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Helping Auto Repair’s Internal Customers Make The Right Choices with Al Sutherland

May 23, 2023

Helping Auto Repair's Internal Customers Make The Right Choices with Al Sutherland

Welcoming new team members shouldn’t feel like every time a Targaryen is born: “Every time a new internal customer is hired, the Gods flip a coin.” We can do many things to ensure we make the right pick during the hiring process, and there are plenty more we can do once they join us to help them adjust to our culture, work rhythm, and philosophy.

In this episode, I’m joined by a dear friend and Automotive Industry veteran, Al Sutherland. Al is the Owner of Al’s Certified Auto Repair, which opened its doors in 2001, moved by the selfless desire to help as many people as possible fix their car issues and, at the same time, enjoy a great experience while doing it.

Throughout his episode, Al shares his thoughts on setting clear expectations with internal customers to maximize good results, the importance of being ready to re-educate them on specific aspects of their lives, and how to help new team members adapt to our auto repair shop’s culture.

In addition, we chat about how to avoid adopting a “mob mentality” during interviews, Al’s toughest lessons learned as an auto repair shop owner, and much more.

In this episode, you will learn:

  • About what made Al start his own business (2:10)
  • Al talks about how they handle hiring processes at his auto repair shop (6:00)
  • How to establish healthy boundaries with internal customers (10:10)
  • Al shares the most challenging lesson he learned as a shop owner (16:30)
  • Sometimes, we must re-educate internal customers (21:20)
  • How to help new internal customers adapt to our company’s culture (23:30)


Jimmy Lea | Product Evangelist at KUKUI

These are what you will get from listening to Kim Hickey on Maximum Octane. Kim is not shy nor will she hide behind the safe questions. She will always dig deep asking great questions to get to the core of the issue/topic.

Insight, Information, and Engagement 

Barney Fein

Take it to the Max with Kim, her peddle to the metal energy and insight will spark your business success!

Go to the front of the pack

Amy Rookwood

Never would have thought a podcast by an auto repair shop would have such useful information for a life coach! Kim is open, unconventional and totally easy to listen to. Loved her background story and this non-auto-centered woman can’t wait to hear more!


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