Founder's Story: How Matthew Sandomir started and built his client-centric auto transport business

Mercury Auto Transport is probably one of the fastest-rising auto shipping companies in the US. But, like most origin narratives, the idea for the company didn't happen overnight. CEO and Founder Matthew Sandomir shares his humble beginnings, from working in restaurants to becoming a sales representative for a shipping line, both of which contributed to the immense success of Mercury Auto Transport.

Sandomir comes from a completely different industry from the auto shipping market. While growing up in the 90s, he worked in various restaurants, exposing him to the crucial role of customer service in the food industry. By observing the businesses he worked in, he saw that customers could make or break any trade. He realized that, in any business, it's the best and most crucial recipe. When customers are satisfied with a product or service, they are more likely to become repeat customers and agents of word-of-mouth marketing. This stuck with him even after he changed industries.

After his stint in various restaurants, Sandomir found a job in a car shipping company as a sales representative that provided him with better and more regular hours. It was in this role that he uncovered another skill--his knack for over-the-phone and online operations. It didn't take long for Sandomir to find a pattern in customer complaints and what the obvious solution was to the problem. As it turned out, the company had issues with communicating the entire shipping process with its customers. This led to unmet expectations and unexpected add-on fees, making customers dissatisfied with the service. His latest customer experiences in the auto shipping company cemented what he learned in the restaurant industry. Naturally, Sandomir shared his observation and proposed a fix to management, both of which fell on dead ears.

After unsuccessfully convincing management, Sandomir decided to take everything he learned on how to run a business, and on the 12th of November 2007, built his own company, Mercury Auto Transport. He designed the business with core principles matching his learnings in previous companies, focusing on customer satisfaction, transparency, and making a positive difference. Under his leadership, Mercury Auto Transport operates in a way that communication is integrated into the process. The company ensures its customers know every step of the process and has enough details to decide how to best ship their vehicles.

This approach is not without challenges and difficulties. Many shipping companies were willing to do and promise anything to win customers over, even if they had no means of delivering those promises. Sandomir was unruffled and maintained his belief that customers eventually find their way to companies that offer transparency.

True enough, in 2018, 11 years after the company's founding, Mercury Auto Transport witnessed a drastic growth of 25% year-on-year, a feat the company was able to maintain even during the pandemic when other companies were losing sales and revenue. In fact, in 2021, Mercury Auto Transport reached $27 million in total sales by shipping almost 30,000 vehicles. The company's success in the face of a downward trend in the market only proved Sandomir's theory that exceptional customer service is the best recipe for any business's success.

True to its vision of making positive change, Mercury Auto Transport supports several organizations, including the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals and the St. Jude Children's Research Hospital. The company also extends support to police and firefighters and youth sports teams.


J-anne Valencia
Senior Journalist
https://www.afp.com



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