By Dennis R.
We want to do a short survey with our customers to gauge their reaction to newer trends in the repair of their car. We are only going to ask 4 Questions so that we can share the results on this forum and have other shops do the same.
The 4 questions we thought of : still working of exact wording so help is appreciated.
1. - Personal Service Adviser to talk too. VS Virtual Artificial Intellegent service advisor ( no human interaction )
2. - Check in with a Personal service advisor VS using a digital check in like Mc Donalds uses to take your order inside their restaurant then leave keys
3.- Personal phone call or text with updates and for authorization VS Computer generated text for updates and authorization
4. Personal phone call or text with Pictures sent as needed (trust in your shop) VS digital inspection form and pictures sent each time their vehicle is brought in
Your input is important so we can all ask the same questions to help us keep our businesses thriving.
One example of a survey we did a few years ago was would you like us to have a quick lube bay for fast in and out service or Leave your vehicle for the day for the LOF 96 % of our customers wanted to leave their cars so they could get a non rushed check over of the vehicle while it was there.
I'm just about to settle on a software package to run my shop. I've found looking at a number of them that there are a few that don't seem to tick the basic boxes in information gathering that we as registered repair shops are required by law to do. I'm wondering if this is a New York specific issue or if this issue happens everywhere. Would you guys comment on your state requirements. I'd like to pass some more information to the software company I'm working with in hopes that they motivate to make some improvements to satisfy these requirements.
Example, in NYS we are required to capture a signature or document approval with the customer complaint to begin work on the vehicle before we touch it. We must record mileage when the vehicle enters the shop and when it is finished. We must state the warranty for each item and the terms and time limit for any guarantee on repair work. We have to collect a non taxable $2.50 waste tire management fee for every new tire sold. We have a state safety and emissions inspection that is varies in fee and is non taxable.
By Joe Marconi
If you are going to the Ratchet and Wrench Conference next week, I will be there to kick things off as the Key Note Speaker on the first day. I will also be making a presentation; Charging for Diagnostics on Friday, Sept 21.
If any member is attending the conference, please let me know and hopefully we can meet.
Here is the link to the conference: https://www.ratchetandwrench.com/articles/5651-ratchetwrench-announces-details-of-2018-management-conference
Article: Joe Friday Diagnostics - AGE check--remember Dragnet with Sgt. Joe Friday? Here's my version of the Sarge diagnosing a carBy Gonzo
Joe Friday Diagnostics "How would Sgt. Friday explain auto repair and diagnostics… que the music: " The story you’re about to read is true; the names have been changed to protect the innocent. Monday morning, it was cold that day. I was working day shift out of the repair division. There’s a suspicious vehicle at the front of the shop. A customer walks in the door. I’ll take it from here. I’m a mechanic, the name’s Friday. It was a 2003 Ford, 5.4 liter, fully loaded and sounded like it was running rough. The lady came to the counter. “Good Morning ma’am, what can I do for you,” I said to the complaintant. “Yes, I’m here about my car,” she answered. “There’s a problem with the car, I see. What can you tell me about it?” I asked, in my usual non-threatening, but confident monotone voice. “I was on my way to deliver my recyclables to the east side collection area, because I’m a concerned citizen you know, when my car started to make a coughing and clattering sound. I thought I would bring it in to have it checked out,” the owner answered. “Coughing and clattering, hmm, not a problem. I’ll get it investigated, I can interrogate the pursuant this morning, especially for a concerned citizen such as yourself,” I answered while maintaining my professionalism. “Well, do you need any other information from me?” she asked. “Just the facts ma’am, just the facts,” I said. “The check engine light came on,” she reported. “This could be of some help. Sounds like a possible 0300 (engine misfire). But I’ll check it out first, I’ll need to finish my investigation in order to give you any proper results,” I said to her, while my pen was busy jotting down the facts onto the always present handy notepad. She left the car with me for further interrogations. Using the scanner made the results easy to locate. It wasn’t long before I got an answer. It was a P0302 in progress… misfire on no#2 cylinder… normally an open and shut case. 09:30 Am, working on the assumption that the perpetrator was somewhere near the 2nd cylinder; I went in for further investigations. I checked the usual suspects. Pulling the plug didn’t yield any new clues. The plug was good and answered all the standard questions. The coil was a more likely suspect; a simple test could answer the problem. I’ll set up a little sting operation by using a decoy. Taking the nearest coil and replacing it with the suspected faulty coil, and put the known good coil on the other plug. I was hoping to see the miss move to the other cylinder. It didn’t. In fact it was gone. 10:05 Am, Now the challenge was on. I’ll have to go back over my facts and check the crime scene again. There’s something I must have overlooked that might be the key to this investigation. Two things come up as good possibles; the connection or terminals at the coil, or the spark plug boot attached to the coil. The plug boot had a good alibi… it had just been changed, in fact so was the spark plug. That left the coil connection. A more in-depth interrogation of the connector is needed. My years of technical diagnostics work told me to look closer at the wire and the connector. The guilty party in this case appears to be one of the wires at the connector. It was barely hanging onto the housing. Only the plastic sheath was still connected, and the wire itself was not answering to any of the standard questioning or interrogative tactics. Under the intense glow of the high powered shop light the investigation continued. Resorting to some strong arm tactics I pulled on the wire while using a few choice investigative words, the plastic sheathing kept getting longer and longer. Soon, it snapped under the pressure to expose the desperado for the perpetrator it really was. 11:45 Am, The repair was completed, and tested to verify the repairs were effective. The car in question was back with its rightful owner by the end of the day. I now can close the file on this one, another job well done. In conclusion: With the P0302 in question deleted from the computer history, the coil connector was then convicted of failure to cooperate. With her car back on the road she could once again be a productive concerned citizen of this great metropolis. Case closed and now, back to the front desk waiting for that next problem to come through the door. This city is full of broken, non-maintained, and poorly running cars. As a concerned citizen I’ll be on the lookout for these suspicious misfires and other infractions of the auto world. There are thousands of men and women in this city, who know that being an auto tech is an thankless, grease covered job that's done everyday without any fan fare. Then again, I'm part of that glamourless, grease covered world... my names Friday, I'm a mechanic.
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By Joe Marconi
This is a reminder that I will be at the Ratchet and Wrench Conference. This Monday, I will be making two presentations; "Beating Shop Owner Burnout" and "The True Cost of Comeback"
If anyone is going, please stop by and say hello....and of course, please attend my presentations!