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Eric Unrein

Midas Franchisee and Customer Service Hero

Eric Unrein - Midas Franchisee and Customer Service Hero

“The first point of business at our managers’ meetings is never ‘how are we doing in sales?’  It’s always ‘how are we doing in customer service?’ Are we giving our customers what they expect and are we then giving them that little bit extra?”  
Eric Unrein, Midas franchisee, Kansas

If your travels take you along the eastern Kansas stretch of I-70 (the “Main Street of Kansas”) and you’re in search of a friendly, professional, full-service auto shop, you won’t have far to look. Franchisee Eric Unrein operates five Midas stores in a 150-mile stretch: one each in Manhattan, Kansas City and Lawrence, and two in Topeka.

Take your vehicle to any of these shops, for anything from an oil change to transmission work, and we’re confident you’ll leave pretty darn happy with the service and perhaps even make some new friends.

Oh, yes, you’ll also leave with a big red sticker and a key chain, but we’ll get to those later.

A Kansan, born and bred from Great Bend, smack-dab in the middle of the state, Unrein has a knack for top-notch customer service.  His shops regularly rack up rave reviews in customer satisfaction surveys, getting some of the best service scores in Midas’ 1,700-store network, a major source of pride for him.

“The first point of business at our managers’ meetings is never ‘how are we doing in sales?’  It’s always ‘how are we doing in customer service?’” said Unrein.  “Are we giving our customers what they expect and are we then giving them that little bit extra?”

Unrein’s regulars include military personnel from Ft. Riley near Manhattan, Kansas; students and faculty from colleges in Lawrence and Manhattan; and movers and shakers in Topeka, the state capital, as well as city folks in Kansas City.

But no matter who you are, from the minute you arrive you’ll find that these are not run-of-the-mill car repair shops. Unrein’s stores are bright, clean and painted in Midas’ new, eye-catching reds and yellows. The waiting areas are comfortable, with plush leather seating, flat screen TVs and gleaming coffee stations offering always-fresh brew. The spotless washrooms (“the cleanest in Kansas,” according to a recent visitor) are decked out with home-style mirrors and polished fixtures.

Step into the store, and you’ll be greeted by a manager or service advisor who will take as long as required to listen, discuss and diagnose any vehicle problem you’re experiencing. Then, after an experienced technician (the average mechanic’s tenure is eight years) has completed a thorough Courtesy Check, you will be invited out to the workshop for “show and tell.”

“First, we review everything that’s in good shape,” Unrein explained. “Folks like to know what’s not wrong with their vehicle.  Then we explain anything that needs to be done: flushes, alignments, brakes, tires. Plus, we’ll alert the customer to any factory-scheduled maintenance issues dictated by the car’s mileage.”

And that where the sales pitch begins, right? 

“Wrong!” says Unrein. “We never sell a service. We talk, we listen and we put the customer at ease and in control of every transaction.”

Count on Unrein and his team working to win your confidence and your business.  If you’ve made an appointment, you’ll get a friendly reminder call a couple of days before. You’ll be offered courtesy shuttle service; so you can get back home or to work, or wherever, while your vehicle is in the shop. And you’ll always get a call after your visit, thanking you for your business.

Which brings us back to the big red stickers and key chains: Unrein has a theory that when a customer’s invoice is presented in an envelope, that envelope usually goes into the glove compartment unread. So, his managers and service advisors spread invoices flat on the counter to give customers an opportunity to review everything that’s been done and to ask any questions. Then they slap onto the envelope a big red sticker that says “If for any reason you cannot grade us ‘Very Satisfied,’ please contact the store manager immediately. Your satisfaction is our No. 1 concern at Midas.”

“Giving our customers a chance to offer feedback provides us with an opportunity to grow with those customers and adapt to suit their needs,” explained Unrein. 

As an additional “thank you,” everyone gets a free key chain with a $5 discount on their next oil maintenance.

Small-town Kansas he may be, but a visit to one of his shops will show you that this Midas dealer is thinking big. “I’m a nice guy, but I’m ultra competitive.” concluded Unrein. “And I’m most competitive of all about providing unbeatable service.”

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