A Dash of Curry Blog

We've all got some A.D.D. in us. Discover how to celebrate it!


Do you really want to know how our meal was, or are you just asking?

One thing that drives me crazy is how service people follow a script that someone back at “corporate” developed to supposedly ensure customer satisfaction. Here’s an example. When you pass the maitre d’ or hostess stand on your way out of certain restaurants, they ask, “How was everything today?” You can tell when they really want to know, but you can also tell when they have been “directed” to do this as part of their “customer service” regimen–they seem to be following a script. If you’re like me, whenever the service or food was lacking, I’ll actually tell them about it. But too often they are asking me because they’re supposed to, not because they really want to know. So when I start giving them feedback, they really don’t know what to do, much less how to empathize or make it right. Try it next time you’re leaving a restaurant. When they ask, “How was everything?”, give them some constructive feedback and see if they get that “deer in the headlights” look or wheth ... read more

Car Maintenance….Women Call The Shots! A Guest Post by Jody DeVere, President of AskPatty.com

Car Maintenance….Women Call The Shots! A Guest Post by Jody DeVere, President of AskPatty.com

“A Dash of Curry” is pleased to feature this guest blog post by Jody DeVere, the CEO and President of AskPatty.com, Inc. AskPatty.com helps automotive retailers attract, sell, retain and increase loyalty with women customers, certified dealers are held to a high level of customer satisfaction. Curry’s Auto Service is a Certified, Female Friendly Auto Repair Shop. Car Maintenance….Women Call The Shots! Women represent between 60% – 70% of customers at automotive repair facilities. Women call the shots on the family car purchase and play an important role in the overall maintenance,so if you don’t know much about automotive maintenance, do yourself a favor and learn it. Here are a few tips: Begin shopping for a repair shop before you need one. By asking friends and associates for their recommendations. Look for a neat, well-organized facility with vehicles that are equal in value to your own on the parki ... read more

Going “out of process” for a friend came back to bite this Curry’s team member–it’ll happen every time.

At Curry’s we’ve worked very hard to develop standard processes for things like “customer intake,” meaning defining the exact steps we go through every time someone brings their car in. We interview the customer, visually inspect the car, review the vehicle’s service history, look for alerts, fill out all paperwork, etc. Check, check and check. Without processes we would never be able to grow. Processes are what help us standardize our customer experience no matter which employee is handling the intake or doing the work. Without processes, companies become a messy set of tasks that are done depending on how the employee prefers to do them. This is the opposite of building a consistent experience for all Curry’s customers at all of our stores. Having make the point about how important process is for us, I’m now going to tell you about one of our team members who went ahead and ignored our intake process. And, of course, it came back to bite us hard. This Curry’s employe ... read more

Curry’s Auto Service Community/Charitable Work Featured in Washington Business Journal

Check out the March 2, 2012 issue of the Washington Business Journal which covers the community and charitable work that Curry’s Auto Service has done. Curry’s Auto Service repairs go beyond cars (Or copy and paste this link into your browser: http://www.bizjournals.com/washington/print-edition/2012/03/02/currys-auto-service-repairs-go-beyond.html)

I pay my team to post bad things about competitors online. OK, I’m just making a point about the ‘Skins.

“It was a terrible mistake, and we knew it was wrong while we were doing it” Gregg Williams Former Defensive Coordinator Washington Redskins and New Orleans Saints This NFL bounty story is fascinating to me. As someone who played football, I think I speak for a lot of NFL fans when I say that targeting players is nothing new–it’s a brutally competitive sport. But doing it for cash? And having the cash come from basically the top of the leadership? That’s another story. Let me relate this to Curry’s Auto Service. Just like in the NFL, I want the team at Curry’s to be ultra-competitive, no question about it. Do we offer performance bonuses for certain achievements? Sure! But our employees know they can’t just do whatever they want to reach their g ... read more

The Daytona 500 Rainy Days and Mondays: Good or Bad for Fans?

