What does your auto repair shop look like? Does it breathe confidence as your customer arrives in the parking lot? Does the entrance look cluttered and organized? How does your service counter look?

For years I have shared with owners my 300-30-3 view. Many a time I have grabbed the owner and we have gone across the street to take a minute and look at their shop. My first question has always  been “What does your customer see?” There have been issues from too many cars in the parking lot to the shop needs a new roof or a coat of paint.

The next step is that I take the owner 30 feet away from the front door of his/her business asking once again “What does your customer see?” Generally, its dirty doors, floors, windows or once again bad paint.

The final step is at the front counter 3 feet away from the service writer asking for a final time “What does your customer see?” It’s usually old banners with a cluttered counter of papers, dust and disorganization. Put yourself in your customers shoes, how would you feel taking the second highest purchased item in your life to your shop? Appearance does effect customer perception.

I hit a home run with my third repair shop. After moving to St George, Utah from God’s country in Red Lodge, Montana I reflected on for the past 3.5 years of selling diagnostic equipment to repair shops in the three-state region. What I had seen and how I had operated my first two repair shops made me think about the perception of mechanics. My goal at this point was to dive into a new type of auto repair business, one that was strictly diagnostics. For those that remember the internet had just come to life. We were using a CD cases full of discs for repair procedures.

My vison transformed as I put paint and cabinets to the test. It was a 3-bay shop that breathed knowledge with its appearance. I often still joke that we could have been total dorks but still would have been successful in our endeavor all because the way it appeared.

What does your 300-30-3 look like?