Cater to the Ladies
OK, ladies: tell the truth. What have been your experiences with auto mechanics?
For many, the answer might lie somewhere between having a wisdom tooth extracted and learning you owe more than expected federal income taxes.
The owners of Christian Brothers Automotive in both south Oklahoma City and Norman are working hard to change those negative experiences into positive ones for all their clients, particularly women.
Curtis Henning and Mike Cochran, owners of the Norman and South OKC auto shops, respectively, instruct their mechanics to take the time necessary to fully explain any mechanical issues to their customers. Additionally, customers are given detailed, written estimates detailing the work needed and why.
When a customer chooses to wait for the service or repair, they’ll find the wait relatively pain-free, thanks to both shops’ clean, luxurious waiting areas, complimentary beverage service, and free wifi. Both offer free shuttle service and will pick up and deliver customers’ vehicles to them. And if the repair time is longer than expected, both shops offer complimentary rental cars.
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For Erica Hightower Lewis of Moore, loyalty runs deep for Christian Brothers Automotive on South Western Avenue.
Recently widowed, Lewis—whose husband passed away in April after serving honorably in three tours in Afghanistan and Iraq as a member of the U.S. Marine Corps—has no time to garage-hop: she’s too busy raising three children ages 8 to 11—with a forth on the way.
Lewis learned about Christian Brothers through her involvement in the Moore and South Oklahoma City chambers of commerce, in which owner Mike Cochran also is active. She notes that Cochran is a supporter of Antioch Christian Academy, where her children attend.
For the past year and a half, Lewis has frequented Christian Brothers Automotive “because of his [Cochran’s] integrity and generosity and because they take such good care of all of their customer’s vehicles.”
She elaborated: “When my husband tragically passed away in April, I knew that I needed to take my car for a new battery, tires, tune-up and other major repairs, and I wanted to go somewhere that I knew I would be well taken care of. Mike and his team immediately extended their support to me and my children. When I went in to pay the bill, Mike said to me that he wanted to bless my family and give my car a fresh start. He also said that Christian Brothers is proud to donate the tires and the repairs in honor of my husband and family.”
Cochran’s generosity extends to others.
“Mike’s business truly gives back to our community in such a special way. He provides a year-round discount for veterans, and in the fall, he’s providing a day of service to single parents to receive free oil changes. He understands the Biblical principle of ‘taking care of the orphan and the widow,’” she said.
“I have complete trust in Mike and his team,” Lewis concluded. “He takes time with each of his customers to ensure that we are well taken care of. He personally shuttles his customers to work or appointments so that he has the opportunity to get to know his customers. His work is thorough, and I am always super-confident in the work that is done on my vehicle.”
Like Lewis, Eleana Kyle of Norman doesn’t have time to shop around. The former Merck employee, married with two children ages 13 and 16, said a friend recommended Christian Brothers Automotive-Norman.
“My experience has always been great. I find everyone who works there to be very friendly and knowledgeable,” she said.
“As a stay-at-home mom, sometimes it’s difficult to find a time when you can sit in a shop. I love that they will give me a ride to my house so that I can be busy at home while my car is being repaired.”
She also recounted a recent experience that confirmed her high opinion.
“We purchased a car for our 16-year-old daughter,” she recalled. “They looked it over, and gave me a list of maintenance that needed to be performed. They separated out those that were needs and those that were wants. They ‘found’ several coupons to use on my bill. They didn’t have to do that. I’d have never known. It sure does promote loyalty when someone is looking out for you along with the bottom line.”