Chuck Charlton of Charlton Auto Body in Stafford understands customers and treats them like family.
The foundation for the success of Charlton Auto Body has always been focus on the customer, and it’s been that way for three generations.
“My grandfather, E.C. Charlton, moved to Stafford in 1950, and opened up the business in 1951, and later named the company Charlton’s Garage and Auto Sales. In 1970 my dad, Johnny Mack, took over the company. When he retired in 1982, I took over,” Charlton said.
Chuck kept the same phone number and business name, and built “Charlton Auto Body into what it is today.”
It’s been 24 years in a very active auto business, focusing on collision and insurance work.
“If you wreck your car, that’s the kinda work we do – fix any damage. We’ve repaired them clear up to the value of the cars, so we’ve seen it all. And we work on all vehicles,” he said.
As a successful small businessman in Stafford, Charlton is firmly established in the industry, yet has no plans for expanding the business.
“I like to keep the business small so I can keep an eye on all aspects of the company,” he said.
Charlton is candid about car tips after a collision.
“Number one, insurance companies try and get you to go to shops that work for them. I tell everybody you don’t have to work with shops that work with insurance companies. Most are so big, and they don’t have the hands-on experience we have here at Charlton’s. I tell people you have the right to choose the body shop of your choice. We have a great customer data base and a lot of customers, and most of our work is word of mouth,” he said.
He stays away from cars during the weekend, but talks to customers over the phone if they need him. After discussing any damage issues, Charlton said, “I really don’t recommend customers take the car to the storage lot. Tow it to the house and I’ll get it out the next morning.”
Not a tinkerer of cars in his spare time, Charlton does like his trips to Mexico. It’s one of his favorite fast vacation getaways.
“We can get there in two hours,” he said.
He’s happy to note that customer satisfaction is the key to success of the family business of Charlton’s Auto Body.
“Our customers are not just a name and a number here, you know. We become friends with them, too,” he said.
“Bring your car to Charlton’s. Where you’re treated as family and not just another customer,” he said.