Katee Moore found American Pride Automotive at just the right time. As a young, single mother in 2009, she was just beginning to drive, and was able to participate in Family Service Day at the Williamsburg, Va.–based shop, leaving with an oil change and tire rotation at no charge.
Moore stayed in contact with the owner, Charlie Marcotte, and after four years of working as a lifeguard and retail lead at the local Great Wolf Lodge, she eventually joined the team in 2013 to assist in basic recordkeeping and accounting. Since then, Moore has excelled in her duties and taken on additional roles when necessary, inspiring Marcotte to promote her to the service advisor role in 2017.
She has taken over organization of Family Service Day at American Pride Automotive, becoming a Family Service Day coach and assisting shops nationwide to host Family Service Days of their own to help single parents or military families. She also took accounting classes at a local community college in 2015, graduating in 2017 with honors.
Marcotte says that, since taking over as service advisor of American Pride’s Williamsburg location, the company’s CSI score has gone up dramatically. The shop’s Google reviews, which comprise the bulk of American Pride’s CSI score, have steadily improved from a 4.3 rating with 44 reviews to a 4.5 with over 130 reviews.
“Katee has compassion, empathy, calmness and a sense of humor, and those are character traits that cannot be taught,” Marcotte said in his nomination of Moore.
Here are the biggest lessons she's learned to create a strong customer service atmosphere.
Be positive and have a calm demeanor.
Moore says that the main key to her success as a service advisor is having a bubbly personality, and constantly being positive. Whenever she answers the phone, Moore gives the same spiel: “It’s a beautiful day at American Pride, this is Katee. How may I help you?”
When it comes to angry or difficult customers, Moore says she’s learned from her service manager, Greg Wilson, and Marcotte about how to be calm and deal with them effectively.
“With most arguments, we won’t win them. If they see or hear that my voice has changed, then it’s just a downhill battle,” Moore says. “We truly believe that if the customer is right, or if we can make it right, we’ll try to do that.”
Make everyone feel comfortable.
Whenever customers walk in, Moore makes sure they are offered a bottle of water or a coffee. She makes sure that every customer has a seat available, so that nobody has to stand.
“From there, we just make sure that while waiting for repairs to be done we get to know them, and get to know where they come from,” Moore says.
For kids that come into the shop, Moore makes sure to have crayons and paper ready, along with small toy cars to take home. After customers leave the shop, Moore sends them a thank-you card, inviting them to come back anytime.
Work as a team.
While working as an administrative assistant, Moore became very familiar with the shop’s point-of-sale system, which eased her transition into the service advisor role. As she was learning the ropes of becoming a service advisor, Moore reached out to the rest of the team to figure out the digital inspection process, and clarified certain terms or phrases from her technicians to clearly explain each repair to the customer.
“If I don’t know what the technician is saying, we always come together to figure it out,” Moore says.
The shop itself is a family-owned business, and Moore is married to one of the shop’s top technicians, Tyler, which makes communicating about repairs a lot easier. Moore says that many customers are impressed and happy to learn that a husband-and-wife team are handling their repairs.