I started at ModBargains in October of 2010. When I started working for ModBargains, it was a small but profitable online retailer with a total of eight employees and I was to be the ninth. ModBargains had been in business for 5 years already, having been founded in 2005. I was hired as the Customer Service Representative for the company, and took care of all customer inquiries and processing of orders. Back then, the company consisted of one accounting representative, two sales consultants, one shipping department representative, one returns rep, and two website techs. Man, it’s seems so long ago, even though it was just a few years. Since 2010 we have grown steadily to where we are today – we now boast 24 full time employees. Our team is capable and fully staffed- We have a full web team that markets products, a graphic designer, media and video professional, two photographers and a blogger. We have 7 full time Modification Experts, 2 accounting representatives, 2 shipping and receiving representatives, two installation techs, and 3 customer loyalty representatives. As our needs have expanded, so has the company- ModBargains has evolved over time and now runs like a well oiled machine.
We now are open six days a week, allowing us to do installations on Saturdays in addition to weekdays. Our installation facility is staffed by two full time mechanics (Senior Tech & Helper) who can install any performance modification, no matter how involved. Back in 2010, we just sold items online and to local customers for pick up, but many of our local customers would mention that they wished they could get everything done at one stop, including the installation of the part onto their vehicle. They didn’t like the idea of having to look for a performance shop that was familiar with the vehicle and parts that were to be installed – and more importantly, that were WILLING to install parts from another shop.
We listened to our customers and started by putting in a top of the line Hunter GSP9700 Road-force wheel/tire balancer along with a Ranger tire mounting machine. We followed that up with a Bendpak 2-post Hydraulic car lift to work on customers vehicles. We hired a full time mechanic and started scheduling our customers in for installations.
We immediately got positive feedback from our customers for listening to their requests, as well as for the professional work we’d done on their installations. By listening to customer demands and through professionalism and service, over time we proved to our customers that we are competent and capable to install any performance parts they needed. Since we’ve started doing installs several years ago now, the feedback we have received about our install department has been very positive. What were “just” happy customers became raving fans after seeing our mechanics in action and the finished product beautifully installed on their vehicles.
As we performed more and more installations, we continued to learn the in-depth details about the products we were shipping all over the world to customers who are not based in Southern California. Our installations provided us with more opportunities to take pictures and post them to our website. The installations also gives us more information to give feedback to the manufacturers about how products can be improved & what customers say about the products after experiencing them on their vehicle.
Back in 2010 Modbargains was a sales driven company. We focused more on volume than on the customer’s experience. While we’ve always offered friendly helpful customer service, in the customer service department we were influenced by the rigid policies of a fledgling company still trying to find its identity and confidence in a competitive market. Even though this system worked, it wasn’t right for the market of today. Most of our customers were happy, but weren’t exactly raving about us either. ModBargains has always been a company that learns and grows to fit the market, and so a few years ago, we had an epiphany, and shifted our focus to our most valuable resource – you, the customer.
Customer Loyalty is something we take seriously here at ModBargains – there are 3 customer loyalty representatives on staff here – and all of us take pride in making your experience a positive memorable interaction. The Customer Loyalty Team – Eric, Alyssa and myself – are always available to help customers via phone, email, and web chat. We treat our customers as valued guests and attempt to make every interaction with them as helpful and outstanding as possible.
What precipitated this huge change in perspective? Well, one day Co-Founder Mike Brown walked into the office with a new perspective on Customer Loyalty. He started off with the fact that the word “POLICY” was now a forbidden word, almost like it was a swear word. The logic behind this new idea was that “too many companies hide behind the words ‘company policy’, refusing to help customers with difficult problems and returns. In order to create better relationships with customers, earn their trust, and loyalty- we must be prepared to go above and beyond to resolve issues that arise.” We saw the need for change and evolved to meet consumer needs. This wasn’t the first time Mike’s had something huge to share with us as employees, nor would it be the last, and that’s a great thing.
That’s why today, we aren’t called customer service representatives anymore. We are called Customer Loyalty Representatives. Mike Brown, Co-Founder & CEO, wanted to change the entire tone of the department. Providing good customer service is a pre-requisite – it’s something you, the customer should expect. Earning customer loyalty is taking it to a higher level. Changing the job titles of those in the department was a must to change the tone of our interactions with each customer.
Mike has empowered the Customer Loyalty Team and Modification Experts to help make customers happy in a variety of situations, we’re no longer saddled with sticking rigidly to company policy “to the letter”, and instead we have some discretion to make exceptions to try and make every interaction with our customers a great experience. This sometimes means taking products back after the 30 day return period ends or helping customers get products replaced when the products are no longer under warranty – it does cost us money, but that is the price we pay to go the extra mile to make people happy. Should all other potential avenues to resolve a situation, we’ll even go out of our way to give customers great deals on a new part if we can’t do anything else.
Since just 2010, the world is a very different place – with social media now exploding with potential, it is a tool that is a must for any savvy business in today’s market. ModBargains has been working with social media mediums such as Facebook since I started in 2010, and for years before that as well, although we were not fully immersed in its total potential. About 2 years ago, we really started using all the popular social media sites such as YouTube, Pinterest, Instagram, and further developed our interactions using Facebook. Today, rather than just having one person do Facebook or something as many smaller shops do, we have a whole web team that is dedicated to providing the best ModBargains experience via the social networks, sharing the installs we do as well as showcase customers’ finished cars. Showing off customers’ cars not only lets us show off our handiwork, but highlights the efforts of the customer to make his or her ride something special and recognizes that. Overall, it’s helped us to connect more with our customers, increase our customer base as well as to provide excellent service to our customers.
ModBargains also has an excellent videographer by the name of Ian that produces our ModBargains videos on YouTube. He does an excellent job of producing interesting and artistic videos for our channel. Since his arrival about 10 months ago, he has produced nearly 60 videos and has increased the number of subscribers and views of our channel following by 500 percent. He does great work and we have had several suppliers interested in ModBargains creating video reviews about their products. His artistic and creative talents have produced interesting and useful video content that our customer can view to help make the best modification choices for their vehicles. Be sure to SUBSCRIBE to the ModBargains YouTube channel to stay current with all of Ian’s latest videos.
Even now, ModBargains continues to evolve. We’re in the process of expanding our installation capacity with two new hydraulic lifts to allow us to service more vehicles. Since we do a lot of suspension work here such as coilovers, lowering springs, and wheels and tires, we’ll also be adding an alignment lift & machine to keep cars on the straight and narrow. What’s more, to test the power output of the cars we modify for performance, we’ve purchased an All-Wheel-Drive Dynamometer from DynoJet.
The addition of a dyno will allow us to tune vehicles, and evaluate the gains of individual modifications. Finally, we’ll be adding a small paint booth, so we can paint the lips, fender vents, hoods, trunks and spoilers we offer our customers, right here on site. And of course, with the expanded service capacity, we’ll be needing to bring more mechanics on board, too.
Over the last few years I have seen many changes here at ModBargains. The owners Mike and Ron have clarified the company purpose into one unifying statement: Our purpose is to share our Expertise, Experience, and Enthusiasm in an effort to make the world a better place for automotive enthusiasts – and I think we’re doing just that. This purpose has consistently led ModBargains to grow and improve its employees, parts, services, and presence in the car industry. This truly is a company that is dedicated to its customers, and strives to make every customer a raving fan – and that’s why I’m proud to be a part of the ModBargains team, and why I feel so blessed to have watched it grow from a start up into the bustling performance shop it is today.
Story by Brandon Ybarra, ModBargains Senior Customer Loyalty Representative
Edited by Nick Gregson