We’re proud to partner with over five thousand independent installers across the United States. For our first TireBuyer installer profile, we’d like to introduce you to Rich Hoffman of Hoffman Tire Pros in Fayetteville, Georgia. Rich has been in business for more than 37 years, and when you hear him talk about his commitment to his customers, it’s easy to see why. We’re proud to call Rich a TireBuyer installer.
Owner: Rich Hoffman
How long have you been in business?
Since January 1976.
What services do you provide?
Everything except major engine repair and A/C repair.
Do you specialize in anything particular?
We specialize in servicing the customer’s car where they only have to spend the money they need to spend at that moment — not the money we would like them to spend.
What amenities do you offer?
We offer Wi-Fi, though I think pretty much everyone has that now. We have a decent-sized waiting area with AutoNet TV and a digital menu board. We don’t serve coffee, because we’re attached to a convenience store, and besides, when you make coffee, someone has to watch the pot, and that someone is usually me! While we certainly take our customer’s comfort into account, we don’t want to make customers too comfortable so they stay all day — we want to get them in and out and back on the road. We take appointments for every service. Customers can make appointments for everything and anything we do on their car, and we usually stay on schedule. Usually.
Do you have any special equipment, certifications, awards, etc. that people should know about?
I believe in staying on top of technology and using the latest equipment and technology that’s available – it helps your staff work better and more efficiently, and also helps get customers in and out as quickly as we can with fewer headaches.
We have four different tire changers, including a new one that was very expensive but it works on the fancy wheels. We also just ordered a new shop press! We use all computerized balancers and alignments, and we’ve had nitrogen here at the shop for 6.5 years.
What’s your customer service philosophy?
Well, our customer service is the only thing we have that differentiates us from anyone else, and that’s what’s kept us at an 87% customer retention rate, well above the national average. We want to provide the best service for the fairest price.
I also let all my staff talk directly to customers. I think the customer feels more comfortable talking with the person under the hood of their car fixing it instead of the guy at the counter. So I encourage everybody to talk to everybody.
What’s your favorite thing about working on cars?
Truth be told, I didn’t even like cars when I got into this business. My cousin, now he’s the car lover in the family. He always says that I’m living his life. I’d have to say that my favorite thing about working on cars is getting them repaired quickly and at a reasonable price. If I can’t do that, there’s no fun in working on cars.
I also like the satisfaction of fixing a customer‘s problem when no one else can. That’s not to say that I think we’re great, or that I’m smart, but I’ve just been doing it so long, I’m a dinosaur. I’ve seen things come up so many times I’ve been able to figure it out.
What’s one thing customers don’t know about maintaining their car?
If you maintain your car and do the manufacturer’s service recommendations, your car will last you a long time. I have one customer who brings in his GMC or Chevy Astro van – that thing has 638,000 miles on it! He’s done some minor repairs over the year, but nothing major. Maintenance is the key!
Unlike cars when I first started driving, if you maintain them well, cars today will last for anywhere between 100,000-300,000 miles or more. Now, this presents an interesting challenge. What we have to learn as tire dealers and mechanics is what higher mileage does to a vehicle. We need to learn what we need to do to keep that vehicle and the driver safe because we never saw cars with high mileage like that before. It’s a whole new ballgame learning what 200,000 miles does to a car.
What makes your business unique?
Well, to be honest, me and my business philosophy. I had to learn this business from ground up — I didn’t know a ball joint from a clip joint when I started. I didn’t intend to get into the tire business, but you just never know where you’re going to end up. Everything I know I’ve learned the hard way and from experience. Today, if a customer has a problem they can ask to speak to the owner, and that’s me. I think that’s unique. We’re on our third generation of customers in some instances. People who brought their cars to us for years are now bringing their grandchildren to us!
What’s the strangest thing you’ve ever seen in your shop?
Oh, over the years I’ve seen a few things, but one time a customer sent his mother in for a brake estimate with a car he bought at a sale. The brakes were completely gone – the brake pads nonexistent, rotors were just gone – that car was making so much noise. They drove it in, I have no idea how they stopped!
The car was unsafe to drive, so we refused to let the car leave the shop. This angered the customer and he threatened to never do business with us again and told his mother to drive the car somewhere else. My response? “Well, if you wanted your mother to drive that car out of here, I wouldn’t want to do business with you anyway. If that’s how you care about your mother, I’d hate to think how you care about your car.”
Is there anything else you want people to know about your shop?
That’s Hoffman with an H! There’s a Kauffman Tire in the area, so we’re sure to differentiate ourselves. When customers come to Hoffman they will get good service at a reasonable price. When folks leave here they should feel that the money they spent is worth what they spent it on.
Hoffman Tire Pros
620 Glynn Street
Fayetteville, GA 30214