Pick up the phone and call Brad Wohlgemuth’s shop, and you’ll know right away that this Stettler car mechanic treats customers differently.
Sure, the first thing you hear is AutoTrust’s automated message, but it’s Brad’s friendly voice, not a robot. There are options to talk to service or accounting, and then a bit of levity.
“If you’re just plain frustrated, press zero now!” the message says.
Wohlgemuth has owned AutoTrust since 2008, and he’s worked hard on building trust with customers and improving communication.
“One of the big problems I see in the industry is a failure to communicate,” Brad says. Customers have an expectation, but if there’s a communication failure between the shop owner and the customer, they’re often disappointed with the experience.
Personal development, professional growth
Where did Brad’s passion for communication come from?
“I took a personal development course a number of years ago, and I learned what it was like to really listen to someone’s concern so they could be understood. I discovered that I hadn’t been listening — really listening — my entire life.”
Wohlgemuth internalized those lessons, and brought them to AutoTrust.
“I’ve been on a mission to develop the shop’s systems so we can understand our customers’ underlying concerns. Our systems weren’t working for customers. We weren’t listening properly.”
Brad recognizes that there’s a lot of stress and fear in car maintenance, and his service advisors and mechanics have adapted to make AutoTrust a more welcoming space. And it’s not just in conversation. AutoTrust was the first shop in town to have digital inspections, where technicians use photo and video documentation to help customers see the issues in their vehicles.
“Pictures are huge for helping people make decisions. They take the communication barrier out of it,” Brad says. Customers can then bring those photos home to get advice from a spouse, a parent, or a friend.
Next week in the Stettler Independent you’ll get tips from Brad about customer communication, and learn how to get what you want out of your car repair experience.
Part of the Stettler scene
Brad has lived in Stettler for 31 years, and is passionate about his hometown.
“This is a great, cohesive community. We all contribute,” he says.
Like pieces of a puzzle, every business, volunteer group, school and individual is essential to Stettler’s success. The big picture doesn’t make sense without every individual part, and in Stettler every person matters.
“We rely on each other,” Brad says.