Business Spotlight SEries
Hollenshade’s Auto Service was founded in 1939 , and the team here has been committed to a philosophy of providing the quality of service, accurate estimates, timely repairs, and hassle free follow ups since their opening over 75 years ago. Serving customers in Towson and Baltimore Metropolitan area, Hollenshade’s has an expansive and loyal following of clients spanning four generations.
We spent some time with the owners at Hollenshade’s Auto Service to learn what makes them passionate about what they do. Hollenshade’s Auto Service continues to be a trusted leader in reliable, accurate car care for the Towson, MD area and surrounding vicinity.
Listen below to Tim Hollenshades, Jr., and Tim Hollenshades, Sr., as they describe what makes their service unique, and hear directly from long time customer Randy Mays.
What kind of auto services do you offer?
Hollenshade’s provide high quality, timely automotive maintenance and repair for domestic and foreign makes and models.
What separates you from the competition?
Tim Jr.: “I believe what separates us from our competition is our experience, our customer service, and our speed. We have 9 full time guys that all have countless years of experience in this industry both in our facility and others. We have a lot of guys that come from both both dealerships and other independents.
Our speed comes from that experience and the structure and processes that we operate by. We’re able to turn our repairs over much faster than a lot of our competition. We have a lot of long term customers that have been using our facility for years. It is about stability, consistency, and longevity.
At Hollenshade’s we take a lot of time to understand what the customer’s need is, to make sure we go into the repair knowing what we are targeting, and fixing ultimately what they are going to have repaired at the time that they come in on any given day.”
Who is Your Ideal Customer?
Tim Jr: “Our ideal customer works with us consistently to maintain and service their vehicle. We don’t see them sporadically. We can take them from the routine services like oil changes, tire repairs, and also keep an eye on large repairs that are in the pipe. Car repairs can sometimes be very expensive, and nobody likes to get those bills or incur those charges unforeseen. One of the best things I feel our customers really like is that we are able to repair what’s necessary on a given day, and give them coaching and guidance so they can plan for the future.”
What is Your #1 Source for New Customers?
Tim Sr.: “The better customers and the nicer customers are from word of mouth. We get many customers from the internet. Paper advertising doesn’t seem to work anymore. It is usually a combination of friends, family, and places of business. It seems we are getting new customers since the older customers are either driving less or not driving at all
What Are Some of the Challenges You Find With Customers Today and How do you Address That?
Tim Jr.: “In the modern era of car repair, we see customers less because of full synthetic oils and things like that, and the services are fewer and far between, which puts a burden both on us as technicians and a business because we’re only seeing that car sometimes only twice a year. So there’s a lot more that goes into each service. It’s kind of a give and take with customers nowadays because some of them have been driving for 30 years, and believe that an oil change is a walk in walk out type of thing. When you only see a car every 6 months, that service is a critical thing to be done. There’s a lot more to check. The cars are more complex or it takes more time to do it right and to give the high quality type of service that we take pride in and that we like to offer our customers.
What Made you Want To Become a Small Business Owner?
Tim Jr.: “One of the things that made me intrigued to pursue a life as a small business owner was engagement both with our customers and employees. We’re really proud here at Hollenshade’s of what we contribute to the local automotive aftermarket repair industry. We believe in our offerings and that our offerings are a premium product. An ability to instill that in our next generation of service technicians as well as convey that and offer that to customers continually, is something that gives us extreme pride.”
What Were the Biggest Challenges When You Got Started 40 Years Ago and With Continuing the Family Business?
Tim Sr. to Tim Jr.: “It was no different than today. You have to listen, learn, and stand back and watch, and you make slow methodical changes.
That’s the best way to do it. Listen to the experience of the old man as I am to you now.”
Where Would You Like to See Hollenshade’s 6 Months to 1 Year From Now?
Tim Sr.: “I see very small change and doing as we are today. Just keep going in the direction that we’re going because it seems to work. It’s worked for me for over 45 years and I’ve had the same job.”
Tim Jr.: Customers appreciate that consistency. They like seeing the same faces, both the technicians and the office staff, and getting the quality of service they expect, and they don’t want that to change.”
What Do You Feel Are the Best Things About the Internet for an Automotive Business?
Tim Sr.: “You can track things better. People can find information, and they are more educated. You can understand people a lot better.
Tim Jr: “A lot of the time the information they find on the internet does not pertain to their vehicle, or their vehicle might not be equipped with the type of system that generates the problem that they find on the internet. It sometimes is our job to coach and re-educate our customer to give them a new perspective.”
Long time customer Randy: “I would not go anywhere else. I honestly would not go anywhere else. My son comes in here, my brother in law comes here, my sister comes in here. Consistent service, absolutely.”
Visit Tim Hollenshades, Jr, Tim Hollenshades Sr. and their amazing team to see what great care they can provide for you and your vehicle at Hollenshade’s Auto Service, located at:
1501 E Joppa Rd.
Towson, Maryland 21286
Hours of Operation:
Monday – Friday : 7:00 AM to 6:00 PM
Saturday : 7:00 AM to 2:00 PM