Andrew Cutler Prioritizes Community Service

Andrew Cutler Prioritizes Community Service

Andrew Cutler, the president of Muskegon Brake & Tire, keeps good customer service as a priority.

If Muskegon Brake & Tire President Andrew Cutler, who runs tire shops in Muskegon and Norton Shores, Michigan, could hand-pick his company’s next customer service advisor, sales representative or service writer, the businesses he would scout when making his selection might surprise you.

But, as someone who entered the tire industry 16 years ago with a few years’ worth of restaurant industry management on his resume, he doesn’t stutter when it comes to making his pick.

“I would love to get ahold of someone like an Applebee’s manager who is tired of working in the restaurant industry, who’s passionate about cars. I think they would probably be some of the best customer service people you could find,” he says. “They have been in the trenches. They have dealt with the grief. It’s a totally different industry, but it’s interesting how similar [it is to tires] when you get down to the basics of it.”

Andrew always has customer service top of mind and employs innovative business practices, as evidenced by literally hundreds of glowing reviews praising his shops online. Reviewers rave about everything from the shops’ text and email progress updates, to the child-friendly waiting areas, to the trust they have in the business to tell them if a requested repair or service is not needed. He also recommends investing in an online reputation management service to help solicit positive reviews, as “an angry customer is going to leave a review anyway. The ones we need a review from are the ones who leave with a warm, fuzzy feeling,” Andrew says.

His shops are also known for initiatives like the Wine, Women & Wheels Car Care Clinic, that demonstrates his shops’ professionalism, knowledge and friendliness to the community.

The clinic, started in 2010 by Andrew’s father, Bob, involves a wine tasting, a charcuterie board, door prizes and an invitation for customers to learn more about their cars, all free of charge.

“We’ll get so many women who come in and will lead with ‘I don’t know anything about cars,’ but my comment back to them is ‘guess what, nobody knows about cars anymore,’” Andrew says. “Nobody’s out there wrenching on their vehicle unless they’re enthusiasts. So, we just try to empower women when it comes to automotive service. We go through and give them the rundown on different dash lights, what kind of tire treadwear they need to look for, what their TPMS sensors do, where the spare tire is and how to get it out, and just take questions.

“We ask for feedback and, by and large, it has been super positive,” he continues. “I have customers who have been to every single one.”

Muskegon Brake & Tire is also “AskPatty Certified Female Friendly,” which signals to female consumers the shops are a safe and reliable source for expert automotive advice and research.

Andrew says one of the big unknowns facing the near future of the tire industry is the global microchip shortage currently disrupting production in an automotive market which relies heavily on semiconductors.

FUN FACT: During one SEMA event in Las Vegas, Andrew Cutler and his father, Bob Cutler, once held up the autograph line for professional rally car driver Ken Block, after Block realized he’d once witnessed Bob at an off-road rally event driving a memorable, yellow, 1973 Porsche 911, “which was an interesting choice, to say the least,” Andrew says. “We held up that line for a good 10-15 minutes. They were just going back and forth talking rally, talking cars.”

On one hand, he says, OEMs aren’t producing as many vehicles as they normally would, and that means consumers are running their older cars longer than they normally intended. This will give the service and repair industry a nice bump in sales over the next two years or so, he predicts.

On the other hand…

“They are predicting two or three years until [OEMs] recover from this chip shortage,” Andrew says. “The good news is that we’re busy in part because of the lack of new car inventory, so it’s a good place to be, but it’s also worrisome because we need new cars to enter the market or we won’t have cars to fix later.”

Another prediction Andrew has about the industry is that automation processes will continue to be added to shop equipment in an attempt to combat the ongoing technician shortage.

“All of these automatic machines are going to get better, and the price is going to come down a bit,” he says. “If someone wants to be a mechanic, there will always be a job for them, and if somebody wants to service vehicles, there will be a job for them. But, in 10 years, there won’t be enough.”

From Andrew’s perspective, he says his best defense against the shortage is to do what he can to take care of the quality technicians his shop already employs.

“We do everything we can to make sure they have training available at a time that’s convenient for them, and we make sure that their pay makes sense for what they do,” he says. “We make sure our guys are paid appropriately and that they want to stay with us.”

You May Also Like

Black’s Tire’s Brian Pierce: ‘My People are My Biggest Motivator’

Manager of 16 Black’s Tire stores, Brian Pierce has been commended on his dedication.

Brian-Pierce-Blacks Tire

In the short span of 11 years, Brian Pierce has worked his way up from a general service technician—changing tires, oil and doing some mechanic work—to now managing 16 stores in South Carolina for Black’s Tire. A head-down, humble hard worker, Brian speaks with passion about the industry that he has come to love.

Business Acumen Sends Joe Miles to Top Industry Groups

Treating the customer right goes beyond free tire rotation or doing a flat repair whether you bought a tire from Kaiser Tire or not.

T.J. Tennent Turns His Passion Into Unending Tire Forensics Opportunities

Law enforcement officers across the world know T.J. Tennent and his cherry red Ferrari well, with many of them working to track him down even now, as you read these words. That said, you won’t find any “Wanted” posters of him at any police stations – or if you do, it’s simply a sign that

Tj Tennent
Stephanie Morey Has Carved Her Way Into the Tire Industry

There appears to be no challenge that Stephanie Morey can’t overcome. From being a leader in data management in the ever-changing tire industry to building a shop in her backyard when her woodturning passion was put on hold due to the pandemic, she is up to the test. Related Articles – Yokohama’s Heather Adelman: Grow

Sherri Wolford Prioritizes Positivity in The Fast-Paced Tire Industry

After only two years in the tire service industry, Sherri Wolford’s can-do spirit and values have already had a positive impact on the distribution segment of Myers Industries. Related Articles – Mike Evans Takes Tire Inspections to Incredible Heights in Import Business – Nokian Tyres Pierre Zupancic Enjoys the Fast-Paced Industry – Aaron Telle Reflects

Other Posts

Club 3633 Nominations Now Open!

Know someone changing the tire industry for the better? Nominate them for our Club 3633!

Club 3633 2022
Club 3633 Nominations are Now Open

Tire Review is searching for tire industry influencers – someone who is really changing things for the better, innovating and making strides in your company. Nominate them for our 2022 class of Club 3633 at this link. Related Articles – TIA introduces the Marvin Bozarth ETS Technician of the Year award – Anyline grows annually

Club 3633 Covers 600x300
Esmeralda Bernal Takes Strategic Business Approach

Esmeralda Bernal, the sales and business development manager for Yokohama Off-Highway Tires, has the strategic mindset needed to help customers succeed.

Whitney Moore Always Aims to Improve

Whitney Moore, the co-owner and general manager of GL Moore Tire Pros, is passionate about a hobby that might raise a few eyebrows when you consider her store is located in Springfield, Missouri. Despite living nearly 600 miles from the nearest ocean, Moore considers herself an avid scuba diver.