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Where do you see the future of fixed op’s going?

I think it’s a lot like in the computer industry, where you had Microsoft that dominated the market for the longest time. And because of the new technology, everybody had it and you had to have it but I don’t know if you have experienced it years ago that you’d buy. You know I’m on the road and I’d buy a sony viao every couple of years, sometimes every year because it’s almost disposable.

It’s hard to get a new brand laptop and you’d try to print with your printer and it wouldn’t work so called the 1-800 numbers, right? And you get somebody in India and say it’s Microsoft. And then he didn’t get Microsoft on the phone and says its Lex Marker HP partner, and you’d be caught within that gap and then along comes Apple. They kind of took away all that.

They took away all the worry and the decision-making and then you walked up into the genius bar and then there’s some cool kid there who knows more about computer there is. You chat with him and you’ll know more than you’ll ever know and he just fixes it. And that’s it; you don’t have the same issues as you did with PC. Apple has been really smart and been called the post PC era now, just kind of minimized any idea of PC’s value. This is not about whether PC is any better than Apple. It’s about the customer experience and that’s what’s going to change in fixed op’s “it’s the customer’s experience.”

We’ll no longer be able to compete in this industry with a sub par customer service in fixed ops. The customer needs to be able to come in, they need to trust us, we need to really take good care of them and they need to experience that when they go, they’ll say, “Hey I want to go back to that dealership. I feel like a part of something, I feel that they care about me and it was a very easy experienced for me. It wasn’t a hard experience.” It wasn’t like you know the rate into going a car dealership when customer is survey, they rate going into a car dealership with going to the dentist. And it can’t be like that.

You need to go to the genius part; I love it to the genius part.

It is fun, I mean here in Santa Monica I needed something at the Apple store last night and I went there and the place is packed. I mean there’s energy and it is fun and so many wanted to talk to me and I tell them what I needed. They grab it and they hand it to me and they swipe my card and they email me my receipt. And it’s very easy. And the thing that the industry is craving now is the fixed ops. The craving, the technology and the solution. The misfire has vanished and everybody is signing off for all this technology. They don’t have the basic system that comes in training in place so that the technology is enhancement. The technology becomes just another layer of advancement for the customer.

So you want somebody who’s going to come out and ……….. Hey, how are you George? Good to see you again. Let’s go and get this fixed. As simple as that.

So our system has a lot of times going to big deal groups and so we get rid of all the technology, set it to the side and do the basics. Arm with paper and we’ll do really good at that and add in the technology so it’s an enhancement. If we don’t have the system and the training and the consistency in place, then the technology just becomes a problem. And I understand why our industry is craving for that technology. However, you have to have your basic instructions systems right in the beginning in order for that technology to help you. So, technology isn’t always the answer although technology is valuable industry. The customer experience is taking away customer’s worry and is the decision making in the process. It is the key to success.

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