Owning a business can be like riding a roller coaster.
With high climbs and steep falls, sharp turns, and sometimes even a flip upside down.
This roller coaster ride is no stranger to Bryan Kelley, owner of Valley Automotive Repair & Electric, in Covington, Wash. Since buying his shop and having an incredible first year in 2004, to opening his registers in 2006 and finding they were $125,000 overdrawn. To then making an unbelievable turnaround in 10 months, only to be met with the recession soon after.
During the fall of the recession, an even larger challenge faced Kelley as his shop was thrown into a legal dispute with his county. Despite the lawsuit (which he ended up winning), Kelley decided to move shop. 2016 brought a new building, new surroundings and a new online presence—all leading to the upward climb Valley Automotive Repair & Electric has been on ever since.
The shop’s new online presence was key to this transition, he says. After building a relationship with Kukui staff at ASA retreats, Kelley put his trust in the company to help him build his new website.
Now, Kelley relies on Kukui to keep his website fresh and professional, as well as his dashboard to keep him up-to-date on every set of analytics needed to run his business.
To say there was a lot going on in the world of Valley Automotive Repair & Electric during 2016 would be an understatement. Kelley and his team were navigating a complicated move and juggling the overlap of the old and new locations during the same time that they were making the transition to Kukui.
“I always compare a website to a Yellow Pages ad, we wanted ours to be front and center,” he explains. “We wanted the good rankings; and we wanted it to be easy to find and clean to look at. At the end of the day, we wanted it to be appealing and that was the big push [to switch to Kukui].”
Even during the craziness of the move, Kelley was driven to make the updates to his shop’s online presence. But with everything else going on with Kelley and his business, he was not able to be involved in the entire process of the switch.
“There is a really finite process of switching over to Kukui, there’s no doubt about it,” he says. “Even without me being able to give my attention to it, things went on very effortlessly.”
Since then, the strong customer service and care has continued through Kelley’s relationship with Kukui. And help is always a click away in the dashboard’s support window, he says.
A Branded Voice
Before making the switch to Kukui, Valley Automotive Repair & Electric still had a good looking website, says Kelley—it just wasn’t up-to-date with the changing technology and industry.
“It just wasn't performing in the way that I wanted it to—there were certain features missing,” he says.
The shop’s website is now clean, interactive and mobile-friendly—all features Kelley was looking for in his new site. Each dropdown menu is carefully organized and an embedded video welcomes each guest to valleyautoelectric.com.
Kelley has also taken advantage of a unique service Kukui offers: a custom writer.
Carefully worded copy is scattered throughout the shop’s website, adding a branded and professional voice to each page.
“They get your information and make sure it’s you, not just cut and paste,” he says.
Since switching to Kukui, Kelley’s shop has seen an increase in sales of over 45 percent. This, of course, is in part due to the business’s move to a larger facility. But Kelley says Kukui also played a large role in that growth.
“We’re in a high tech area; and when you think of a high tech area, where’s the first place people go to look for you?” Kelley explains. “They look for you on Google and they check out your website to see if it’s what they are looking for. And I think Kukui has done a great job capturing that.”
Access to Analytics
Kelley is a numbers guy. So having access to the many analytics available on the Kukui dashboard helps him assess his shop’s performance.
“When you get into Kukui, it pulls right from your POS system, which is nice,” he says. “But the metrics they use are different than the ones that I look at with my POS.”
These different metrics help Kelley to dig deeper into how customers are interacting with the shop’s marketing and the shop itself.
“You’ll see things [on your Kukui dashboard] that your system doesn’t track, such as phone calls and how many of your leads actually convert to new customers,” he says.
Kelley also uses the dashboard to assess how his shop is performing in relation to the rest of the industry.
“You can look at the trends and see where you sit industry-wide,” he explains.
Kelley says he finds himself checking his analytics through Kukui about three times a week. That way, he is able to stay on top of any changing metrics.
All of the dashboard tools are extremely helpful, he says, and help him to navigate through the twists and turns of running his business.