Creating Customers For Life
by Melissa LaScaleia
This year, Jiffy Lube celebrates its 40th anniversary as a company that prides itself on fast oil changes delivered with excellent customer service. The president and co-owner of the six Jiffy Lube locations along the Grand Strand, Steve Allison, reflects on how he got started in the business, what his company offers, and where they’re headed next.
In the early nineties, Steve was working for a company installing computer systems in quick lubes across the country. In 1993, he came to Surfside Beach to install the point of sale system in a new Texaco Xpress Lube store. Steve had also managed quick lube locations throughout Portland, Oregon since the age of eighteen, and was able to help the new owner get started in the industry.
When that owner opened a second location in North Myrtle Beach, and offered Steve the opportunity to move to South Carolina and purchase half of the business, Steve jumped at the chance. He moved from Oregon to South Carolina in 1994.
“We quickly grew to six locations along the Grand Strand, and made a deal after our fifth location, that I would purchase the other half of the business,” Steve says.
In 2008, Steve teamed up with his current business partner, Al Chance, who is a dear friend, and the current CEO of the company. Together, they decided to purchase several Jiffy Lube franchise locations in Florida. At the same time, they converted their six Grand Strand Shell Rapid Lube locations into Jiffy Lubes as well.
It took them less than five years before Jiffy Lube International recognized their hard work and customer service, designating their company as Franchisee of the Year across the network of approximately 2,000 stores.
“We are super proud of the Franchisee of the Year award,” Steve says. “We have been able to surround ourselves with an amazing team that continues to elevate the customer experience. In fact, our customer service score continues to rank among the highest of all the Jiffy Lubes across the country.”
The Grand Strand Jiffy Lube locations deliver on that designation, taking customer service to the next level. As part of their Jiffy Lube Signature Service Oil Change, they will run a full safety inspection on your vehicle; check and top off all fluids; set the tires to the proper manufacturer specifications; vacuum the interior; and wash your windows— all in about 15-20 minutes. The best part: you never need an appointment.
“We understand that your time is valuable,” Steve says. “That’s why all our team members are trained and certified to get you back on the road in 15-20 minutes. We know having your car serviced isn’t your favorite thing to do, so we try to give you your time back, without the worry and stress of car maintenance.”
Jiffy Lube also offers a free top off service, so you can go into any location and get your fluids checked and topped off, as well as your tire pressure checked, anytime in between oil changes. They’ll even add more oil if needed.
Back in the days when gas stations were full-service, an attendant would rush out to your car to serve you when you pulled in. Today, each of Steve’s Jiffy Lube locations delivers that same type of old-fashioned service. When you pull into one of their locations, a service technician will actually jog out to your car to greet you and get you taken care of right away.
“We’ve built our business doing things like jogging out to cars when they pull in; nobody else does that,” Steve says. “I believe it’s just the right way to welcome someone to our business. For me, first impressions are everything.
“We know that we are only as good as the team members that we have in each local store. So we are always looking to hire great people that will go above and beyond— men and women with great attitudes that truly understand our ‘at your service mentality.’”
If first impressions are important to Steve, last impressions are equally so. That’s why every customer receives the red-carpet treatment— in actuality. After your service, a team member will roll out a red carpet for you, giving you a chance to wipe your feet as you’re getting into your car.
“It’s also a gesture of thanks,” Steve says. “And it sets us apart. We know people can go anywhere to get an oil change and they chose us, and we simply want to show our appreciation.”
“When you come into any of our locations,” he adds, “our stores are clean, our technicians— their uniforms and their hands are clean, and your car is clean. We care about the details.
“These are the things that we are known for, and why our customers return to us each time they need their vehicles serviced. It’s our mission to create a customer for life and take care of the family fleet of vehicles.”
In keeping with that mission, Jiffy Lube does much more than oil changes. They replace filters and fluids, and offer fuel system cleaning, tire rotations, and wiper blades. They now have Jiffy Lube Multicare stores, where ASE certified mechanics perform more in-depth maintenance like brakes, tire changes, and full tune-ups.
“Nobody likes car payments, or wants to buy another car because they didn’t properly take care of the one they have,” Steve says. “So bring it to us, and let us take care of it for you. We believe that if a car has 100,000 miles on it, it still has at least 100,000 miles left in it.”
At this time, there are three Jiffy Lube Multicare stores in Myrtle Beach— two in Conway, and one in North Myrtle Beach; they are currently in the process of transitioning most locations to be Jiffy Lube Multicare stores.
In addition to their Grand Strand locations, they’ve grown into Florida and Massachusetts as well, but continue to be locally owned.
Jiffy Lube works on all makes and models of cars, including luxury and foreign cars. Contrary to what many people believe, having your car serviced with Jiffy Lube doesn’t void any manufacturer warranties.
In fact, it helps keep your car warranty valid because when you’re under warranty, your car still needs regular maintenance. You can have all your car maintenance done at Jiffy Lube, and be in and out, rather than making an appointment at the dealership, spending an hour or half the day in a waiting room, or even having to take a loaner car until yours is ready.
“We are all about leaving your worry and anxiety behind,” Steve says. “Long live your car.”
Jiffy Lube Stores
1952 10th Avenue North
Myrtle Beach, SC 29577
3617 Highway 17 Bypass
Murrells Inlet, SC 29576
920 Highway 17 Bypass
Surfside Beach, SC 29575
1551 Highway 17 North
North Myrtle Beach, SC 29582
255 Singleton Ridge Road
Conway, SC 29526
1711 Church Street
Conway, SC 29526