Founder of autotext.me and Co-owner of Golden Rule Auto Care
The Desire for Continuous Improvement
In April of 2016, Chris Cloutier and his brother, Patrick, business partner and ASE L1 Master-certified technician, landed on the front cover of Shop Owner Magazine. Their story told in the article “Golden Rule Auto Care Yields Success By Putting Its Name To The Test,” explained how they transformed a struggling auto repair shop located in Rowlett, Texas, which they purchased off of Craigslist nearly six years ago.
With a focus on education, training, and outreach, Chris and Patrick joined a Dealer Strategic Planning Twenty Group that meets every few months, where tire and automotive service dealers share best practices and how to improve profitability. Chris is also involved in local business networking groups, including Toastmasters International.
With 20+ years experience as a software developer including employment stints at Southwest Airlines, Wyndham International, and with nationally syndicated morning radio show host, Kidd Kraddick, Chris saw the benefits of the marriage of software and customer service. As an auto repair shop owner, he realized the need for a better way to communicate with his customers as he observed how communication gaps created bottleneck situations and wasted valuable rack time.
Possessing the entrepreneurial passion to create an innovative solution to solve a common industry problem, Chris designed autotext.me, a tool that dually functions as a visual workflow management system and as a means for keeping customers engaged and informed by providing status updates throughout the stages of the vehicle repair process.
In the October 2015 issue of Ratchet + Wrench Magazine, Golden Rule Auto Care’s story was featured in the recently multi-awarded article “Following the Golden Rule,” which shared how the implementation of autotext.me played a pivotal role in the shop’s process improvement.
Chris applied the familiar practice of quality control from the software industry to the auto repair industry with the December 2016 introduction of autotext.me’s digital quality control inspection add-on, which gives shops the confidence of delivering vehicles to customers in the condition they expected and paid for with no residual issues.