Shop Look: American Lube Service Center of Falls Church, Virginia

June 3, 2024
Crafting a customer-centric auto service experience.

Shop name: American Lube Service Center 

Operator: David M. Hays 

Location: Falls Church, Virginia 

Staff size: 

Shop size: 2,500 square feet (four bays) 



Diversifying Services 

After decades in corporate marketing, David M. Hays opened American Lube Service Center to pursue his automotive and entrepreneurial passions. 

Hays opened the business in early 2016 and transformed a quick lube shop into one that served all different types of vehicles. 

“It's an express lube but it's also an advanced mechanical repair shop,” Hays says. “So, we can write $6,000 repair tickets while also doing $75 oil changes. People have difficulty in this business because diagnosing modern cars is challenging, but our mechanical team enjoys the technology. We also turn away very few cars. Food trucks to Ferraris, BMWs to buses, bring it in and we’ll service it.” 


Customer-Centric Amenities 

With four bays, American Lube is set up to service its broad range of customers quickly and efficiently. 

“We have two doors on each end of the building, so the four bays are end to end. The express lube service lane is on the right and can take two cars every 20 minutes or so,” Hays says. “The two bays on the left have lifts and are used for mechanical services.” 

To speed up service, one of the mechanical bays has a convertible floor. If the quick lube bays are too busy, the shop can open a mechanical bay up for quick lube services. 

The waiting area includes six comfortable black leather chairs, clean hardwood floors, plants, a coffee bar, and a clear view of the shop floor provided by a wall of glass windows. There is even a patio with tables out front. 


The Art of Hospitality 

Hays' investment in the physical luxuries of his waiting areas and the timeliness in his bays all come down to his placement of value on the customer experience. He understands that customers are what drive business, and to retain them, investing in their trust is what matters most. This is why Hays continues to build a culture at the shop that nurtures one another and the customer. 

“Customer experience is everything. Getting the technical services right and on time is par for the course. To wrap up a five-star experience, not only does the venue have to be welcoming but the staff as well, and that means friendly, knowledgeable, and even bilingual,” Hays says. “If you're going to get top dollar pricing and maximize repeat business, you must have all pieces of that puzzle. 

“I’ve got staff that have been here for 25 years and it’s fun to watch them interact with long-time customers," he says. 

Hays is serious about converting new customers into repeat customers.  

“I love meeting new customers, going that extra mile, and leaving them with that, ‘thank God I found you guys’ feeling,” he says. “Customers come because they're treated right. You’ve gotta invest in people who not only know their stuff, but they also need to be able to make customers feel like family.”