A Dash of Curry Blog

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Monthly Archives: November 2015

Curry’s method of customer problem-solving: There are only 3 questions that matter.

“YOU ALL HAVE THE AUTHORITY to take care of our customers!!” That’s the message I reinforced with the Curry’s team recently during a dialogue about addressing customer issues–which are simply part of the auto service business. I went on to say… When faced with a problem, think like this: Is it good for the Customer? Will this solve the customers problem and make him/her feel good about the solution? Will it solve their problem? This demands you be a GREAT listener to REALLY understand their problem. Is it good for the Company? Does it benefit the company, both financially and by strengthening our reputation of HONESTY and INTEGRITY by standing behind our product and service? Is it good for me (the Curry’s team member) personally? Can I live with the decision? What do I believe? Stand in the customer’s shoes. How would you feel if this were YOU? Will you feel good that you contributed to the bottom lin ... read more

Groupon is like 5-Hour Energy for your business–a quick jolt and that’s about it.

I’ve been thinking a lot about Groupon and LivingSocial and what seem like a growing number of niche daily deal sites and was reminded to write this post after I saw this Wall Street Journal article: “Groupon Forced to Revise Results.” If you aren’t familiar with them, Groupon and the others have a business that is basically built on two gigantic databases: A list of email addresses of people who are interested in being notified about all sorts of deals–restaurants, golf courses, shoe stores, hotels and even auto repair shops. Merchants who are interested in promoting their business by offering a special discount/deal to the people on the email list. The short explanation of how Groupon gets revenue is that they match the merchants and deal-seekers and take a cut from the merchants’ revenue. Groupon’s incredible growth has ca ... read more

Interview in Network Solutions’ Small Biz Blog Features Curry’s Social Media Programs

I was very excited to be interviewed recently by Shashi Bellamkonda who is internationally known as a social media marketing expert–in fact his official job title at Network Solutions is “Social Media Swami”! The interview covered Curry’s Auto Services’ efforts to communicate with our customers via a number of social media channels (kudos to Judy Curry and John Phillips of the Curry’s Auto marketing team) as well as the reasons behind starting my blog, “A Dash of Curry.” You can read excerpts from my interview with Shashi on the Network Solutions’ Small Business Blog by clicking here: http:http://ow.ly/9XnCc Cheers

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

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