By Joe Marconi
Do customers really have clear expectations when they arrive at your shop? Think about it. Who is responsible for setting clear expectations? Consumers may have a preconceived idea about what to expect, but when it comes down to what or who sets the expectation, it's the shop's responsibility.
Great customer service is created by the shop and its people. The consumer will judge that experience, but they don't create it, you do.
We may think that the consumer will tell us what they expect from us. I think it's the opposite.
Henry Ford once said: “If I had asked people what they wanted, they would have said faster horses.”
How to Have a Four Day Work Week with Eric Henley [RR 627]
Eric Henley, owner of H-Teck Auto Care in Gray, TN, is 4th generation of mechanical repair. He received an associate's degree in Auto Service Technology and spent over 15 years at a Honda dealership. Eric started H-Teck Auto Care in 2006 with just him, his dad and his wife. Going on over 15 years in business he now has a 6 bay shop.
4 generations in the automotive industryGrandfather was a blacksmith and father used to bring home cars to be fixed up. Eric grew up fixing bicycles, lawnmowers and cars. Received an associates degree in Auto Service Technology Spent 15 years in dealerships- income can go down as skill level goes up (more skilled jobs often wouldn’t pay as much) Hiring new techniciansUses Indeed and Facebook Marketplace but the best results come from word of mouth and referrals from existing employees Current prospect is 21 year old Skills USA graduate Current tenured technicians - 15 years, 11 years, 3 years Food Friday’sEither grill or go out to eat every Friday- have employee meeting over a meal All employees and Eric discuss any issues, improvements, ideas, areas needed for training, or tools needed. Open dialogue and non-formal Eric gives his employees the opportunity for responsibilities in the business- currently working on updating SOP’s with more DVI usage Shop is open 5 days a week with weekends offEric is in the shop 4 days a week because he trusts his employees- they are good people able to follow the SOP’s in place and make day to day decisions Employees will know if you don’t trust them- creates “neediness” for everything Gives his employees monthly expenditures they can use for customers in need Spends extra time in the community and with his family He is very involved in his employee's lives and is flexible with work schedules based on their family schedules What makes a great service advisor?Excellent people skills and communication skills- enjoy talking to people Can think quickly on their feet, a warm personality, patient and good listener Similar to a good waitress/waiter- there when you need them, listen to what you need, then go on to the next table. Both of Eric’s service advisors are in ongoing training Best service advisor trainers- previous service advisor, or previous technician with good people skills, or having parts experience TrainingRequires minimum 30 hours per year of training Utilized online training a lot last year during COVID shutdowns RRR 588 with Jim Fleischman and Matt Manzone- Dealership tech now works for an independent How to Have a Four Day Work Week with Eric Henley [RR 627]
Thanks to Eric Henley for his contribution to the aftermarket’s premier podcast. Link to the ‘BOOKS‘ page, highlighting all books discussed in the podcast library HERE. Leaders are readers. Listen for free on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spreaker, iHeart Radio, Spotify, Podchaser, and many more. Mobile Listening APP's HERE Find every podcast episode HERE. Every episode is segmented by Series HERE. Key Word Search HERE. Be socially involved and in touch with the show:
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NAPA Autotech Training helps your technicians keep their skills sharp and their NAPA Know How up to date. It’s the highest quality technical training that covers almost every vehicle system and every make and model. NAPA Autotech is presented by experienced instructors who are ASE master certified technicians. Even after a class is over, techs can access course information online with ClassPass. So when questions come up later they can get the answers. AutoCare Center owners who have taken advantage of Autotech Training say that well-trained technicians are helping to increase their shop’s repair capability and raise bay productivity. That results in fewer comebacks, more satisfied shop customers, and reduced technician turnover.
Learn more about NAPA AutoCare and the benefits of being part of the NAPA family by visiting www.NAPAAutoCare.com.
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Jason Molinar- Newest Industry Apprentice Graduate at McNeil's Auto Care
Pete McNeil is a second-generation family-owned business that started out as a Volkswagen specialist. They quickly recognized their potential for all makes and models and expanded their service offerings. During this time, they joined the NAPA AutoCare program, expanded their footprint in the Salt Lake valley and became a pillar in the automotive repair industry.
In 2018 alone, McNeil’s expanded their Sandy location to 16 bays to help accommodate their growing business, training center and partnership with local schools for the continued growth of their apprenticeship program. During this time McNeil’s also took advantage of the Interior ProImage program and remodeled their entire showroom! This included new counters for their 4 Service Advisors, new epoxy flooring, signage, and upgraded comfortable furniture and fixtures! This is truly a place where their customers can relax while having their vehicle repaired.
