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This week I lost 7 good customers. Not due to anything under my control, one guy had a stroke and can't drive, six professors/university faculty members moved out of state to greener pastures. The loss of these seven families probably means $15,000 a year I'm going to miss just in maintenance, maybe twice that amount. Another ten customers bought brand new cars in the last couple months with at least 3/36 warranties.

 

What I'm getting at is no matter how good your shop is doing you need to keep recruiting new customers or life's going to be tough for you.

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Ouch. That's a lot of hits in one week.

 

We're in the same boat. Downtown, urban environment = extremely transient population.

 

We keep our online reviews and presence strong, so the new transients moving in can find us.

 

There are also two major apartment complexes getting built within a half mile of us. We will be putting some postcards in their new resident welcome bags.

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Were in a college town, sad story is adjunct professors or temps are the new norm. 2 year positions mean my best customers don't stick around too long. Because I'm a newcomer to our rural area (I've only been here 11 years lol) the locals don't really come to me, they go to joes garage whom they graduated high school with in 1971. I almost cried the other day when the guy who had a stroke came in, he said "Eddie, I know your name because its on your shirt, but I don't remember you. My wife said I should stop by" this guy used to come in every week and visit mostly, we fixed his car but I think we were more friends really. Hes got to be in his 70's, I can't imagine the impact on his personal life. Enjoy life folks.

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  • Have you checked out Joe's Latest Blog?

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      It always amazes me when I hear about a technician who quits one repair shop to go work at another shop for less money. I know you have heard of this too, and you’ve probably asked yourself, “Can this be true? And Why?” The answer rests within the culture of the company. More specifically, the boss, manager, or a toxic work environment literally pushed the technician out the door.
      While money and benefits tend to attract people to a company, it won’t keep them there. When a technician begins to look over the fence for greener grass, that is usually a sign that something is wrong within the workplace. It also means that his or her heart is probably already gone. If the issue is not resolved, no amount of money will keep that technician for the long term. The heart is always the first to leave. The last thing that leaves is the technician’s toolbox.
      Shop owners: Focus more on employee retention than acquisition. This is not to say that you should not be constantly recruiting. You should. What it does means is that once you hire someone, your job isn’t over, that’s when it begins. Get to know your technicians. Build strong relationships. Have frequent one-on-ones. Engage in meaningful conversation. Find what truly motivates your technicians. You may be surprised that while money is a motivator, it’s usually not the prime motivator.
      One last thing; the cost of technician turnover can be financially devastating. It also affects shop morale. Do all you can to create a workplace where technicians feel they are respected, recognized, and know that their work contributes to the overall success of the company. This will lead to improved morale and team spirit. Remember, when you see a technician’s toolbox rolling out of the bay on its way to another shop, the heart was most likely gone long before that.
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