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  1. Technician Corner - Discussions

    This is the place for you to slide back to your technician side and have a talk with others about fixing cars, tools, jobs, etc.

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  2. Repair/Diagnostic Help & Tech Tips!

    Are you stuck on a vehicle? Need some help from your peers? Got a tip to share? Post your technical tips and repair help requests here.

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  3. Automotive Shop Tools & Equipment

    Hi-tech cars need hi-tech equipment. Need advice on purchasing diagnostic equipment, tire machines, shop tools, etc..? General Tools and Equipment discussions.

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    • I neglected to mention my most hated term, upselling. That should be banned from ANY auto repair use – ever!  It sounds as if all the shop cares about is a better ARO, not a better repair or better customer relationship You said: “We have a running joke at the shop, roughly 1 out of 3 times we tell a customer to not fix a car... they actually will.” I’ve seen the same thing! I believe it’s because we/you are so darn honest. And you are looking after their budget, while still making a profit for you You said: “But using this approach, we have more of them returning and with positive attitudes about how we handle things here.  Which in turn has positive effects when it comes to referrals.” And positive effects for the shop because there is no fear of calling the customer about their additional work, because you are taking care of them, not selling them. And they’re your “friends.” What you said here is beautiful !!! “In short, we don't sell anything.  People pay us for a service and we take it seriously.  Using our software we educate and inform our customers, using our people skills we teach them how to make better decisions.  The combination has lead to a great shop attitude overall, better customer relationships and a reputation that starts to break the mold that society has given this industry for generations.” Re relationships, you are now dealing with friends, not customers. And they know you have to make a profit – they have to make a profit for the company they work for.
    • At the end of each year, it's typical of tool reps and salespeople to give you tax advise. Often they will tell you that buying tools and equipment can be used as a way to lower income taxes. While this may be true, no one has a better handle on your financial situation that a good tax accountant.  Listen to the expert, not the tool truck rep.  Spending money to save on taxes also reduces your cash flow.  I am not an accountant, but sometimes its better to pay a little extra in taxes and maintain a cash reserve.  Your thoughts?  
    • hello everyone just started here .i just got signup with identafix and direct shop i need to migrate my mitchell teamwork to identafix direct shop.the sales person at identafix lied to me he said they can migrate it .then i find out they want 600.00 they are out of there minds lol
    • National Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day, which is annually on December 7, commemorates the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, in Hawaii. Many American service men and women lost their lives or were injured on December 7, 1941. National Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day is also referred to as Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day or Pearl Harbor Day.
    • So advising is a lot like being a friend, or at least how we've adopted the principle. I sit down with people and ask them really hard questions.  How long are you planning on keeping the car? How much money have you spent on this car since you've owned it? If it hasn't been serviced with us. Are you looking for short term solutions or long term solutions? Based on the answers I get from each customer, I will then put together a package for the services they need that fits their budget.  This has lead to some insanely creative estimate building.  Each customer budget and their plan for their vehicle will help determine that quality of parts I use and where I order them from.  What we've noticed is that this approach completely disarms every single person that we sit with.  Their approach is no longer, "Why is this so expensive?" it flips to "Thank you so much for taking the time out to help me see this clearly.". We have a running joke at the shop, roughly 1 out of 3 times we tell a customer to not fix a car... they actually will.  We also find that when taking that approach most customers will develop a plan to come in every few months and get each line item addressed, exactly as we discussed it. Just some food for thought, we are encountering all of the same problems as a shop as have been outlined all over this thread about "fighting" to get customers in the door and keeping them in the door.  But using this approach, we have more of them returning and with positive attitudes about how we handle things here.  Which in turn has positive effects when it comes to referrals. In short, we don't sell anything.  People pay us for a service and we take it seriously.  Using our auto software we educate and inform our customers, using our people skills we teach them how to make better decisions.  The combination has lead to a great shop attitude overall, better customer relationships and a reputation that starts to break the mold that society has given this industry for generations.  
    • Newport5,  I know your question was meant for someone else, but I thought I would throw in my comments. I think selling and advising are 2 very subjective terms. We are all always selling customers on ideas and beliefs. We sell customers everyday on why they should chose our shop over others, why they should trust us, the value of quality parts, and maybe why are prices are higher than the shop next door. We sell these ideas by the appearance of our shops, the certificates on our walls, our websites, our online presence, and our words.  I think quite often when we think of "selling" automotive service and repairs, we think about the shop or dealership that is selling work needed or not to maintain their numbers. Quite often using "scare tactics" or bait and switch. In my shop we do thorough evaluations on just about every car that comes in. We report the findings, the recommendations, and the cost for those. We answer any questions the customer may have, take them into the shop so they can see what we are talking about if needed, then we ask them what they would like to do. I tell them our job is to give them the best assessment of their vehicle, and there job is to decide what they would like to do.  I think this would be labeled "advising", but make no mistake about it, this is still selling. I'm not evaluating, estimating, educating, and advising so they can take the car somewhere else to have it serviced. I think the word "selling" has 2 very different meanings. When you sell a customer a service or repair that benefits them by extending the life of their vehicle, gets them back on the road, or corrects a safety issue, "selling" is a good thing. When you sell 10 fluid flushes everyday to meet a quota, brake rotors when only pads are needed to boost your average RO, or tell someone the car is unsafe to drive so they have to have work done at your shop, "selling" becomes ugly. Scott    
    • What a great series of insightful posts. SO forward looking! Maybe a bit off topic … but … Can you please elaborate on: “by year 7 I started to adapt my selling to advising.” I never liked the idea of “selling” the customer (on value and safety) re a recommended repair or maintenance item. It either needs it or it doesn’t. I take the “advising” one step further. I TELL them what they need – what they need now, what they need in the future and “advise” them on things they could do now or in a month or 2 or more. Nobody likes to be sold.  And they don’t want to make more decisions in their lives.  If you give them 2 or 3 reasons to encourage them to say yes to 5 items, that’s 10 to 15 things to think about. I believe the trusted service advisor/friend practically makes that decision for them.


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