The contest, announced in December, asked customers to submit their best car care story online at EngageWithCarPros.com to show their appreciation for the outstanding service automotive professionals provide.
Nearly 1,000 stories were submitted during the almost eight-week long contest, and dealers and consumers were invited to vote among four finalists for their favorite story through March 30. Eligible consumers could submit a story to recognize auto service professionals across the country, regardless of whether they had a relationship with Synchrony Financial.
The winning entry was submitted by Larry Oechsle of Onsted, Michigan, who told the story of exceptional service he received from the Midas auto service center in Adrian, Michigan. The center was presented with an award check of $100,000 in a ceremony on April 27 at its 639 South Main Street location. Mr. Oechsle also received $2,500 for submitting the winning story.
The complete list of finalists and their stories are available at www.EngageWithCarPros.com.
"My customers are important and the reason I am here today," said Todd McIntyre, owner of the Midas shop. “In a small community, delivering outstanding service is particularly important. The relationships we've developed keep customers coming back.”
Mr. Oechsle told the story of traveling from his home in Michigan last November to enjoy the holidays on the Gulf of Mexico, and later with his son’s family in Tennessee. The Oechsle’s truck began to have problems, so Mr. Oechsle called his trusted mechanic at the Midas shop in Michigan. The Midas mechanic connected with a local mechanic in Tennessee, sharing notes on the truck’s history and giving the Oechsle family peace of mind that his car was in good hands.
In his winning entry, Mr. Oechsle summarized his relationship with the employee at the Midas shop, who told him "Larry, you're not just my customer, you're my friend."
“It’s evident based on the number of entries we received that customers are passionate about their automotive care shops, and often have a special relationship with the professionals working in them,” said Stephen Roe, senior vice president and general manager of Emerging Markets for Synchrony Financial. “Congratulations to Midas and Mr. Oechsle for their winning entry.”
Several key “exceptional service” themes emerged from the contest entries including:
- Quality of work, reliability and integrity.
- Offering financing options to fit needed car repairs and services into a customer’s budget.
- Thoroughness – explaining in detail repairs that are needed versus those that can wait.
“As a result of the CarCareONE Engage with Car Pros Contest, it was clear to see what attributes consumers valued in a car care pro, rising them to the top,” Roe explained. “We were pleased to see that offering convenient financing to make major repairs is important to consumers and we’re pleased to provide that value to our merchants and their customers.”