Start at the Floor for a Shop Customers Love

The right environment will make your customers confident in your work and your techs proud of their workplace.

For today’s customers, experience is as important as price and service.

When their car needs service, an auto repair shop that looks clean, bright, and inviting gives customers confidence that they are leaving their investment in good hands.

“Customers don’t have a direct way to judge how thorough and precise your technicians are,” says Repair Shop Websites, a marketing company focused on the auto repair industry. “They use the cleanliness and organization of your shop as a stand-in for that information.”

No one expects a shop where cars are being serviced to be glamorous. But today’s customers are unimpressed by the stereotypical dark and dingy shop with its cracked and oil-stained concrete floors. According to the National Business Research Institute, when the product or service is the same, people will choose the company that offers the most inviting environment.

Savvy auto repair shops provide customers with clean, comfortable waiting rooms and bathrooms. The shop itself should also look clean and organized; many businesses offer windows from the waiting room into the shop so customers can keep an eye on their vehicle, and there’s always the chance a customer will be pulled in to talk with a technician.

Another key to happy customers is happy employees. When your technicians are comfortable and happy, they provide outstanding service to your customers. There has been a lot written about ways to improve employee satisfaction, but one simple and often overlooked tactic is to improve their surroundings.

“Spending a day in a dull, depressing environment inspires the same feelings in people, while a bright, clean workplace can help lift spirits,” says an article in Shop Owner Magazine. “While no one is ever going to confuse the bay of a tire shop with the lobby of a luxury spa, don’t underestimate how much a few small changes can improve the morale of employees.”

Upgrading a shop floor is a massive undertaking, as it requires moving equipment and taking the shop temporarily out of service. But installing the right flooring can pay dividends for decades in both customer and employee satisfaction.

3 Flooring Tips to Win Over Customers and Staff

• Choose a light color. Light colors will reflect light, creating an overall impression of brightness and cleanliness. Stay away from busy patterns that can make it difficult to find small dropped parts. Keep the color neutral, though; a few weeks of living with an eyeball-assaulting shade of daisy yellow or kelly green will not have your employees feeling the love.

• Choose an easy-to-clean surface that resists oily and chemical spills. A nonabsorbent material like fully vitrified tile will prevent stains from setting in. Tile also keeps its color, where pigmented coatings may bleach or fade. Argelith tiles have an easy-to-clean finish that allows dirt and soil to slide off when properly cleaned. The tiles also resist chemical attack from oils, acids, or alkalis, protecting the slab beneath.

• Make sure your floor is sturdy enough to handle shop activities. You want a hard, resilient surface that won’t crack under dropped tools or heavy toolboxes. The floor covering should be thick enough to disperse weights and impacts so the slab is also protected.

Making an investment in your shop’s appearance with high-quality, durable materials will pay dividends for years by improving customer confidence and employee morale.

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