Steve Allison’s customers get the red carpet treatment — literally. Before opening the car door for customers to help them get into their vehicle after an oil change, his Jiffy Lube employees put down a piece of red carpet for the patron to wipe his or her feet. It’s just one of the things that sets the franchisee apart from his competitors.
“It’s really trying to do something different than any other operator that changes oil,” says Allison, a partner in Atlantic Coast Enterprises, which owns and operates 50 Jiffy Lube stations in Florida and South Carolina. “We treat every car as if it’s our mother’s car.”
In addition to rolling out the red carpet, employees at Allison’s Jiffy Lubes jog out to the car when it pulls in for service, showing their enthusiasm for receiving the customer’s business. Plus, they serve gourmet coffee while the customer waits for the 15-20 minute service to be completed.
It’s all part of a “no hands” policy that has employees opening the doors for customers and giving them undivided attention.
Such efforts started as a brainstorm about what the service centers could do to make their customers feel special. At first, the ideas, such as putting a sign on the car that read “royalty,” applied only to new customers, but the team decided that every customer should feel special and the red carpet treatment was eventually applied to anyone who came to the business for service.
“It’s really high-touch customer service,” Allison said. “We just talked about treating them like royalty. The customers love it. We get all kinds of customer comments every day.”
Jiffy Lube Franchisee with Decades of Experience
Allison, 43, started in the oil-changing business right out of high school working for Oil Can Henry’s in Portland, Ore. He went on to become the owner of several Shell Rapid Lubes. When he met his future business partner, Albert Chance, and the company’s chief operating office Dan Ramras, the partners formed Atlantic Coast Enterprises and became Jiffy Lube franchisees in 2008 by purchasing company-owned stores.
“The support we get from Jiffy Lube International has been second to none,” Allison said.
The company offers training through its Jiffy Lube University, which provides “soup to nuts” knowledge about running a Jiffy Lube station through a combination of videos, online modules, and hands-on training. It takes about 30 days to become proficient in all aspects of running a store, Allison said, and all of his employees go through training to know the ins and outs of upper-bay and lower-bay operations in an outlet.
“We do a bumper-to-bumper inspection and we will have a conversation with you based on the manufacturer’s recommendations if we can do those other services while your car is in the bay,” Allison said.