Revolutionizing the Customer Experience

June 15, 2023
Shopgenie co-founder Kieran O'Brien believes his new CRM can drive more revenue by making it easier for online customers to choose your shop.

Twenty-three-year-old Kieran O’Brien spent most of his life in and around auto repair shops. Embracing entrepreneurship early on, he sold his first tech company last year and began searching for what was next. Deciding to lean into the career capital he built in automotive, he started another tech company, this time to help auto repair shops solve a current problem they’re facing with today’s digital natives—frictionless online service.  

O’Brien’s startup, Shopgenie, co-founded with partner Cayden Phipps, aims to better help independent auto repair shops with automated service reminders, texting, email marketing and online scheduling capabilities within one platform that integrates many popular shop-based CRMs. 

“We do all of the things that get new customers to come into the shop … and then the most important thing, getting them to come back and become loyal customers,” O’Brien says. 

Given that customer loyalty is the driving factor of a successful auto repair shop, O’Brien polled 500 shops in the United States and Canada to find out how they were doing with prospective customer follow-up. The result became the proof of concept as fewer than 25% of auto repair shops reported responding to their online leads, and of those shops that did respond, the average customer wait time was five business days.  

 “That's when we realized, ‘Oh, man, there's a big problem here. And so if we think about what's happening with this generational shift … you go to the dentist or any other type of small business (they) take appointments online. It's this a very modern, forward-thinking customer experience. Unfortunately, the auto repair industry has lagged behind.”  

The data from his findings led O’Brien to develop the industry’s first real-time online scheduling tool that’s robust, customizable and doesn’t leave online leads waiting in a catch-all inbox. Shop owners have full control over Shopgenie’s customization tools to create automations that qualify their ideal customer in order to save their service advisors time.  

“You can customize your availability—cross-checking it with your management system—but we have everything down. Waiter and drop-off rules (for) setting the amount of waiters that you can take per day; limiting certain makes and models; limiting certain years, a lot of our shops only work on OBD-II cars, for example, so you can limit that,” O’Brien says. 

Since the software integrates seamlessly into shop CRMs, there’s virtually no learning curve. O’Brien hopes auto repair shops will take advantage of Shopgenie to turn more leads into customers quicker, disqualify leads that don’t fit the shop, get customers scheduled for service online—that tool is free—and assist shops with automated service reminders to these same customers. O’Brien says it’s vital for shop owners to provide these frictionless digital interactions as more younger customers expect them and make purchasing decisions based on ease of interaction. 

“Ultimately, if a Gen Z customer is deciding between Repair Shop A and Repair Shop B, and one of them has all of these things, and one of them doesn't, it's a pretty clear choice which shop that customer is going to pick,” O’Brien says. “And so we're providing all of the tools that shop owners need to give those customer experiences to these younger customers, to essentially basically bring shop owners into the 21st century.” 

Sponsored Recommendations

Free Resources for Shops Like Yours

View insights, research and solutions curated specifically for shops like yours.

Restore & Protect: The Powerful Revenue and Profit Accelerator for Your Business

Restore & Protect is a major business opportunity for Valvoline installers with positive impact on profit growth as well as customer satisfaction and loyalty.

Deliver a First-Class Guest Experience

Our dedicated Valvoline Trusted Advisor Sales and Support Team provides hands-on classroom and targeted in-store coaching to help your employees become more skilled at selling...

Promote Growth on Two Fronts: Existing and New Customers

Increase Sales and Customer Traffic To Your Store(s).