What are the best reasons to work for AutoZone?
Since I am a college student, our store manager has been really great at scheduling my hours around my school schedule. We also get a generous 20% discount on parts for our own cars.
Our stores really do look great. Our computer system really is the best in the industry that I have seen. We can order almost everything that we carry in only two days. And everyone in my store truly does enjoy helping our customers with their cars.
What are some of the downsides of working at AutoZone?
We had a record year in 2008, set sales records every month, and almost every week. Our store manager got a HUGE bonus. Capital HUGE!! And what did the rest of us get? A pizza party for which the company only picked up about half the tab, and then our hours were slashed.
And it wasn't slow business that they cut our hours for, they started slashing hours at least three months before the winter slowdown, while we were still setting sales records. Not only have all the employees been struggling financially, but customer service has been terrible. I have literally heard the question "Are you the only one here?" several times, during the mid-day rush, while the only other employee in the store was the manager, who was taking care of massive amounts of paperwork while the phones were ringing off the hooks and impatient customers were walking out the door. I have had to turn away customers that needed go-out-to-the-car service, and told them to come back later for our free testing services, all because we simply were understaffed, all during the same time when my hours were cut from around 30 to around 10.
We are expected to do cheers, chants, and acrobatics like a bunch of middle-school cheerleaders, while at the same time receiving NO benefits for part-timers, getting our hours slashed on the whims of upper management, starting during our busiest months in the fall, then struggling to keep up with bills all winter long.
On my last two performance reviews, I have actually been criticized for spending too much time providing personal customer service to particularly needy customers, when I am one of the few employees with hands on mechanic experience.
We do price changes that mark products up to gouging levels, and then mark them down again a few weeks or months later when they stop selling.
And wages are nearly unchanged from what they were 10 years ago.
What advice or feedback would you give to Senior Management?
Share the profits with the employees. The manager doesn't run the store himself, it is ALL of the employees who are responsible for providing great service and encouraging repeat business. When times are good, let those of us on the front lines share in the rewards.
Stop pushing junk at the cash registers. This isn't AMWAY. NAPA and Schucks don't do it. It sets ridiculous hoops for the employees to jump through, annoys the customers, and is contrary to the professional service that you expect us to give. Have some respect for the customers and treat them like adults, and your employees too, for that matter. If you must persist with the "Checkout Challenge" then push the candy and pop, or air filters and other things that are actually necessary. Lay off the fuel cleaners, as most of them are snake oil anyway.
If you really want to shake things up, get rid of the glitter ***, the stick-on "port holes", the neon tubes. All that trash is just shoplifter bait.
Get some class. Fewer vinyl snakeskin steering wheel covers and more leather. I got a beautiful, high quality leather steering cover... over at Walmart. We can't even order a nice leather piece without the gaudy logos on it. Get rid of the cheap vinyl "Type R" seat covers and get some nice sheepskins in there, and maybe some wool floor mats. The local feed and grain store has a better selection of truck accessories, mudflaps, tow hitches, tool boxes, etc, than we do.
Pay more attention to the competition. And I don't just mean Schucks. This is the internet age, and we are getting our doors blown off in both price and selection by our online competition.