MARYSVILLE — Stryker Bros. Automotive in Marysville has received a AAA Top Shop Award.
Every year, AAA of Washington evaluates the quality of repair work, courtesy of employees and the shop cleanliness of each AAA-approved auto repair facility in both Washington and northern Idaho. Of those facilities that meet the standards needed to be part of the AAA-approved auto repair network, the “best of the best” earn AAA Top Shop Awards, based on customer satisfaction surveys and feedback, and typically have received customer satisfaction rates of close to 100 percent during the calendar years leading up to their awards.
Stryker Bros. started in Marysville in 1980, and current owner Steve Johnson has been running it since 2003, after working with previous owner Mike Stryker since 1996. He noted that Stryker Bros. has managed to distinguish itself while handling a high volume of work, which was considered as part of the AAA Top Shop Award.
“It’s easy to get good ratings when you’re only doing 10 cars a week, as opposed to a couple of hundred a month, like we are,” Johnson said. “It was down from that number during the winter, of course, with the economy, which was scary. A lot of shops have closed in Smokey Point and Everett.”
Johnson attributes the continued survival and success of Stryker Bros. to the attention that its employees pay to the shop’s customers.
“A lot of our customers have been coming here a long time,” Johnson said. “Auto repair is always stressful, whether it’s an oil change or having major work done, but if customers can come in and be greeted by someone who knows them by their first names, they can relax a bit. We cater to our customers. I beat it into everybody,” he laughed, “that they’re why we’re here, and they’re how we get paid.”
Johnson’s belief in the importance of focusing on customer service was instilled in him by his seven-year career as a movie theater manager, as well as the years he spent working for Lexus. For that reason, he doesn’t expect that Stryker Bros. will expand, because he prefers to oversee its operations on a more personal level. In the meantime, he promises that customers can continue to expect state-of-the-art service from his shop.
“We haven’t seen the newer cars, such as the hybrids, in our shop yet, except for oil changes, because they’re all still under warranty,” Johnson said. “But we send our employees to school, two weeks out of every year, to keep up with all the latest equipment. Our shop equipment is constantly updated. If it’s been released, we have it.”
AAA-approved auto repair facilities are required to meet or exceed AAA’s standards regarding equipment and certified technicians. They must guarantee service or repairs for 12 months or 12,000 miles, whichever comes first, and must offer written estimates, in advance if requested, as well as return replaced parts, and obtain customer approval before doing any work beyond their original estimates. They must also provide complimentary vehicle inspections to AAA members, while having other services performed, and agree to let AAA arbitrate any disputes regarding quality of service or repairs.