If you have a solid automotive shop like AWT Jeeps, you likely brag about it. Finding an honest, knowledgeable, reasonably affordable, customer-friendly enthusiast shop is challenging, and most of us enjoy showing others how smart we are picking a winner.

Word of mouth has always been the best (or worst) advertising for any retail store, and today in the age of social media, the impact of those opinions can make or break a shop. So, if you are looking for a shop, the first place you want to try is your social media buddies. But then, once you have a couple of legitimate leads, it's time to do some research of your own.

Finding Trust

At the heart of the matter, you are looking for trust. You expect a service shop to know more about your vehicle than you do, and you hope they use that edge in knowledge to provide you with a valuable service, not to take advantage of you. So what can you look for that indicates whether a shop deserves your trust or not?

Check these out:

Qualified Management. Trust starts with the owner and the business policies they have in place. The waiting room should prominently display factory certifications and qualifications. Next, technicians and service writers should explain exactly what needs to be done and why. Then, only deal with a shop that provides a written estimate, details the work to be performed, explains the warranty, and lays out payment terms.

Qualified Staff. Just because you expect mechanics in a service shop to know more about your ride than you do, that's not always true. "Shade tree" mechanics may be brilliant with one or two elements of your vehicle, but you don't want a brake specialist to repair your steering. While a good shop may have specialists, they should all be ASE certified, proving they are knowledgeable in all aspects of repair.

Up-to-Date Technology and Diagnostics. A year does not go by without an electrical system replacing a mechanical function. As a result, your vehicle possesses more technology than early Space Shuttle flights. And now, systems are updated over-the-air, changing parameters and making adjustments to your ride. A trusted service shop has to have dealer-level updates loaded into its diagnostic tools.

Professional Service Bays. Appearances do count. A clean, well-lit, organized workspace free of clutter and stains says much about how the shop is run and the organization's culture. A professional-looking service bay says a lot about pride in workmanship, discipline, compliance with safety guidelines, and solid supervision.

Customer Care. All the above elements are needed to produce a professional end product, but how the customer perceives the service determines if he returns or not. If a customer believes that the shop listened to him, took the time to explain what needed to be done and why, got it done when promised, and charged a reasonable fee, they become the most effective free advertising a shop can get.

You have found a winner if you find a shop that ticks off all five points. Of course, we can save you a ton of time searching for that trusted one stop shop by just giving you our phone number, 713-682-1085. AWT Jeeps by American Wheel & Tire has been a favorite in Houston for over 35 years, and our service department is a big reason why.

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