spark plug, and other services to the menu reflects company research that shows customer preferences toward a true one-stop-shop, Hymes says. It has also been a good move for nationwide fleet service, which is a big part of Jiffy Lube's business. The company can leverage its geographic reach and standardized Multicare service so national fleets know what to expect at any location.
“It basically enables the fleet customers to get in and out quickly so they can get back on the road for their business,” Hymes says.
The Long View
Hymes offered a few reasons why he's confident in Jiffy Lube's model amid lots of news on the electrification of vehicles.
“There has been a shift in the way that OEMs are communicating their future production," he says. "So we do plan to be prepared for that future, but I don’t think it’s just EVs as well.”
He points out that the market share for electric vehicles remains quite small, and quick maintenance shops are still well-positioned to serve hybrid vehicles and, of course, all of the internal combustion models still dominating the roads today. There's potential in brakes, tires, and other parts for electric vehicles that shops have already seen.
Hymes says that Jiffy Lube will pay attention to those trends, adapt as needed, and make use of its market power.
“We’re confident that the Jiffy Lube model is going to continue to evolve and innovate really to service the vehicle of the future, whatever that vehicle is,” he says.