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August 09, 2006

Interview with Debbie Combonga -- AutoNation

Debbie Combonga
Fixed Operations Trainer
AutoNation Automotive Group
Debbie Combonga a women making a difference in the automotive industry. Debbie has been in the automotive industry for the past 22 years since she was 18 years old.  She spent the first 18 years in the industry working at an independent Auto Parts Supplier.  Debbie says those years have proven priceless in the knowledge she was able to acquire.  It was a natural progression for her to move to customer service.  There she could take her parts knowledge, customer service skills, and her natural passion and love for her job to help others.

She has spent the past 3 years as a service advisor and past year training advisors. Debbie says she gets great satisfaction when she explains to a typical customer (mom with 2 kids) that her EGR valve needs to be replace and the customer says thank you so much for explaining this repair in such a way that I can understand what you are doing to my vehicle and why I needed this repair.  So many times I have felt rushed or dumb for not understanding what was really wrong.  Thank you for taking the time to explain the process for me. 

Debbie believes education is key, knowledge is power and the desire to be good at what you do is important. She adds all of this seems lost if you are unable to relate, communicate and build trust with your customers.  The automotive industry is starving for women in all departments, not just service.   

Over the years Debbie has seen more and more jobs being filled by women and that is good for business.  Women like to deal with other women.  They speak the same language so to speak.  On any given day at any dealerships service department you have about 50/50 male to female customers.  Debbie feels it is important to offer good quality customer service that the dealership have 50/50 male to female service advisors.  Debbie would encourage any women looking for a field of opportunity to check into the automotive industry.  She believes any woman armed with education, technical skills and confidence can not only have a good career in the industry but will also make any dealership a better place. Debbie is looking forward to many more years of providing outstanding quality service to many more customers. 

Thank you for giving us your best Debbie.  I am sure if you look around you will find many devoted women in the automotive industry just like Debbie Combonga to help you with all your automotive needs.  From all of us looking for knowledgeable, friendly help with our vehicles thanks Deb!

By:  Debbie Lee
Professionals Car Care


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