THE SHOP

Performance & Hotrod Business February '14

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PERFORMANCE The Unique You By Dave Donelson A what makes them stand out and they'll talk about the success their customers have at the track, or the attention they receive at a cruise-in. But, have you really given much thought to what separates your business from the competition? Identifying the factors that make your shop unique is the first step to more focused marketing, higher customer satisfaction and greater long-term success. To be truly successful, you need to look closely to discover what your customers like about you. Dig a little deeper, and you'll probably find it's the level and type of service you provide that actually keeps them coming back. sk most shop owners To make customers for life, step up your service The Extra Mile Allen Jimenez, one of the partners at Dynamic Performance, says customer service sets his shop apart from the competition. "We are always there to give a hand at the shop or at the track," he says. The Hillsborough, N.J., business specializes in fabrication and engine builds, mostly for imports, and runs several shop cars at local events. "At the track, we spend a lot of time with our customers as well as running our own cars," he notes. "We're there to help with any problems they might have." That willingness to pitch in when customers need them most pays off, according to Jimenez. "We even get phone calls from people who haven't done business with us and we don't mind helping them out." One of the other factors he feels is important is his shop's credibility. "We sell what we run on our cars," he explains, "so we're not just selling something from a catalog." That policy gives the customer assurance that Dynamic Performance isn't just there to sell the highest-margin product regardless of customer need. Blackdog Speed Shop in Lincolnshire, Ill., between Chicago and Milwaukee, relies on one-on-one customer service to boost its business, too. "We try to build a relationship with our customers," explains Jeremy Kaluzna, marketing manager. "Anybody who knows the mechanicals of a car can bolt on performance parts. They probably do it less expensively than we can, too, because they do it in their home garage or moonlighting in the shop where they work." It's expertise coupled with deep understanding of customers' needs that sets Blackdog apart from the competition. February 2014 PHBFEB.indd 47 n Performance & Hotrod Business n 47 1/3/14 12:14 PM

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