Kukui Discusses its new 'Certified Coaches Program'

April 24, 2018
Kukui Certified is designed to single out organizations best suited to help independent repair shop owners to achieve maximum success and return on investment from their vendors.
Back in March, Kukui Corporation launched a new recognition program for the independent automotive industry. Through Kukui Certified, coaching and training organizations, software providers and repair shops that meet the company’s set of standards and best practices are analyzed, and narrowed down to “top-tier” members.

Some of the partners already reviewed are ATI, The ACT Group, IFORABLE and ESI, which all passed based on Kukui’s metrics. Later this year, other partners and software providers will be reviewed and will start to be awarded as Kukui Certified.

Toward the end of the year, Kukui will launch the Kukui Certified Shop program as a way for shops to be recognized as being focused on customers and the community.

Todd Westerlund, CEO of Kukui says that while the program is designed to help members of Kukui, they’re designing it to help the automotive repair industry as a whole. Westerlund says the goal of the program, especially on the training organization side, is to single out organizations best suited for independent repair shop owners to achieve maximum success and return on investment from their vendors.

Westerlund gives details on the start of the program, what it entails, and how it will roll out going forward.

How did you come up with this program?

About five years ago we actually created a coaching dashboard. That coaching portal gave the coach the ability to see what’s going on in the shop, listen to phone calls, see how they’re collecting emails, what their conversion rate is, and shops have to opt in to their coaching dashboard and give permission for the coach to use that info.

With that, I could topically see the impact these businesses were having on our clients. I didn’t really line them up next to each other, but we could see which particular businesses were having huge impacts. This year we wanted to launch the program, with the whole unit together. Not just the coaching wing of it, it’s also the shops. We thought if there was a formula to get them into great shape, it could really help Kukui shops.  

What goes into the data here?

A lot of shop owners and people who worked with us wanted us to publish the data. But that can’t happen. With great power comes great responsibility… Few people in the company, myself, another developer work with it, but nobody’s really seen all of it all at one time.

It shows what coaching companies do differently. The mission is not to highlight who’s not doing a great job. Mission is to simply highlight and certify those who make a great impact.  

First and foremost I’m asking for 10 clients from each coaching company, asking their permission to take a look at their long-term data. I’m taking that data, putting it together ,and looking at it as an overall topical view of before and after with a particular coaching company. That way i can see, is there an increase in performance, or is there a decline? As time goes on, maybe we’ll be able to publish something on certain stats, but right now we can’t put a number to it.  

I can give one piece of the secret sauce though. If the company works with a charity, and they work hard, that actually gives them another check box on that pass fail too. If we want to talk in-depth with a company as an example, ATI has already passed. One of their groups sponsored charity duck race for kids with cancer.  Raised a huge amount of money with kids with cancer, leukemia, life threatening diseases.

They don’t have to do that. They can just have their event and do none of that. If you own a shop, it’s a pretty big moral thing to know, if I’m also with this company wrapped in there, they actually give back. It doesn’t weigh super heavy, but does weigh into our score.

What are you asking those 10 clients from each coaching company?

We’re asking each of those 10 shops two very important questions.

The first is, have they seen long term results? Shop should be able to say they have seen a long term benefit, and we can stretch that out over a couple of years to be flexible. Let’s say a shop is doing $1 million per year, but have toxic employees. Maybe they had to make some changes within the shop to reach $1.2 million, but it initially dipped their revenue. That’s why long term results are important.

The second question is, would they refer a shop? If we’ve talked to 10 shops, all of them are seeing results over long term, all shops would be able to refer to this particular business, that’s a really great sign. We’ve gone back over 24 months, even 8 years to take a look and see how much the increase of the shop is in. Then we can tell you without a doubt this company will increase your business, I can certify that.

What is the main goal with Kukui Certified?

Really just to help the industry. If somebody doesn’t utilize Kukui, that’s fine. Let’s say you own an independent shop, and you don’t use Kukui. If you know they’ve had an independent company take a look at their topical data and see there’s an increase, and know their clients have seen long term results and would refer a shop, they can then go in that direction.

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