Family Legends: The Head Family
This auto repair shop cares about your family just as much as its own
The Head Family, H&H Auto Service
Bill, as a family business owner, you are focused on customers and relationships. What is the most gratifying part of customer service? Building relationships with our customers is the most gratifying experience. We treat our customers and employees like we would want to be treated. Our friends became our customers, and our customers became our friends. We have owned H&H for 30 years and have customers whose grandparents, children and grandchildren have all come to us. I have received calls from a husband diagnosed with a terminal disease, and he will say, “take care of my wife’s car for me.” And we do. That’s why we won the Hilton Head Island Chamber Award for “Small Business of the Year.”
Do you have different challenges as a family-owned business? How do you deal with these challenges? Being self-employed and responsible for employees and daily operations can be all-consuming. Initially, I worked seven days a week and held long hours away from my family. I recall a time when my son was a Boy Scout and wanted to stay overnight at a Boy Scout camp near Charleston. My wife and daughter took him with the other Scout “dads.” They stayed with one of our customers; he shared his tent with them. And I realized my focus had to be my family first. I encourage my employees to put family first, too.
What advice would you give other business owners looking for solid customer relationships? Honesty and integrity are critical. Value your customers and build relationships based on safety, dependability and pride of ownership.
What three lessons have you learned from starting a family business?
1. You can’t do everything on your own. We built a team by hiring the best technicians and service writers. We also encourage continued education so that everyone on our team can live up to their highest potential.
2. Large automotive franchises focus on the bottom lines and their profits, whereas we focus on customer service and retention. People go to businesses they know and trust. Be that trust.
3. Follow your passion. I loved cars and bought my first car when I was 14. No one encouraged me to make a living working on cars. You don’t always have to go to college. Hard work and perseverance will help you achieve success. I still love cars and working on them.
Meet Bill, Vicki, Michael, Whitney & Emma
Come in: 35 Hunter Road, Hilton Head