J&W Motors: Doing It Right
J&W Motors has built a quality business based on referrals and reputation.
We like it out here,” says Joe Masters who has owned and operated J&W Motors, just outside Brantford, Ontario, since 1978. J&W is in the enviable position of having the vast majority of customer work come via referrals, with people literally calling up and coming out, negating the need for much advertising. And, once they’ve had Masters and his team service or repair their vehicles, many customers simply keep coming back. “We have second and even third generation family members who come to us for their car care needs,” says Masters’ wife Ingrid, who handles administration for J&W Motors.
Referral driven business
Masters has seen a lot of change in the automotive service repair industry since he began in the mid-‘70s—cars are lasting longer, maintenance has become more complex, competition fiercer and the skills required of today’s technicians are significantly greater than in the past. Since day one, J&W has focused on honesty, integrity and the ability to fix it right the first time. In fact, such is the shop’s reputation that people will travel from as far away as Hamilton and Stoney Creek to have their vehicles serviced here.
Masters’ son Mat, a fully-licensed technician who handles much of the day-to-day running of the business, says it’s important to educate customers so they understand exactly what their vehicle needs in terms of maintenance and why.
“We do go by OEM recommendations when it comes to service intervals,” he says. “But depending on the type of driving you do, some things may need to be changed or replaced more or less frequently than what the factory says.”
An emphasis on showing customers firsthand what’s needed has helped create a high level of trust and transparency between technicians and their customers. “They trust us to fix it right the first time and that the work will be done to a quality standard and at a price fair,” says Masters.
Besides performing regular service and repair work, J&W also specializes in exhaust fabrication and accessories. The shop is an authorized dealer for WeatherTech products and both Masters and his wife Ingrid say that in most cases, customers who want accessories will simply ask Masters and his team to order them and have them installed while their vehicle is in the shop. “We’ll also do custom work if a customer asks for it,” says Masters, who acknowledges that while such work is not everyday bread-andbutter business, it helps set J&W apart from the competition.
In terms of relationships with the jobbers that supply the shop, Masters says things are going very well. “Our two biggest suppliers are NAPA and Brewer’s Car Parts. We have a good relationship with our jobbers. There is no problem getting the parts we need and even if something is past the warranty period we’re prepared to work together to achieve the best result.”
Not only are many of J&W Motors’ customers loyal, they also tend to keep their vehicles a long time. “We have many customers who will drive the same vehicle for a hundred thousand kilometres,” says Masters. Rare for the shop to perform major repairs, since customers keep coming back on a regular basis for servicing. “Our job is take care of our customers’ vehicle needs,” says Masters. “When you’re here, you’re part of the family.”