Xpresso Lube’s

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Charlie Green, owner of Xpresso Lube, is not your typical car repairman. A man of many talents, Charlie gained valuable knowledge of the oil-change business while working in the Special Mixtures Division of Goodyear. Charlie also learned from his father and brother while working on cars when he was growing up and later supplemented this knowledge by taking formal automotive courses. All similarities between Charlie and his fellow mechanics end there, however. Charlie also is a professional musician. He plays an upright bass and sings and owns a coffee plantation in Costa Rica.
When it’s time to get your oil changed, you have only two choices—change it yourself or pay someone else (e.g., dealership, independent auto mechanic, or a “quick oil/lube” station) to do it for you. Many people choose quick oil-change stations because it is easier than doing it themselves and it is usually quicker and cheaper than going to a dealer or an independent mechanic.
Folks just want to get in and out as fast and economically as possible. Most companies that provide oil-change service are indistinguishable. They charge about the same price and are found on almost every major street. Most people pick one that is close to home and that has a short waiting line. The challenge faced by the quick-change services is to manage demand. Most customers want service during the lunch hour,
Xpresso Lube8 CASE 2.2 fit7783x_ch02_017-034.indd 32 8/22/07 2:57:41 PM
Chapter 2 The Nature of Services 33 after work, or on Saturdays. An oil-change business, therefore, wants to move customers in and out as quickly as possible.
Speed of service is the way they try to differentiate themselves from their competitors.
Charlie remembers the last time he paid to have his car’s oil changed. He was in the waiting room with several other customers when a lube technician came in to discuss a problem with an elderly lady. “Ma’am, you see this?” The technician held a PCV valve in his

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