Spring means summer tires. Fall means winter tires. In between its trailer tires, farm equipment tires, car repairs, truck repairs, vehicle inspections, mechanical services and oil changes and other vehicle maintenance. It’s installing custom wheels on front wheel drive and rear wheel drive cars, SUVs, trucks, golf carts, and ATVs. It is no wonder the tire shops in Wetaskiwin are ‘tired’…..but very appreciative. On June 20th, Fountain Tire showed its appreciation by offering free drinks, hamburgers, smokies or hot dogs to all it’s customers. And there are a lot of customers as quantified by Jesse Witvoet, Owner of Fountain Tire, “Gosh, I don’t know how many tires we sell in a year. Its thousands.”
When questioned about how he has increased his business by 35% in the last three years he was quick to reply, “Service. Our point-of-difference, hands-down is our service”.
CEO recently described in Canadian Retailer magazine how the corporate level of Fountain Tire rates and values customer service.
The needs and preferences of the Canadian consumer are constantly changing. Though technological advancement continues to provide the proliferation of social media, mobile use and ever-populating content on the Web, there also seems to be a heightened need for more personalized and enhanced customer experience.
Brent Hesje, CEO of Fountain Tire describes how, “Fountain Tire uses a balance scorecard methodology. And, we're actually in the process right now of developing a measure to quantify what a satisfied customer and what a dissatisfied customer is. Ideally it's all about creating that measure and baseline and then looking at the trends. But, the measure needs to have that credibility and a high believability factor in the field. In general, if we have a store that isn't performing the way we think it should, we'll go to the store to do some analysis on retention. But the company's trying to come up with a broad score that has high credibility so that it drives behavior and customer service to improve, and it has to be easy to understand for the guys in the field. It's up to us at corporate level to work out all the complexity.”
There is value in the 50-50 corporate model of store ownership
Jesse prides himself on being a community supporter. “We support the Community Fire Department, Victim Services, the food bank, 4-H and buy a 4-H calf every year. Pretty much everything in the community. I bought the business 3 years ago but it’s a 50-50 partnership where the owner works with head office.”