OK Tire, Spruce Grove, Alberta: Honestly Driven
Led by a dynamic couple, this Alberta store has been recognized byOK Tire as the “National Store of the Year” for 2017.
Scott Forsyth has had a passion for all things automotive from an early age. He first got the automotive bug when he started sweeping floors in a motorcycle shop at the age of 12. He then went on to become a mechanic and worked at his trade for many years until the opportunity to buy the Spruce Grove store came in 2013.
Owners, Scott and Elaine Forsyth are a young, energetic couple who pride themselves on being active in the community, both in and outside of the industry. They enjoy supporting local community events and initiatives, they were the recipients of the Spruce Grove & District Chamber of Commerce ‘New Business of the Year’ award in 2015, and were nominated for the OK Tire Stores, Prairie Region award in 2016.
Elaine was invited to the Legislative Assembly to speak on behalf of the automotive industry on the proposed Bill 203 and served on the Spruce Grove & District Chamber of Commerce as a Board of Director for the past 3 years. To top that off, Scott and Elaine have been recognized as OK Tire’s Store of the Year for 2017!
“Elaine and I are honoured to be presented with this award, to represent our community, and to be recognized among our peers in this way is truly amazing. We have well over 300 hard-working, professional and dedicated stores across Canada representing OK Tire, and our motto ‘Honestly Driven’ truly is our focus,” says Scott. “Our dedicated staff and loyal customers have helped to bring us where we are today.”
Scott and Elaine are very focused on customer service. “Our goal is to provide better customer service than anyone else,” explains Scott.
“We greet our customers as soon as they walk in the door. There are so many ways of communication now, from phone, email, or text. We have a texting app through OK Tire for example, so we utilize every method to communicate with our customers and attract new customers,” adds Elaine.
Full service shop
When Scott and Elaine took over the shop in 2013 there was only one part-time employee on the payroll. They soon took over the shop next door and expanded from two bays to four, while adding a truck pad outside. They now have four stalls, four bays and 14 staff.
“It was a bit of challenge coming into this field with no background in the tire business, but Scott has taught me a lot about the business,” explains Elaine.
“We are a full-service shop, so we offer mechanical service as well as tire service. If something comes in we can’t do, we know someone who can, and we refer them to that shop,” says Scott. “We receive a lot of referrals and many of our customers often refer other family members to us.”
The Spruce Grove shop has been operating since the 70’s so it is well known to most long-time residents. But the population of Spruce Grove has grown considerably in the last few years, so there are a lot of new residents who may not be aware of the shop.
“We always ask our customers how they hear about us and the most common answer we hear now is ‘online.’ On our Facebook page, we post a lot of local news as well as things that happen in the store. If someone gets some new wheels, for instance, we take a picture of them and post it on our Facebook page,”adds Elaine.
Working with students
When hiring staff, Scott says they look for key customer service traits and train them in their approach to customer service. “In the shop, we typically take on high school kids, and they get hours towards their co-op program at school. We currently have four students who come in at lunchtime and can work to whenever they want. Often when they are done with high school they come to work for us. It’s a great opportunity to train up. It’s good if you can train them from scratch,” says Scott.
Considering the fact that Scott first fell in love with the automotive world when he was only 12, exposing students to the industry at an early age certainly makes sense.