In addition, Pete opened a 2nd location in Riverton, Utah in May of 2019. Pete is very involved in the community both locally and abroad He is active in the local Church Youth Conference, Angel Hands, which assists people with disabilities.
Very active in youth soccer with contributions and cars washed to raise money for Sparta-United. He has donated time and resources to “Sandy Pride” which helps residents clean up and beautify the city.
Jake Sorensen- 2019 NAPA ASE Technician of the Year and 2019 Ratchet + Wrench All-Star technician of the year. He is an ASE Master technician with L1,2 and 3 advanced level certifications. He is the shop manager and diagnostic technician at McNeil’s Auto Care in Sandy, UT where he helped develop an apprenticeship program that is registered with the U.S. Department of Labor. This program has graduated several high-performing automotive technicians and was used by NAPA Auto Care as a template for their automotive apprenticeship program. Jake also developed the curriculum for an automotive course that he teaches at an adult education high school.
Brad Christianson- NAPA Sales Person
Special Guest Jason Rainey- Vice President, NAPA Auto Care
Key Talking Points
Jason- from pharmacy to an auto technician Spent 10 years as pharmacy technician out of high school Realized he didn’t enjoy his job or looked forward to it anymore Always had a love for cars (especially Jeeps) and started learning about how to fix them Took a maintenance and light repair class at a local college and loved it Saw an advertisement for McNeil’s apprentice program, interviewed for it and received the apprenticeship Larger pool for industryYou don’t need to only focus on hiring out of high school students or someone that has previous experience in the auto industry Hire for attitude not skillset- they will learn skill during the programCommitment and willingness to learn qualities Napa Apprenticeship Program- built in collaboration with Jake and Pete9 stages, 2-year program with 4 ASE certifications National program and approved by Department of Labor Receive apprentice tool kit worth $3500 Register your shop at www.napaautocare.com, resource tab and employee recruitment ROI calculator- customizable with also a gross profit impact chart Currently, 451 total registered apprentices participating in the program Mentor- willing to invest time and effortEveryone learns differently and at different paces- it will be a continual learning curve for both mentor and apprentice Shop owner needs to see the benefit for an apprentice program Previous apprentices turning into mentors Unrealized revenue When Jason was completing stage 7/9 during the program the profit for the shop in that category was 13K 2021 Jason has generated 47K on his own first two months Family sacrificesWorking 2 jobs at the start of the program with a newborn at home Was rewarded with hard work and could quit the second job after a few months AdviceTake advantage of the training (free and paid) “Pizza night” weekly during virtual Vision training There isn’t a technician shortage, there is a shortage of qualified technicians Takes 2 years for apprentice graduate to complete the program so keep the cycle going Learning doesn’t stop after 2 years- continue training, career-pathing and goal forecasts Learning is contagious- other seasoned technicians at the shop realize they need to continue learning as well Grows individuals and families A special thanks to Jason Molinar, Jake Sorensen, Pete McNeil, Jason Rainey and Brad Christianson for their contribution to the aftermarket. Books Page HERE Listen to all Remarkable Results Radio, For The Record and Town Hall Academy episodes. Facebook Twitter LinkedIn Instagram Youtube Email
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This episode is brought to you by Shop-Ware Shop Management. It’s time to run your business at its fullest potential with the industry’s leading technology. Shop-Ware Shop Management will increase your efficiency with lightning-fast workflows, help your staff capture more sales every day, and create very happy customers who promote your business. Shops running Shop-Ware have More Time and generate More Profit—join them! Schedule a free live demonstration and find out how 30 minutes can transform your shop at getshopware.com
This episode is brought to you by Shop Marketing Pros. Your guides are Kim and Brian Walker with a rich history as shop owners and industry veterans. When someone searches for a shop, who are they finding? Your competitors? It should be you! The good people over at Shop Marketing Pros know how to drive website traffic and make Google work for you! www.shopmarketingpros.com
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We all have this idea starting out that owning a business is the same thing as having the keys to the building, turning the lights on, and getting to work....in our case, getting to work fixing cars.
But as most of us have figured out by now, it's not what it seems from the outside looking in.
In my business, one of the toughest challenges I've faced is creating a culture that I can be proud of. Conveying to our people the WHY behind the what.
