Shop Life Inside the Consumer's Mind Columnists

Introducing: Inside the Consumer's Mind

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As you’re all very aware, I’m not a shop owner; I’ve never worked in a shop, and trust me, you don’t want me turning a wrench. I’m a journalist, and an interesting and fairly unique aspect to my role at Ratchet+Wrench is, well, my actual role—and position—within the automotive industry.  

Having been part of R+W for all of its nearly 10 years in existence, I’ve had a front-row seat to the growth and evolution of the industry and the incredible strides you’ve all made in your businesses. I get a regular, behind-the-scenes look at the highest-performing and most progressive operations in the country. At the same time, I’m a consumer; I’m your customer—or at least, I fit a clear demographic that you likely serve.  

This dual perspective has led to a whole lot of interesting conversations over the years with many of you. And similarly to how the team and I have leaned heavily on getting your insights and strategies to share with readers, we’ve heard a similar question over and over from a lot of you: “As a customer, what do you think about [insert idea or topic here]?”

It’s that whole line of questioning that led to the content you see in and associated with our July issue, headlined by a project we named “Inside the Consumer’s Mind.” Here’s the overall concept: What do consumers truly feel about your shop? As R+W, we report plenty about the processes, strategies, services, offerings, etc. that you’ve implemented to enhance the customer experience and grow your businesses. So, does it work? Do customers truly notice and care? Does this influence their buying decisions?

Through consumer-based surveys, on-the-ground reporting, and the simple sharing of personal experiences, we’ve created a content package that we hope answers these questions for all of you. It starts with the feature story Associate Editor Megan Gosch wrote, and continues on ratchetandwrench.com/whatcustomerswant with videos, podcasts, blogs and additional content that will be released throughout July. You’ll hear from Megan, as well as our editorial director, Anna Zeck. Like it or not, you’ll hear more from me, too. And we’ll share the insights we’ve aggregated from the aforementioned surveys, as well as perspectives from our peers at 10 Missions Media and in our own personal networks. 

It’s a different approach—actually, it’s pretty much the reverse of how we typically do things here. We’re excited about it, though, and hope it helps. Read Megan's full feature story, and check out the content online. And if you have additional questions, please reach out. That’s why we’re here.

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