As Ryan Payne, owner of Premier Automotive Diagnostics on Canton Highway, works to change the back brakes on a customer’s vehicle, he lays out the fresh brake pad beside the one it is replacing, which, he explains in a video he is sending to the owner, is so thin, it has begun digging into the rotor.
Since the business opened this summer, Payne has been shooting and sending videos to his customers detailing the work he is doing on their vehicle.
“We came to this point where [we asked], ‘What can we do to set ourselves apart from just the next shop down the road,’” Payne said. “Well, what’s a dilemma in automotive repair these days. Trust is a pretty big deal.”
Payne said he has been in the automotive industry for more than 20 years in a variety of roles, and oftentimes there is a stigma about customers being ripped off for work they need.
“So, us having our own business, we know that the first thing we can do is develop trust with our clients,” Payne said. “They need to know that when they come here and they’re paying us for a service, that they feel good about what they’re paying for, so we took advantage of the technology and were like, ‘Hey, let’s just video this.’”
The videos are shot and stitched together by Allison Dekle, who usually handles booking and keeping appointments, ordering parts, social media and other roles at the business, but said she is “not a videographer.”
“I just kind of film everything, then I have an app on my phone and I stitch it together and add our logo at the end,” she said.
Dekle said customers have been fans of the videos so far.
“They’ve been really wowed by it,” Dekle said. “They seem to enjoy it and it creates that level of transparency. There are a lot of shops in the county and all over, so who do you really trust? Most have their person, and some people don’t have a person, so we try to be transparent and upfront and create that trust within them, especially the diagnostic side, that’s kind of his thing and he really goes above and beyond to figure out, ‘Ok, I know this is failing, but why?’”
At first, Premier sent customers pictures along with their work, before finding that video was the way to explain problems to customers. Payne even has a borescope camera, a piece of equipment with two cameras on the end of a flexible tube, to show customers problems in areas they can’t see.
“People love it,” Payne said, “and they love knowing that, ‘Hey, these guys are taking the time’ because we don’t charge extra for that, and it takes time and time is money, but we’re willing to take that expense upon ourself to make sure that we create that trustworthy relationship with the client.”
Payne said along with showing customers what he is doing on their vehicles, he’s also planning to do general informational videos, such as how to get cars ready for winter.
“We want to make a video and get people to understand that with colder temperatures how pressure and temperature are related,” he said. “With the colder temperatures, we’re going to have lower pressures, and if the tire pressure is already on the threshold of setting a fault, then those lower temperatures will certainly cause it to do so.”