K.O.I. Auto Parts
I was first bitten by the “car bug” when I was about 12 and a family friend showed me how to change the spark plugs on a 1990 Mustang. Fast-forward to July 2000, when a former colleague from a fast-lube convinced me to give the parts industry a shot. My passion for everything automotive blossomed and I soaked up everything I could about the industry lingo, components of various systems, and — my favorite part — how it all worked. I was hooked from the beginning!
About one or two months after I first got my P2 certification, I had my first experience that affirmed my career path. It’s mostly a blur now, but I mostly recall that a gentleman had called and stated one need, then we worked through it until I helped him to realize that he was asking for the wrong part. I was the first person to take the time to help him to figure out the correct solution. He started out a bit leery of whether or not I could help him; he ended up telling me, “Wow, you REALLY know what you’re talking about.” He also wound up giving our store the sale, even though we were a touch higher on price than the competition. I’ve had a handful more of similar experiences since then, but that was my first. It was very affirming.
A “good” counter professional will meet the stated needs of the customer, and do so efficiently, courteously and with gratitude. A “great” counterperson will take the extra time to satisfy the customer’s complete automotive parts needs — including those needs that aren’t necessarily mentioned, but should be anticipated.
If a guy walks in asking for front brake pads on his ‘97 F150, the “good” counterperson will present the available options, and possibly offer needed fluids; the “great” counter professional will do ALL of that, but also inquire about the current condition of the rotors, calipers, hoses, etc. It boils down to making sure the customer is ready to do the complete repair after the first shopping trip.
I am bilingual and have a growing Spanish-speaking base of clients. If I am with another customer and a peer has someone whose Spanish is stronger than their English, we often work out some sort of solution that benefits everyone.”