Reach the Customers Who Need You the Most
Byron Kruse is one of the owners of Import Specialty Service LLC (Nashville, TN). His father learned auto repair from his father before him, and Byron joined the shop in 1999 and ran the business by 2002. Though the shop began as a Volvo-only business, Kruse has now expanded it to Euros and Asian vehicles, drawing the line at the super exotics.
“Porsche is as expensive as we get,” Kruse says. “We’re so busy and we don’t have room to keep exotics.”
With limited space and slim margins, Kruse uses every tool imaginable to keep his customers happy, healthy and safe (and his shop in the black).
“We’ve established a good business in town about how we treat customers and how we like to be treated as customers,” he says. And because most customers—most people, really—rely on their mobile phones for swift communication, Kruse has embraced the technology in order to keep appointments snappy and AROs high.
To help do that, he relies upon KUKUI.
Find Your Customers
“We’re in a good niche,” Kruse says.
“We work on things that no one else likes to work on, knows how to work on, or can fix. We have a great track record of fixing tough repairs, even that dealers can’t fix.”
Kruse employs nine total people and nets about $2 million revenue every year. Despite the pandemic, March 2021 was his shop’s best month yet, breaking several sales records, promising a bright summer and the need to maximize his shop’s CRM capabilities.
Kruse did not have an ideal situation with his previous CRM software provider. “They cost me so much money,” he says, “that I finally pulled the plug and called KUKUI. I heard about them from several members of a 20 group I’m in, and the experience has been phenomenal.”
Kruse is astounded at the sheer volume of data KUKUI is able to pull out of his shop management system that the system itself can’t extract. He says reviewing the data and adjusting shop procedures accordingly has helped increase daily average RO, keep revenue up and—most importantly—help usher new customers through the doors of Import Specialty Service.
Galvanize Your Outreach and Exposure
“We’ve been working with KUKUI for almost two years now and they’ve really increased our exposure to new customers,” he says.
“Traditionally, my biggest problem has been finding reliable technicians; I was short in 2019 and 2020. Now, we’re mentoring apprentices from within and banging on all cylinders just to keep up with the volume of work.”
Kruse uses KUKUI’s reporting functions the most. He tracks new car count, what makes and models pepper the shop the most, and always the average order of the day. He also sees the percentage of new customers per month, and the ability to tweak the marketing on a moment’s notice has helped convert more leads and first-time customers into lifelong relationships.
“The whole team uses the software,” he says, “because it’s that easy. We conduct swift follow-ups and the service advisors are really good about tracking leads from our dashboard to a phone call and finally to entice them through the door.”
Looking ahead, Kruse hopes to expand. “I wish I could get bigger,” he says, “We’re an eight-bay shop. I wouldn’t mind adding another technician or two and a service advisor after that.”
For Kruse, success begets success and it starts with sound customer service, plain talk and fair treatment. Underneath it all is KUKUI, providing data and services Kruse couldn’t anticipate when he first took over the shop almost twenty years ago.
“KUKUI has made it easier for us to achieve success,” he says. It can for you too.