The evidence is within the loads of thank-you playing cards and letters — most of them handwritten — that line the partitions of the car repair commercial enterprise at the east facet of Colorado Springs.
“It’s one of these matters that just brighten your day,” says Elite’s proprietor, Brian Ferriter.
During the vacation season, customers’ appreciation also can widen the waist.
You actually do no longer need to are available in here at Christmastime if you are on a weight loss program,” Ferriter says. “People deliver us food like you wouldn’t trust. The truffles, the baked goods, the Christmas cookies, it’s ridiculous.”
Ferriter launched the enterprise in 1998 with a accomplice, Ken Bowling. They had each managed auto restore shops and worked together for Snap-on, a tool corporation. In that role, they consulted with quite a few auto stores and realized, Ferriter says, “You recognize what, these men aren’t any smarter than we are.”
So they launched their very own business. It turned into just the 2 of them in the beginning. “We simply did everything, from cleansing the toilets to emptying the trash to solving customers’ cars to choosing them up. We did whatever we had to do.”
Elite began in a small facility on a small lot at Powers Boulevard and Victor Place. It outgrew that area in 5 years and Ferriter and Bowling had a ten,000-square-foot facility constructed east of Powers on Platte Avenue. The business now has 13 personnel.
But it doesn’t have certainly one of its founders. Bowling died in 2008 from a blood clot that stopped his coronary heart. His image is on show in the shop.
“He became only a in reality top guy,” Ferriter says. “A big piece of me died while he died. You spend 12, 14 hours an afternoon with any individual each day. … We used to funny story approximately having the equal brain. Personalitywise, we simply meshed absolutely well.”
While Ferriter, with a history in accounting and finance, dealt with a chunk extra of the financial aspect, Bowling “was some distance better at the customer aspect of it. He had this infectious smile. If the 2 folks have been sitting there and a complete stranger walked in, they might gravitate towards him due to the fact he was so heat and friendly.”
Communication is the foundation of Ferriter’s customer support philosophy. “We will send people texts, however I nevertheless like to talk to any person and let them recognise what we’re doing on their automobile. … I suppose the patron loves to be involved.”
Keeping up with a swiftly evolving and an increasing number of tech-heavy car industry is hard, Ferriter says; it requires regular training and funding in new diagnostic equipment.
“Unfortunately, it may be high-priced whilst that tech breaks,” he says. “It also may be tough diagnostically. So a few of the systems are interdependent on different systems.”
At the identical time, though, “I don’t suppose we’d need to move back. It’s certain great to hit the far flung start button and have heated seats and satellite radio and all of the creature comforts.”