A Look Inside AutoZone's Culture
With an operation inspired by family values, AutoZone strives to be a company where its customers—people who take care of cars—come first and where exceptional performance is a daily goal. In order to further create successful opportunities for both its staff members and customers, AutoZone abides by a series of Values that, at the core, outline the Pledge that drives the entire company:
AutoZoners always put customers first!
We know our parts and products.
Our stores look great!
We’ve got the best merchandise at the right price.
“We pride ourselves on our organizational culture,” says Mitch Major, AutoZone’s Vice President, Commercial Support, Customer Satisfaction. “We share that Pledge at the beginning of our meetings as a way to continually remind ourselves that if we live up to that aspiration, we, as a team, will be successful.”
Those guiding principles ensure that the company’s commitment to excellent customer service, trustworthy advice and continuous improvement is a focus for every AutoZoner.
Among the Values that define what being an AutoZoner means are the following:
Put Customers First.
Exceeding customers’ expectations is the first Value for a reason—it drives all others. It’s the foundation of AutoZone’s approach as a company, one based on providing “WOW!” Customer Service and Going the Extra Mile. It’s about understanding your customers’ needs and working to create solutions to their problems.
“It starts with everyone’s title including ‘Customer Satisfaction,’” says Joe Sellers, Vice President, Commercial Sales, Customer Satisfaction. “On store visits and shop sales calls, we all lead by example by putting professionals first.”
A few examples of this are AutoZone’s on-demand delivery, where parts can be delivered to your door within minutes, and its Shop Referral Program, where AutoZone will refer consumers to its commercial shops.
“Many of our retail customers turn to us to help them identify highly reputable shops to service their vehicles when they need assistance,” Bill Rhodes says. “As a result, we have the opportunity to be a source of referrals for our professional customers and the end consumer knows that they will receive great service from these technicians who will be using high-quality AutoZone parts.”
Care About People.
Creating a culture of caring naturally begins with treating people with dignity and respect. However, caring also comes down to demonstrating concern for others, your community and your customers—on a consistent basis. It’s not enough to exhibit care on occasion; for AutoZone, exhibiting care is a daily commitment that began with the founders.
AutoZone’s founder, J.R. “Pitt” Hyde III, started AutoZone with a commitment to philanthropy. Today, the AutoZone Charitable Program supports nonprofit organizations like the TechForce Foundation and the Automotive Aftermarket Charitable Foundation, as well as provides financial aid to a number of different programs. Its website even has a place to request charitable contributions.
Strive for Exceptional Performance.
Becoming the leading auto parts retailer for nearly 40 years didn’t happen on accident. That ascension occurred due to a focus on acting in a manner of the highest standards, using resources wisely and creating a culture where strong initiative, acting quickly and improving offerings is the foundation.
“We’ve done a lot of work over the last few years reinforcing in our organization what matters most to professionals,” Major says. “And, while it’s easy to see the market we serve as complicated, at the end of the day, what we do comes down to a few key deliverables: having the parts our customers need close to their shops so we can deliver them quickly and provide a customer experience that is as smooth as possible. We are working hard to improve all of those aspects of our business and continue to invest in that direction.”
AutoZone recognizes its AutoZoners that go above and beyond for its customers through its Extra Miler recognition program. One of the Extra Milers is Jacob Jaramillo, CSM at AutoZone. By highlighting the benefits of AutoZone’s 100 percent labor warranty and availability of products, he was recognized for being able to get a shop better service than it had with another national chain.
Help Teams Succeed.
Within the company itself, helping teams succeed is based on actively contributing to team goals, being a supportive team member and seeking opportunities to lead.
“We measure our success based on feedback from shops, as well as our ability to earn trusted partner status with customers,” Sellers says. “We work closely with our customers to help them better serve their customers and, in turn, AutoZone benefits from the partnership.”
Within your shop, putting customers first is a top priority. Because of that, it makes sense to partner with a supplier that has stayed true to this same value, despite massive growth. AutoZone will make your shop’s needs a top priority and allow you to best service your own customers.
- Heritage Timeline
- Dedication to Professionals
- Creating a Better Customer Experience
- Inside AutoZone's Culture