Owners of the Colony, Texas Tint World® reflect on lessons learned
Jeff and Penny Rackley have been married for nearly 20 years, and have spent the last two of those years operating their Tint World® franchise location in Colony, Texas. Penny said she originally thought there was no way she’d work with her husband, but it has worked out well, through good times and bad.
She shared some observations about operating the Dallas-area store in this latest Tint World family spotlight.
Her biggest and best lesson so far? Don’t judge a book by its cover.
Question: Has the franchisee experience lived up to your expectations?
Answer: The home office is so responsive. If we have a hiccup with phones, for instance, or a tech needs info on product wiring, or there’s a question about the point-of-sale system, they are incredibly responsive.
In this technological age, we get accustomed to people not responding or making an excuse or passing the buck. If we have a question, it can go all the way to the very top, and we’ll get an answer from Charles (Bonfiglio, Tint World president and CEO). The head honcho will call us directly with an answer. There’s nothing he won’t do to get answers for his franchisees. It’s really outstanding. He doesn’t allow obstacles. He plows through them, and it’s something to behold.
Has anything surprised you?
We’re both in our 50s, and we each had our own careers, but we never worked together or intended to work together. We have actually found it’s really fun, and we both enjoy it. In any business, there are going to be difficult times and times of tension. But, overall, we enjoy working together six days a week, from 8 to 6. It has been a very pleasant surprise. He has a lot of car connections, especially related to high-performance vehicles. He is also a high-performance driving instructor for some of the 10 tracks in the Dallas area. He is the lead dog in the pack. People know him for his integrity and his knowledge and that he’s also an exacting person. If Jeff and his team are working on your car, it’s going to get done right. Our reviews online reflect that.
Who are his students?
People who want to drive their car around a track safely and faster, whether it’s a Miata or you want to tear it up in your McLaren. He’s not scared. I, on the other hand, am. That’s his personal passion.
What do each of you drive?
I drive a 2006 Porsche Cayman. You don’t have to be young to be cute. You know that, right? He drives a 2005 Toyota Sequoia. His personal fun car is a Lotus Elise. If you don’t know what it looks like, you should Google it.
Has being in the business increased your appreciation for cars?
Jeff was born enthralled with cars. We will have been married 30 years in February. Coming into the shop can be like a club. His genuine enthusiasm and love for cars is infectious. He treats these cars as if they are his own. Seeing our customers so happy is what makes me enjoy the job. For example, somebody comes in with an ‘06 Corolla and they are kind of sad about it. But we get the crappy tint off, put new tint on and the car looks great and you see them so happy. They think “I don’t have to have a McLaren for them to care about me and my car.”
Do you have any interesting stories about customers?
One of my ultimate favorite customers works at a local furniture store. He’s all smiles, just a radiant person. So, he comes into the shop one day and says: “I’ve got some bad news and good news, but it’s all good news for me. I’ve got divorce money and I want to spend it now.” He got underglow, a brush guard, new wheels and tires, tint and headlight tint. All in one ticket. There was no selling to be done. He had the money to spend, and he was very happy to spend it.
And I’ve learned you can’t judge a book by its cover. This guy comes in wearing cutoffs and flip flops and a Jimmy Buffett tank top. He has an ‘06 Honda Civic. He asks how much it will cost to strip and retint it. So we do the job and give him a receipt and warranty. He says, “Well, it’s my daughter’s car, and I’m sending her off to college. Can you put in a backup camera?” So we do it, and give him a repeat customer discount, and treat him nicely. Then he says, “I’ve got a ranch and three pickup trucks, can you do full wheels and tires and full lifts on all of them?” And then he says, “My wife has a Ferrari. She never drives it, but can you do full paint protection film on it?” Treat people kindly and with respect and it will pay off.
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