Shop Views

Momentum Motorworks

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Photo by Appear Photography

SHOP: Momentum Motorworks  LOCATION: Birmingham, Ala.  OWNER: Rory Chrane
SIZE: 10,000 square feet  STAFF: 14  MONTHLY CAR COUNT: 300  ANNUAL REVENUE:  $2.2 million

1) When Rory Chrane moved into his shop’s new building seven years ago, he put his background in architecture to good use by designing an open and spacious reception area that felt like an extension of a customer’s home. Since his shop works on Porsche, BMW, Audi and Mercedes, “I tried to make it like the places those upscale German car owners inhabit,” he says. “I didn’t want this to be the only crummy place they come to.” The room features leather La-Z-Boy couches, a Persian rug, free Wi-Fi, computer and printer access, a Keurig coffee machine and bright, warm lighting. 

2) Chrane worked with a decorator to select warm colors for the space, choosing mocha colored paint for the walls and a darker brown stained concrete flooring. To add color, he hung an orange and blue painting done by his wife above the reception desk.

Chrane’s wife is now in the process of creating four large paintings of the makes the shop works on to hang in the waiting area. The paintings are a way to subtly remind customers of the shop’s certifications without seeming too promotional. “People do like to identify with the cars they own,” Chrane says.

3) Upon walking into the shop, the customer is greeted by a receptionist’s desk, who Chrane says acts like a nurse in a doctor’s office. She takes the customer’s name, address information and reason for visiting before checking if the service advisor is ready for the appointment and presenting him with the customer information. “We don’t just immediately send the customer in there because they might not feel welcome,” Chrane says.

4)  From the reception desk, large windows look into the two service advisor’s offices and through to the shop floor, parts room and brake room. “The customer feels like we’re not hiding anything because you can see everything that goes on,” he says. “We’re focused on how the customer perceives our business.”

Besides the customer’s comfort, the setup also allows the service advisor and receptionist to maintain communication. Since the service advisor spends a significant amount of time on the phone, the window is an easy way for the receptionist to know when the customer can be brought back for their appointment. From the service advisor’s desk, he has a direct view of the front doors and reception desk, so he is able to keep an eye on customer arrivals.

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