Every town needs mechanics. The average automotive repair & maintenance facility has a low barrier to entry, and tons of competition. Since there are only so many unique services a facility can offer when it comes to maintaining your vehicle, getting and retaining customers often comes down to plain old customer service.
“Everybody says they’re the best at customer service,” said Dave Booy, owner of OK Tire Owen Sound. “But how do you actually apply that?”
For Dave, it’s all in the communication.
“After you’ve been in and we’ve done a phenomenal job communicating with you and great work on your vehicle, we follow up and make sure you’re satisfied,” he said. “If you’re not, we catch it fast and make it right.”
OK Tire Owen Sound is the largest automotive repair and maintenance facility anywhere in the Greater Owen Sound Area. Originally founded as a tire dealer in the early 1980s by Brian Pickett, the shop moved locations and began expanding services to include oil changes, brakes, steering and suspension, and exhaust. When Brian sold his business to Dave, the first item on his list was to expand the mechanical side of things without diminishing their tire sales.
After some initial expansion, Dave made the decision to begin operating as an OK Tire to take advantage of their national brand.
“OK Tire had the national identity, national warranty, better buying programs, larger groups for training, more heads to put together to approach industry issues — I’ve had no regrets choosing them.”
Dave was born into the mechanical world, learning all the work of a licensed technician in his father’s shop. As he grew older, he developed an interest in business. He decided he didn’t want to turn wrenches as a mechanic, but he enjoyed the business side and told his dad he’d like to work with him.
“Dad told me to go get a degree and work somewhere else for two years,” Dave said.
Today, Dave’s business has six techs and three counter staff, a very loyal client base, and the best reviews for automotive repair in the area. Since purchasing the business, Dave has seen their capacity almost double, renovating their existing building to add several more service bays.
“I love seeing my team work as a unit,” he said. “We’ve tried to instill a culture where everyone works together and is equally important.”
Dave and his wife Rebecca are also active in the community, sponsoring a local hardball team as well as a scholarship for a local private school. The shop is also partnered with OSHaRE, a local non-profit that provides meals to those in need. Rebecca sits on the board and serves meals with the kids, and the shop sponsors their vehicle to make sure it always remains delivery-ready.
Dave hopes to continue growing his business to best serve his community and the rapidly emerging technologies of the automotive industry.
“It’s a really exciting time in vehicles,” he said.
If you’re interested in learning more, check out their website at www.oktire.com/stores/ok-tire-owen-sound, or just stop by to say hello, grab a coffee, and get a free car wash with your next service!