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The 2020 FenderBender Awards: Tanya Williams

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As the office manager at Auto Tech Collision Center in Marion, North Carolina, Tanya Williams always goes above and beyond her job requirements. 

“She's always taking the bull by the horns and bends over backward to help the guys in the shop here. She really cares about everybody in the shop,” David Hicks, owner of Auto Tech Collision Center, says.

While the typical office manager may be tasked with answering the phone and secretarial work, Williams says this is only 1 percent of her daily jobs.

She’s in charge of organizing the workers comp and taxes, doing DRP paperwork, billing receivables and deposits, scheduling tows, claim handling, ordering parts, and customer service. Despite all she does, Williams takes pride in doing whatever she can to help customers, and doesn’t find it overwhelming. To her, being a welcoming face to a customer is the most important part of her job.

”The first thing I do is let people know that we care about their situation, even if it doesn't involve bodywork or getting the job,“ she says. “I think that if I just show concern and respect to that customer and give them time and attention when it happens, then it makes everything go a whole lot smoother.”

In fact, her dedication to caring for people gained her attention from national news back in December. It was just before Christmas, and Williams got a call while at work from a Sgt. Donald Hendricks, a soldier whose car broke down while he was on his way home to see his family for the holidays. Williams immediately began making calls to arrange a tow truck, a repair appointment, and a hotel stay for the night for him. 

But she didn’t stop there. Not wanting Hendricks to spend the night in an unfamiliar place alone, Williams took him out to a bar to watch her band perform, making him feel like family. The next day, when Hendricks drove home, Williams called him and talked to him for hours, making sure he stayed awake and safe.

 This huge act of kindness meant the world to that soldier and his family, as without her help, he wouldn’t have returned home in time for Christmas. But to Williams, it was just a simple way to help somebody out.

”I didn’t think it was a big deal at all, what I had done,” she says. “I didn't even think about it, I just did it. And it just felt like the easiest, simplest thing without any thought that I've ever done.”

While this act may have felt like second nature to her, it serves a true testament to the care and thoughtfulness she gives to customers, and non-customers alike.

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