You Get What You Give
Keller Bros. is a force to be reckoned with. The Littleton, Colo., shop does $3 million per year with 3.5 technicians and, during this pandemic, has been able to actually increase employee’s pay. Not only that, but, for the fifth year in a row, Keller Bros. in Littleton, Colo., has been named the Best Auto Repair Shop in Colorado by ColoradoBiz. And it does all of this with very little street visibility.
How is a shop able to produce such impressive stats, especially during a pandemic? A huge reason is the emphasis that the company has always placed on community giving, explains David Rogers, COO of Keller Bros.
“Keller Bros has been through eight recessions,” Rogers says. “We’ve seen car count dip before. It’s not about what happened but how you confront the issue and how you make a plan and lead your team. In the early days, we knew our role in the crisis had to include taking care of the community.”
A Solid Foundation
When the coronavirus hit, many shops were in panic mode. Not Keller Bros. As mentioned, the shop has been through rough times before, and because of that, has put a plan in place and knows what it needs to do to come out the other side. By developing a truly loyal customer base beforehand, the shop doesn’t have to worry about its customers going elsewhere.
Rogers says the shop has a list of at-risk and elderly customers that it has always made a priority. In the winter, for example, it will shovel their driveways, no questions asked or need for anything in return. Because of small gestures like this, Rogers says they are always bringing their friends and family into the shop. When the pandemic hit, he and his team made sure to reach out to these customers and make sure they were doing alright.
As soon as it became clear to Rogers that this could turn into a pandemic, he and his team were on the phone with front line responders—and not just medical workers. The Keller Bros team thought about everyone that had to keep working, including electricians and plumbers. Rogers said that they offered these people discounts on services, like disinfecting vehicles, and were offered vehicle drop off and pick-up to reduce risk.
This isn’t all about bringing business in, the team also volunteers together, which helps create a “culture of service and compassion,” Rogers says.
“Because we’ve increased our giving, we know that we’ve grown our relationships and increased accountability during the darkest time,” Rogers says.
A Positive Outlook
Although many may not share his outlook, Rogers says that his team has had a “wonderful experience” as a result of the pandemic. Of course, it’s not what anyone would want, but the way he’s seen his team and community come together has been rewarding, he explains.
“Business is growing, people are glued together and committed to each other,” Rogers says. “We’ve seen so much good out of people’s hearts and their willingness to take risks and do what’s necessary. If that doesn’t make you hopeful, I don’t know what would.”