Home » Shop View: Interstate Auto Care Shop Life Shop Views Shop View: Interstate Auto Care September 19, 2019 Nora Johnson No Comments Order Reprints KEYWORDS ASA Bill Nalu cool shop Interstate Auto Care shop shop tour Shop view Waiting room Purposeful Remodel Bill Nalu opened Interstate Auto Care in 2000; the building was an old Bell Tire and was just recently renovated last year. The renovation process included entirely gutting almost everything out, and starting from scratch, Nalu says. The goal of the remodel was to lay out the shop in a way that promoted strong visibility and transparency, where everyone can see everyone else. The 2,000-square-foot waiting room, in particular, has been such an impactful change that the Automotive Service Association (ASA) named Interstate Auto Care as an honorable mention in its nationwide “Best Waiting Area” contest. Out in the Open Nalu wanted to ensure clients’ comfort by not including any one-way glass in the waiting room, or any area where a service advisor or owner could hide from customers. “Transparency is such an important part of the business and it speaks to so many things,” Nalu says. “This [waiting room] is a subconscious attempt; when someone is walking through the door, they don’t have to wonder why someone is hiding behind glass or behind a closed door.” The transparency of the physical waiting room translates to how Nalu does business with his customers, especially when it comes to talking price. A Living Room Feel “This is our home that we have invited them (customers) to, and it’s a sacred place,” Nalu says. That feeling of “home” is translated all throughout Nalu’s waiting room, including an aspect that many shop owners may not consider—the programming on the TV. You won’t find Jerry Springer or any news channels on Interstate Auto Care’s TV. Instead, what can be found are TED Talks, and a video of Mike Rowe speaking on the importance of skill trades. The Mike Rowe video even got Nalu a new hire—a high school student’s parent was in the Interstate Auto Care waiting room when they saw the video. The content sparked such an interest with the parent that they asked if Nalu would be willing to train their son. Complimentary Comforts Nalu truly does view the customers that come into his shop as guests, and provides them with unexpected complimentary comforts during their stay. Interstate Auto Care offers flavored teas, hot chocolate and pop, going above the expected, as well as a free arcade game to entertain the kids. Nalu recalls a time when a customer offered to pay for the pop she was drinking and the game her child was playing. Nalu refused and asked her if she would charge him for a drink if he came over to her house. She said no, she would never ask that of a guest, which Nalu said is exactly how he views his customers. The customer had such a pleasurable first visit, that the oil change she originally came in for turned into a $1,400 repair. SHOP: Interstate Auto Care LOCATION: Madison Heights, Mich. OWNER: Bill Nalu STAFF SIZE: 7 AVERAGE MONTHLY CAR COUNT: 175 ANNUAL REVENUE: $1.25 million Nora Johnson is the associate editor of Ratchet+Wrench, where she produces content and oversees production of the publication. Recent Articles by Nora Johnson Stepping Into a New Role Why and How to Invest in the Latest Technology Culture Components Related Articles Shop View: inMOTION Auto Care Shop View: Signal Garage Auto Care You must login or register in order to post a comment. Report Abusive Comment Thank you for helping us to improve our forums. Is this comment offensive? Please tell us why.