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Robust culture and outreach sustains Colorado shop during pandemic

Community-orientated Keller Bros. Auto Repair brings home 2020 Best Auto Repair Shop in Colorado award; caters to front-line health workers and those in need

Littleton, Colo.—Keller Bros. Auto Repair was just recently voted the 2020 Best Auto Repair Shop in Colorado by ColoradoBiz magazine. They were pitted against every auto repair business in the state, large and small, and have been included on business publication’s list since it was started in 2016.

The honor was bestowed for its “top-notch service” to customers, but also for creating a strong and supportive company culture. Owners Terry Keller and David Rogers say both qualities have helped them navigate the challenging times of the coronavirus crisis.

“We’ve been down a little bit in weekly revenues, but considering the circumstances, we’re doing very well,” said Rogers, whose shop typically averages $3.5 million in annual sales with four technicians. “We’re trending to be back up to normal this week and we expect that to continue.”

Keller Bros.’ shop management software, Shop 4D, has also been instrumental in all aspects of running the business efficiently and productively.

The shop’s longtime technicians and foundational culture are driving forces in keeping business flowing in and out of its bays. “We hire the best people we can find, and our techs have been with us for more than 10 years on average. They’re not necessarily the most skilled or experienced techs when they arrive, but we help them grow in our shop whenever possible — as men, leaders and professionals. We’re big on training and learning.”

Keller Bros. has incentive pay plans that reward the entire team for everything from thorough inspections to customer service and customer recognition.

“We also have policies and procedures in place that are enforced fairly and equally, which are designed to make the shop ethical, efficient and profitable. Our goal is not to sell — we don’t incentivize with money — our goal is to educate and build relationships. We also don’t reward seniority, we reward accountability and everyone is aware of their responsibilities.”

Accountability is critical when managing a business remotely, adds Rogers, who lives in Florida and visits the shop twice a year, in addition to having daily conference-call meetings to report goals, monitor progress and cement commitments with the team.

“It’s an opportunity to collaborate and receive support from one another. We don’t have one ‘boss’ barking orders, we have a group of leaders.”

Community outreach tops list of priorities

The same dedication extends to shop customers and its surrounding community. “We treat everyone as if they were our own grandmother: we shovel snow from driveways for our elderly guests and help shop for groceries when their vehicles are in our care,” Rogers said.

Keller Bros. also maintains an at-risk and elderly customer list that it uses to call and ask them if the shop’s team can assist in any matter. Those customers also contact the shop when they’re in need.

“They’re our neighbors and families,” Rogers said. “It increases the morale of the entire team and it allows us to focus on what matters most — serving our community, and I think it’s why our team chooses to be with us for their entire careers.”

“We hire the best people we can find, and our techs have been with us for more than 10 years on average,” Rogers says.

Taking care of pandemic’s front-line workers with chemical-free vehicle sterilization

Keller Bros. is located in close proximity to a large hospital, fire stations, police departments and specialized fleets, for which the shop offers complete vehicle sanitizations.

“We have the ability to sterilize a vehicle or a room without using any chemicals,” Rogers said, “which presents a service without risking the health of our clients and our team while protecting our environment.”

The shop “shocks” vehicles with ozone, which essentially takes in oxygen from the air and gives it a strong electrical charge. Keller Bros. also uses it at night for the shop when it’s closed for sterilization and safety of its staff.

“It’s so effective that we can’t have any people in a room or vehicle that’s being treated for at least an hour. It kills all viruses and bacteria — it permeates seat covers, cleans phones, a/c systems and related vents, and eliminates any odors.”

The ozone device, which requires a certification to operate, is in a form of a large box equipped with hoses that feed into a vehicle. “It can be dangerous if not conducted properly,” he said, including risk of lung damage and respiratory issues. “Our procedures are very strict.”

Each vehicle is isolated outside before the “shock,” and is then aired-out before returning to the customer. “Healthcare workers and essential businesses such as plumbers could easily carry home the virus to their families. Many companies come in and opt to have the service performed regularly.

“We reached out to ask how we could best help them, so they could safely continue to serve the community.”

In light of the pandemic, Rogers said Keller Bros. is also offering discounted services, increased donations and support for local charities and families in need, increased its staff pay, and has helped with personal struggles brought on by the crisis.

“It’s all about increasing our love, commitment and effort to help one another.”

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