This article appears in the July edition of 400 Life Magazine.
If you asked Scott Muse where he saw himself in 2021, way back when he was first pumping gas at an Amoco filling station in Lawrenceville owning a 19-bay garage in Cumming wouldn’t be his first guess. But, in hindsight, with his passion for problem-solving and compassion for people, owning and operating a successful automotive center with an unmatched reputation was a very obvious evolution.
That road to running Scott’s Auto Center started when he was 16 years old. He pumped gas and repaired tires throughout high school, and eventually began getting deeper into automobiles as a tech in a service garage. With piqued interest, he enrolled in night school to earn industry-standard ASE certifications.
He devoted himself to staying at the top of his game, continuing his education every year, becoming a Master Tech, and developing a deep passion for the ins and outs of a constantly changing trade. With expert knowledge, good mentors and nearly 30 years of hands-on experience, the next step was to go out on his own.
“I had been in the business for so long and worked for so many other people, so I knew that I could do it better,” said Muse. “I had a wife at home, and two little kids, so it was kind of a crazy decision, but I knew I just had to do it.”
In 2003, Muse opened a one-man, one-bay garage on Peachtree Parkway and wore every single hat to get through that first year. After that year, he hired Dan Levan, his first tech, and eventually Bob Contreras as his No. 1 service advisor, who are still with him today (along with most of his other employees, who have remained on staff since the day they were hired).
The trio worked for three years out of that garage before it was time for another big decision; and in 2006, Muse put his life savings down on the corner across the street — where Scott’s Auto Center still is today — to give him a little more room to grow. He built 10 bays … but only had three lifts and a few employees, so with it he had a whole lot of hope.
“I am blessed, because it took about 18 months and then things quickly began to change,” said Muse, who, in 2007, added four bays to his original 10-bay shop, then built an additional five bays in the rear of his property, and quadrupled the staff by the end of that time frame. “I found myself building the second building because we grew really fast, and right then I decided to surround myself with really good people and that I would treat people as if they were a family member.”
And the team at Scott’s Auto is, in fact, one big family. Aside from company trips and Christmas parties, the rapid rate of technological advancement and complexity of the modern automobile makes continued education for his technicians a priority.
In fact he sends them to relevant training courses, and in doing so created the foundation for a resounding philosophy that their success doesn’t come from sales. Simply put, they’re the best in the business. They fix problems other people can’t.
They educate clients on what’s happening with their vehicle and make recommendations, but never pressure them into buying anything. For the customers, that builds trust — it makes them feel like family, too — and for Scott’s, it’s made them the number one choice for Best of Forsyth in auto service for the past seven years.
Muse calls it the Scott’s Auto Standard, the way they approach each and every vehicle with the goal of going above and beyond to provide the best possible customer service, using the most up-to-date technology and expert technicians to fix any problem. The result is a huge loyal customer base that appreciates high quality care and best-value products.
“We’ve earned our reputation through great service and honesty,” said Muse, who says it’s about listening first, verifying the complaint, identifying the problem and keeping the client informed throughout the entire process. “I’m happy when I read these five-star reviews online, when they talk about the quality of the service and the fairness and how we treat them. It really validates why we do what we do, and how we do it.”
Clients, both returning loyals and first-timers, at Scott’s seek anything from basic tune-ups to engine diagnostics, complimentary taillight replacement, tire repair and courtesy washes, and just about anything else you could think of in between. They’ve even got an on-site car detailer operating out of one of their bays.
“I’ve always liked a challenge and that’s why I like this industry,” says Muse.
“I also wanted to do something that lets me solve problems for people, and treat people fair. This gives me a chance to work directly with those people and get to know the customers. I love that interaction, and the satisfaction of being able to fix a problem — and do it correctly — the first time.”
Muse has been a Forsyth County resident for a long time now and gives back to the community beyond the potential inside those 19 bays.
He’s on the board of the Peachtree Parkway Improvement District, sponsors Heirborn servants, Humane Society of Forsyth County, Relay for Life, Campus Outreach Missionary, Central Forsyth High School’s engine building team, and serves several other non-profits in the community.
So, car trouble or not, one thing is clear: his family is one we want to be a part of.
Scott's Auto Center is at 820 Peachtree Pkwy., Cumming, GA 30041.
-Contact: (678) 947-4040, firstname.lastname@example.org
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