Megawheelz owner, Param Johl, knows there’s more to customer service than the dollar figure on the invoice.
Param Johl, founder and owner of Mississauga, Ontario-based Megawheelz has been in the tire business for over three decades. The little shop he started so many years ago has evolved and grown over the years, and today he, his wife, and his son run a successful operation with the help of their staff.
The key to success, says Johl, is constant improvement. And in fact, if you were to walk into Johl’s store today, you’d find that it’s advanced and progressed with the times. Clean, tidy, and well stocked, it appeals to customers who are shopping for quality, and not just price.
“Every year we do something to refresh the look,” Johl says, “and we’ve managed to attract a lot of female customers. They come here and they feel very comfortable.”
The Megawheelz store boasts two waiting areas – one with a TV and gourmet coffee, and the other in a more quiet part of the store. “Some people like to work while they wait for their vehicle, others prefer to watch TV,” Johl explains. “We offer both.”
Product knowledge is key
But there’s more to Megawheelz than pretty looks and good coffee. Johl and his staff pride themselves on the level of their product knowledge. “A lot of customers don’t know the size that’s right for them when they’re upgrading their wheels and tires,” Johl explains. “Sometimes they come in with products they’ve purchased elsewhere, and we have to explain to them that they just won’t fit. You need to know what you’re doing so that you can offer the service and the advice that’s right for each customer.”
Johl insists that price is not everything. “You have to know what you’re doing,” he says. “We troubleshoot a lot of customers’ problems here. People buy things on Kijiji, it turns out to be the wrong thing, and then they come to us to solve the problem.”
On the front lines
Although he’s been in business for over 30 years, Johl still insists on spending time on the front lines of his business, especially during the busy seasons. “It’s the only way to stay on top of things, understand what customers want, and what my staff has to deal with,” he says. “It also lets me see what we can do to improve, to speed things up and to avoid problems and mistakes.”
Johl says he feels sorry for people who are trying to venture into the tire industry today. “It’s not as easy as it looks. Initially people think how difficult could it be to mount a tire. But there’s more to it. You need the right equipment, the right people, and the know how to do it right, and to fix problems that come your way on a regular basis.”
He’s also a big believer in offering a complete package to his customers. “When you can sell a package, the customer leaves satisfied,” he explains. “He’s got wheels and tires that are properly sized; a functioning TPMS, which means there’s no warning light on; his old tires are properly stored; and his vehicle runs smooth and straight. He’s happy.
“We might be a little more expensive, but the service we provide comes with no headaches. That’s what customers want.”