The Daytona 500 Rainy Days and Mondays: Good or Bad for Fans?

(Rob Sweeten/Associated Press) - Emergency workers try to extinguish a fire on a jet dryer during the Daytona 500. This past Sunday evening I was all set to post my opinion about the rain delay of the 2012 Daytona 500. Here were my thoughts at the time: As I think of the tens of thousands of die-hard NASCAR fans trudging back to their RVs after spending their time and money to NOT see this year’s race, I’m really questioning why the powers that be had to postpone the 2012 Daytona 500 due to rain–the first time this has happened since 1964. As a racer myself, I certainly understand the safety issues. But since ’64 there have been amazing improvements in safety, including rain tires. So, why can’t they just run in the rain like F1, LeMans and Gran Turismo? I guess the bigger question from a customer service perspective is, how did they make their decision? Where on their list of conside ... read more

When things go wrong in business, it’s how you handle it that counts. Here’s Curry’s recipe.

“The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.” – Dr. Martin Luther King, 1963 This amazing quote from Dr. King applies to life in general, but I’ve certainly applied it hundreds of times as a CEO as well. Stuff happens in the auto repair business, just like in other businesses. Parts fail, processes break down, diagnoses are wrong. These things are guaranteed to happen some percentage of the time. They cannot be avoided or controlled. But what you can control are the frequency and severity of issues. It’s all in how you handle them. This is what defines you as a business and as a brand. People tend to spread the word about a bad service experience, more than a positive one. But if you handle a bad situation well, there’s a good chance customers will include that in their story…or even tell the story as an example of something posi ... read more

Customer Service at the GRAMMY’s

Customer Service at the GRAMMY’s

My wife and I had the once in a lifetime (or hopefully more than once) opportunity to attend the GRAMMY Awards, and it was as special as you’d imagine. While the people we dealt with for logistics were fantastic, I did want to share one “customer” experience that stood out: The awards people take a pretty tough approach to people bringing in electronic devices. (see picture at right) Now, I can understand that this is an organization that has to be the most intense advocate for artists rights and against piracy–no problem. But in this era of social media, mobile, etc., perhaps the GRAMMY’s should view these recording devices as a way for their “customers” to share the experience and spread the excitement. Rather than stand in the way of progress, use it to your advantage! The punchline is that after all the threats and worries about carr ... read more

The Redskins are experts in “hostage marketing.” And it’s killing their brand.

Well, it’s Super Bowl Sunday again, time for Redskins fans like me to wallow a bit more about our sad state of affairs. Lately I joined what seems to be a growing number (at least among my network of friends and associates) of disenchanted Redskins fans who have given up our financial, time and emotional investment in season tickets. The obvious issue is that the team hasn’t figured out how to win and advance to the playoffs; the larger issue is the apparent lack of a plan for rebuilding, although that may be changing under the Shanahan administration (even though they will not admit that they’re rebuilding); and the cherry on top is the constant drama regarding on- and off-field (mis)management decisions and behavior. But frustrating as those three factors are, they weren’t even the main challenges of being a Redskins season-ticket holder, in my view. The primary annoyance and the proverbial “straw that broke the camel’s back,” is the Redskins’ tendency towards “Hostage Market ... read more

“I don’t see why we have to meet for lunch.” A great post from cadre’s Derek Coburn on qualifying prospects

“I don’t see why we have to meet for lunch.” That headline of Derek Coburn’s post alone was intriguing to me. Derek, who co-founded “cadre,” the wildly successful un-networking group for DC area business leaders, goes on to question the traditional logic of how to have that first business connection/interaction by saying, “For a long time, if someone showed even the slightest interest in my wealth management practice, Washington Financial Group (or just seemed like a potential client), I would ask them if they wanted to grab lunch so we could learn more about each other. I always thought it made sense. There was no better way to spend my time than meeting face-to-face with a potential client or strategic partner, right?” I strongly encourage you to read the rest of the post (and other compelling ideas from Derek) by ... read more

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