John Thompson, owner of North Texas Paintless Dent Repair in Corinth, probably doesn’t realize he constructed a stairway to business and personal success by utilizing two well-known adages. The first one: Necessity is the mother of invention. The second one: Bend over backward.
The first came into play when Thompson was in a tug-of-war custody battle for his son Samuel. His golden gift of gab kept him involved in sales for years, but in order to win full custody of his son, he needed something not commission-based. His family was hands-on automotive people, and Thompson learned about paintless dent repair in 1999. Nearly 20 years later, a search of his memory banks brought back PDR and pushed him into a deeper investigation.
Thompson went through the training, hooked up with a mentor, gained experience, and hung out his own shingle.
With his family as the motivation, Thompson hit the ground running. He was unstoppable. He obviously has the genes of a contortionist because he learned, instinctively, the benefits of “bending over backwards” for his clients.
Thompson got his own PDR shop, and, in less than a year, his client list has grown tremendously, leading him to move from his first location to something bigger and better.
“It didn’t take long for me to figure out our three guiding factors,” he said. “They’re communication, customer service, and craftsmanship.
“I knew I needed to take the stress away from the vehicle owner. He already has a headache from looking at dents, creases, and pockmarks. That hurts, whether it’s a new truck or car or an old one. I handle the entire claim with the insurance. I offer pick-up and delivery services if needed. We try to make sure the customer is never without a vehicle, but the best protection is for the client to carry rental insurance.
“My goal is to restore the value of the damaged vehicle but included is the need to shoot straight with the customers. I tell them up front if I can do a complete, as-perfect-as-possible restoration and I’ll tell them if I can’t. That’s the only way to avoid disappointments. Ideally, we feel the best route is to under-promise and over-deliver.”
How has Thompson done, according to his self-imposed guidelines? Well, how do you feel about online reviews? North Texas Paintless Dent Repair has accumulated nearly 100 customer reviews with an overall 5.0 rating. Customers use such words as “miracle, amazing, awesome, top-notch, integrity, hard-working, beautiful,” and more. It’s as if the people are praising the work of Da Vinci or Michelangelo!
Maybe even more important is the trust they have for him. Clients send their friends to the shop on North Corinth St. They bring their grandmothers, their friends, and their cousins. The referrals are amazing, but the repeat customers border on the unbelievable.
“I had a couple who brought me all their vehicles,” Thompson recalled. “Two years later, they called me about the same cars after another hail storm. I went over to their house and told them I’d call after I assessed the damage. They said, ‘Don’t bother. We trust you so just go ahead and start the insurance process.’ To me, that proves I’m doing some things right.”
A significant number of Thompson’s glowing reviews come from people with vehicles that are 25 (or more) years old. Their owners literally crow about their looking as good as they did on the showroom floor the year they came off the assembly line.
“Everything about this venture has been great, from ground zero to now,” Thompson said with obvious enthusiasm. “And it’s going to get better.
“I’ve hired a full-time technician who meets my quality standards. The plan is to hire two more. My ultimate goal is to own my building and the ground it’s built on. I get excited just thinking about it.”
And on a personal level? “Samuel is 15 and doing great,” Thompson said. “My wife, Laura, is better than great. Our daughter Savannah brings us tremendous happiness and my oldest daughter Madisun has given us two grandbabies.”
Could Thompson’s world be any better? Right now, it’s darned close to perfect. We’ll wait to see if that status changes when he notches his belt with signed papers for his very own shop.