While it took years to build, a realization I had no clue what my "WHY" was, and a number of missteps - in the past few years the culture of my facility has begun to develop....and in many ways, it develops itself now through the amazing team we have in place.
This episode of the podcast is titled "How to keep talent from leaving" but in it's entirety this episode is much more than keeping talent from leaving... It's some of the fundamentals one of the greats of the business, Dwayne Myers, uses daily in his business.
I know David and I both gained a ton of knowledge from this chat, so take a listen and let us know your thoughts on culture and going a step above for your staff.
It's also worth noting that those of us who are patrons got quite a laugh out of what's become quite a running joke with David - It should be noted that this is the first time David hasn't edited out the jokes about the banner or the beaver......
Speaking of patrons..... We'd love to have you as a patron of the channel. It's the patrons who make the podcast and all of the great offerings within ASOG possible. It's the subscribers and those of you who like or share the podcast that has shown us the hard work is worth it!
So if you don't mind, take a few minutes and become a patron! Maybe like and share the podcast? 😁
The podcast can be heard on all major listening apps here:
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And if you'd like to become a patron (which includes access to the full AMA videos, early releases and live participation in the AMA events) you can do so here: https://www.patreon.com/AutoShopOwnersGroup
By Joe Marconi
Nick is on the front lines of customer service each day. He is a talented service advisor, with a passion for helping others. Nick and I often debate what’s more important to the customer: price or value? He’ll often tell me, “I know you preach value, Joe, but people care about price, too. In the end, price is a major concern.” I always respond, “Nick, it’s not all about price, it’s really about value. Build a strong relationship, reach the customer emotionally, have them believe in you and they will trust you. And when that happens, price will not be the focus.”
Here’s the reality. I would be lying to you if I told you that price has absolutely no bearing on a person’s decision to buy from you or not. However, are consumers only interested in price? I know that sometimes it may appear that way, but the bottom line is this: being competitive and profitable is a fine line we walk each day. When the perception of value diminishes, price then becomes the focal point. Nick, who debates me on the philosophy of value, learned a valuable lesson recently, which made him a believer that there is most definitely a difference between value and price.
About a month ago, a first-time customer called us to ask if we could take a look at her son’s tire, which was losing air pressure. Nick took the call and said, “Sure, we would be happy to help you.” He took down all the needed information and let her know that he would follow up with a phone call as soon as her son arrived.
When the son arrived, Nick wrote up the car and dispatched it to a technician and then called the mother to let her know that her son had arrived. He also let her know that he would call her as soon as he knew something about the tire.
About ten minutes later, the tech informed Nick that the tire was damaged from riding with too little air pressure and that the tire would have to be replaced. He also said that the other three tires looked new and that it would not be a problem replacing the one tire.
Nick prepared an estimate for the tire and called the customer. Nick explained why the tire needed to be replaced and let her know that we could have the tire installed and have him on his way in about an hour or so. Nick then gave her the price for the job. The mother replied with, “Ok, give me five minutes and I will call you right back.”
Fifteen minutes later the mother called, and said, “Nick, I found another shop that will install that same tire for $50.00 less than you can do it for. So, can you put air in the tire so I can have my son drive it to the other shop?” Nick thought for a second and responded, “putting air in the tire and having your son drive his car to the other shop is not safe. Here’s what I will do. I will have my technician put the spare on the car. He’ll also check the tire pressure in the other three tires. Afterall, we want to make sure that your son is safe.” The mother thanked Nick and hung up the phone.
A few minutes later, the mother called again, asked for Nick and said this, “You know Nick, you were so nice to me from the very beginning when I first spoke to you and right up to now, and you put my son’s safety first. You also didn’t try to force me into buying your tire. Please install the tire at your price.” Nick, now on cloud nine, hung up the phone and told the tech to finish up the job.
Nick learned a valuable lesson that day. He learned that he didn’t sell a tire—he sold something much greater. He sold an emotional feeling. He reached the customer on an emotional level and the price of the job became less important. Does this work with everyone? Of course not. But, if you want to make more sales and build the right clientele, sell value, sell relationships and sell a positive emotional feeling.
Later that day, Nick told me what happened. I could tell that he was proud of how he handled the situation. And he should be. I just listened as he told me the entire story and relived the moment. After he had finished, I calmly asked him, “So Nick, is it really all about price?” Nick just smiled.
This story was originally published by Joe Marconi in Ratchet+Wrench on May 5th, 2020
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