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A Legacy of Commitment

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The owners of American Import Auto have one mission, and it’s one of the first things you see on their website: “To foster relationships with generations of drivers who value the familiarity of hometown auto service.”

For Jeff and Donna Hazeltine, generations of drivers isn’t an exaggeration. Jeff’s great grandfather was chief of police and that legacy of service lives on at AIAfrom fire ambulances to luxury cars, garbage trucks and even the generators that the city owns, AIA has had an exclusive contract with the city of Venice for almost 30 years. That (and a lot more) is what makes the shop stand out among its peers.

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Maybe it’s the four ASE master technicians AIA employs. Maybe it’s the NAPA Gold shop certification. Maybe it’s the wailing adult contemporary saxophone while on hold. 

Or maybe it’s the fact that the Hazeltines strive to provide what can only be described as premium, unadulterated service from intake to sendoff. 

“We’ve taken on the culture of a 5-star hotel,” Donna says.

“Clients don’t make their own coffee; we make it for them. We open the doors for them and everyone gets a gift when they leave. Their windshields are spotless when they pick up their cars, and that’s the kind of culture we cultivate. That’s our expectation when the customer walks in. That’s how we treat them and how we want to be treated. That’s our greatest asset.”

And KUKUI helps AIA reach those customers (at least when they’re not strolling through the door for fresh coffee). As proactive, conference- and expo-going owners, the Hazeltines report seeing KUKUI “everywhere;” from friendly competitors and colleagues to reps to ads, they heard enough feedback and had reached a point with their old SMS to make a change.

“We leaned into KUKUI and have never looked back,” Donna says.

They report how easy the KUKUI Dashboard makes assessing their shop’s data each and every day. Laid out well and easy to read, Jeff notes the value to an owner of up-to-date data that can be scaled up or down and customized for whatever they need to look into; “there’s no guessing,” in other words, “and you can see exactly how many customers you’ve had, the hours per ticket, weekly or monthly AROs—however you want to filter it, it’s there.” 

KUKUI also helped build AIA’s website and helped train their in-shop marketing rep so she could update it easily without needing to call the vendor. 

“We’ve had two different representatives from KUKUI help us learn the software and they’ve both been incredible,” Donna says.

“I can’t say enough about KUKUI right now.”

Garnering positive reviews and fostering relationships with customers does more than make the Hazeltines and staff of AIA feel good; it helps empower their people to constantly train and exist on the cutting edge of the aftermarket. 

“We like to keep our staff fully trained and encourage them to stay long-term,” Jeff says. 

“Our original crew is all retired and some even died. I was twenty-five when I started and the youngest guy I hired was probably thirty. Later, I realized I’d have to start a brand new group because we’re not done,” he says, smiling, “and we need a staff of motivated individuals who can help the people of this community.”

Woven throughout that staff is the data and communication abilities to reach far beyond the shop. As an all-encompassing SMS system and data solution, KUKUI has quite literally helped transform American Import Auto into a two-shop business with almost $3 million average revenue and dreams of opening a third shop to further help maintain and repair the service vehicles of the city as well as their robust public clientele all around the seaside district of Venice, Florida. 

“I thoroughly enjoy what I do and have no desire to shut down,” Jeff says as Donna nods beside him.  

And with partners like these, they never will. 

To learn more how the KUKUI Dashboard (and other tools) can help your business, please click here. 

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