“I want everyone at the shop to know I’m there for them,” says Buckner, who began his career in collision repair with a mop and broom, eventually working his way to managing the 60-car-per-month collision center.
Recently featured in the December 2018 issue of FenderBender magazine, Buckner leads by example — he skips lunch breaks so his employees don’t have to, and often arrives 45 minutes earlier than the rest of his team each morning.
“I like to make sure everything is running smoothly—even before the day officially starts,” he says.
Buckner believes transparency, accountability, and honesty are keys to not only running a successful shop, but to also provide the greatest value to each and every customer that enters First Aid Collision.
“The most important thing for me is to ensure our customers are taken care of,” he says.
Buckner and team are I-CAR certified—the gold standard in collision repair training—and he encourages his team to seek additional education and leadership opportunities. He believes a sound work/life balance is key to finding happiness in both.
“I want them to know that they are appreciated and also recognized for taking care of the customer,” Buckner says. He’s been known to surprise his team with occasional Friday afternoons off, and seeks to have everyone out of the shop by 5:30 p.m.
“I got into the body shop [business] because I like cars,” he says. “I saw guys in the office running the business and [thought], ‘I can do this.’”
Read more here: Getting into the Groove
First Aid Collision has been repairing vehicles since 2007. First Aid Collision works with all insurance agencies and works with over two dozen auto dealerships in western North Carolina. In 2018, the collision center began operating under new ownership and is now owned and operated by Joe and Jen LaBruno.