Auto Repair in Little Rock and Why I Care About Your Vehicle
The first cars were designed to replace horses. In fact, cars were initially called “horseless carriages.” They were made to help people get places faster and to make work easier. There was a time in history when everyone knew how cars worked, and most people knew how to care for them. When they saw a car coming, they immediately knew what kind it was, but that’s different today. There are currently 43 different automotive nameplates with 257 different models along with an endless number of sub-models.
Automotive technology is advancing so quickly that having a working knowledge of cars is nearly impossible unless you live and breathe it as I do. I constantly meet people who say they used to be able to look under the hood and know the name of every part. Today, those same people won’t even raise the hood because they are too afraid to look. I have also met parents who wished they knew more about cars so that they could help their children feel comfortable operating their own vehicles.
That’s why I wrote this blog.
My heart’s desire is to serve people and help them in any way I can. The Bible teaches that if someone in need crosses my path, and I have the resources to meet their need, I shouldn’t just say, “Go, be warm, and be fed.” Instead, I should help them. I see a need for people to not only learn how to take care of the vehicle they currently have but also learn how and when to replace it. So here it is—the book of vehicle ownership, full of simple, helpful information, including warning signs and what to do when things go wrong, meant to help you stay safe in and around your vehicle.
The Early Years
In 1969, at five years old, I sat in my mom’s car and watched a man put a hose in a hole in the side of her car. As I watched him, I thought, “I can do that. I can help Mom with that!” A few days later, while her car was parked in our driveway, I noticed a hose laying on the ground. I picked it up and put it in the hole in the side of my mom’s car just like the man at the service station had done. Well, it turned out that the man had put gasoline in her car, not water. My intentions were pure. I really wanted to help, but I had filled her tank all the way to the top with water. (Fortunately, I lived to tell about it, and her car was okay.) I’ve gained some experience since then; I am now certified as an Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) master technician and own an automotive repair shop, Parkway Automotive, in Little Rock, Arkansas.
I learned how to treat customers well by watching my mom as I was growing up. She was a single mother of three children, and my earliest memories are those of her being an extremely hard worker. When I was in fifth grade, I came home from school at 3:00, and Mom arrived home shortly after 5:00 from her day job. After we ate dinner together, she would take a nap. She always woke up in time to tuck me into bed then she left for her night job at 11:00 and worked until morning.
While working as a waitress at Denny’s, she learned that treating her customers well was of utmost importance. She taught me to identify the needs of each customer and empathize with every person I meet. Only then can I put myself in the customer’s position and ask two important questions: “What is their need?” and “How can I best meet that need?” As I have gained experience in business, I have learned that each customer will have different needs as well as a different state of mind, history, and circumstances. I try to listen to what their needs are then look for ways to meet those needs, whether they relate to my business or not.
When we receive a call from a customer whose vehicle has broken down on the side of the road, they need two things. They need their vehicle to be fixed, but they also need to get to where they were originally going. First, we will expedite a tow truck to bring their vehicle into our shop. But next, and more importantly, our free Parkway Automotive shuttle will help them get to their destination safely.
When a customer leaves their vehicle with us to be serviced or repaired while they are out of town but are returning home over the weekend, we can return their vehicle to their home, ready to go. We work diligently to know our customers and understand their needs so that we can provide amazing customer service. We’ve found that our customers not only appreciate our efforts, but they trust us enough to refer their friends and family to us as well. That’s how our business has continued to grow. And it all started with my mom.
Each week I’ll be writing a short Blog on car care to help you on caring for your car. I promise to keep it short educational and fun.