Arto Dermovsesian has been with Openbay since the company’s early days, and his shop, Arto’s Service Station, is an Openbay Recommended business that has been around for 17 years. We dropped in at Arto’s, which is in a prime location in Watertown, MA, near plenty of foot traffic, to learn more about about Dermovsesian’s business and his experience working with Openbay.
How long has Arto’s been in business?
We’ve been here since 1999, so 17 years.
How did you get into the automotive world?
I’ve always been working around cars. I went to technical school, worked at a dealership, and then worked at other garages. I went to an independent shop, and worked there for five years.
Working at a dealership, it felt like I was just doing jobs. At independent places, you learn a lot more about a business, from buying parts, to selling jobs to customers.
Tell us about your business.
When I was 26, my father and I bought this business. It was already an established auto-repair business, and as we grew, we hired more people. We have three bays, and two mechanics plus me. I like to mess around in the garage for fun and for problem solving. I get bored if I’m not doing something.
We’re AAA approved, and for that, we pay about $450/year. It’s hard for businesses to qualify. They do a lot of research on the place; they assess competence in every part of our business, and they check any complaints, because they want to make sure their customers’ car are fixed.
How long have you been with Openbay?
I’ve been with Openbay for a few years, and we’re now an Openbay Recommended Shop. If I see a request come in that’s 10 miles away, I won’t respond. But if it’s within 2-3 miles, I do.
I’ve got OpenbayASP, the service-provider app. It’s certainly helped. I use the app 100x more than I had ever used the computer. I can respond to a few incoming customer requests within a minute or so. Now, I always use the app. I don’t even open up a computer anymore.
Any idea what keeps your shop successful, beyond its location?
I try to treat our customers well, and I’m always around for questions. After hours, the shop phone redirects to my cell phone. There’s no middleman here, so they can reach me, and that saves them time.
Also, I have a great relationship with my parts store. It’s more like a personal relationship than the type they might have with a shop owner who’s never there. That helps my customers, because if, for example, a warranty on a part has only just expired, I’ll get them to put an extra six months on it.