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A few weeks back I had a problem with my refrigerator. I got a referral and called an appliance repair company. I called three times and each time I called this is what happened: "C and E appliance, please hold." I was put on hold three times for about 5 minutes. After being put on hold each time, a women would say, "What's the problem?" No engagement, no sign of interest for me the customer, no signs of caring. I gave the women a brief description of the problem and each time she told me someone would call me back. Well, no one did. So, I called for the 4th time, and as the person answered the phone I said, "DO NOT PUT ME ON HOLD." There was silence, so I continued. I explained to her that she has spoken to me three times, I left messages three times and three times you told me that someone would call me back. She replied, "You are talking to the wrong person, if you have any complaints, write a letter to my boss, after all he won't listen to me anyway." I hung up the phone and called another company. The lesson and takeaway here is simple: Who's answering your phone? The wrong people on the phone in your shop can kill your business. Have meetings with your people. Make sure you review your phone skills policy. If you don't have one, create one. Empower your people to people to handle issues. And make sure you log every phone call. If you feel you have a problem, start recording phone calls. Your phone is your lifeline to future business. So, please ask yourself....Who's answering your phone?
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How do shops handle the use of cellular phones by their technicians during work hours?
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Article: Flash or Pass --- Modern mechanics have more tasks to do than previous generations of mechanics ever had to do.Flash or Pass A few decades ago cars were just . . . well, cars. They had an engine, transmission, a starter, a heater, maybe an air conditioner, and all the usual accouterments that made them a car. Mechanics toiled away at replacing engines, rebuilding master cylinders, and fixing transmissions. Almost every component on the car was reworked to a like new condition and some parts may even have been rebuilt several times, before they were too worn out to go around the horn one more time. Labor rates raised and fell with the economy, while parts suppliers kept up the demand for rebuild kits as a normal over-the-counter parts inventory. Then somewhere along the way something changed. The era of the microchip followed right along with the era of plastics. Things were built not to “rebuild”, but to toss. Thin plastic housings with hundreds and hundreds of micro circuits all wired into a microchip made up circuits that allowed the impossible to become the possible. Some tasks became obsolete, like the telephone switch board operator, even bank tellers nearly went extinct when the ATM machine was developed. The world would never be the same with the microchip in every facet of modern life. Machining tools could now process and manufacturer automotive parts at such close tolerance that less material was needed per component. The prices for some of these components fell to less than or equivalent to the rebuild kits. Rebuilding an automotive component was soon a thing of past generations. The skills of the mechanic were now overshadowed by the microchip’s ability to manufacture a part better and cheaper than he could repair the old one. Soon, all this “toss-when-worn-out” reached the microchip itself. Computer software started finding itself in the very same throwaway society. Maybe not in the sense that we actually threw it away, but a new set of instructions or an updated program may be needed and flashed into a replacement processor. This brings up a whole new problem for the mechanic. Now those skills he developed in rebuilding a master cylinder have next to nothing to do with reprogramming an anti-lock brake module, and if he wants to stay in the business of repairing today’s cars he’s going to need to know how to program, or at least understand the need for and/or the process, rather than knowing the old school way of rebuilding a master cylinder. So as a mechanic, you have to ask yourself, “Do I flash, or do I pass?” Passing on the flash may mean you might not have the type of work in the shop that you can handle anymore. Luckily, there is a way around that problem. These days nearly every car on the road has more than one type of computer device in the car, and there’s a very good chance that at some point something will need a software update or reflashed because a component has been changed or upgraded. In a way reflashing, programming, coding, or the other various software issues there are in the modern car are somewhat of today’s version of rebuilding that master cylinder to a like new condition. Cars these days are lasting longer, running longer, and have different types of break downs than models from those early days. That’s doesn’t mean changing brake pads or installing a reman transmission isn’t done on a daily basis, they most certainly are. It’s the other side of the repair business, the computer updating and reflashing that’s an even bigger part of regular maintenance than ever before. So, which type of repair shop are you? Are you the shop that will do the mechanical work, but leave those electronic issues to someone else? It’s something every shop owner, as well as technicians need to think about. Of course, the amount of investment and the continual training involved can be overwhelming. Fortunately, there is a way to do the mechanical stuff and be a proficient repair shop without breaking the bank, and still service your customers’ electrical and software needs. The mobile diagnostic technician is the answer. Seriously, I never dreamed there would come a day I would be saying this, but the mobile tech is a viable source of revenue and a vital source of technical skills that a shop without those skills should utilize. Now, I’m not talking about those fly by night boys with a box of tools, I’m referring to the diagnostic scanner mobile tech who has the experience in dealing with all the websites, programming issues, and has the up to date information on how to perform such things as reflashing, key programming, and reloading of new software. What’s happening in the automotive electronic world reminds me of how things were when manufacturers switched from points and condensers to electronic ignition systems. A lot of guys refused to learn the new systems and soon found themselves only working on older models, which eventually faded away. Somewhere along the way of the electronic ignition systems, parts swapping became the norm. Instead of testing or diagnosing a problem it was a lot easier to keep the various types of ignition modules in your tool box, and when a “no-start” came in it only took a few minutes to swap the ignition module with your test piece. It did save diagnostic time, and it did get results, but the microchip and new technology has struck back again. The old school ways of parts swapping vs. in depth diagnostic with scopes and scanners has just about run its course. Now, swapping components can lead to an even bigger problem than what the car originally came in for. However, the general public is having a hard time comprehending the reason for these diagnostic costs. It used to be that they would bring the car to the shop, the mechanic would do some fiddle greasy job that involved rebuilding some part or swapping the old ignition module, and he didn’t charge a diagnostic fee. If a part was suspected as bad, it could usually be swapped out without any worries. That’s just not car repair anymore. Now swapping components with integrated modules can lead a disaster. On the other hand, those techs who pick up the pieces after one of these parts changers finish slapping parts should be commended. The aftermath of installing a processor without knowing the eventual outcome can be a brutal blow to the pocketbook. Radar systems, infrared and optical systems, cameras and proximity sensors aren’t the kind of components easily rebuilt, if at all. But, there’s a good chance you can reprogram most of it. Yes, we still have engines that need built and gears that need changed, but there seems to be a lot more in the mechanic field that involves electronics. To be today’s top mechanics and a repair shop that can get the job done, a lot more emphasis has to be put on that little microchip than on a rebuild kit. Flashing modules and loading computer software updates are just a part of the business now. Programming ain't for everyone, and some shops and techs can get by without ever dealing with it. But, when needed, utilize the expertise that is available to you. Learn how to flash by attending a couple of classes or find someone that can do it for you. Help your customer help you increase your bottom line. Don't pass on the flash.
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NEW RELEASE – This is your chance to get on the “Early Bird” list now! (Hurry - Before this is gone!)ENGINEERED PREDICTABILITY
Arranging an event to occur creating consistent behavior and making it possible to know what to expect in advance I’ve just completed a new book, “Engineered Predictability” and I’m making a limited number (very limited number) of copies available for free. You can get on the “early bird list” now and you’ll be notified first when the book is available.
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2) Get this book as soon as it’s released – $29.95 value – yours FREE! In the book, you’ll discover… The simple 3 step, 11 word formula that’s virtually guarantees car count before the end of the week The 6 Ugly Truths about your customers and why they don’t respond to your marketing The reality of your biggest asset (Caution: Some accountants have told me I’m crazy – read the book and you tell me!) Myths debunked: Discover the one misconception that keeps over 98% of repair shop owners from reaching the success, dreams and goals they went into business for originally. The advanced strategies, methods and tactics used by insiders of my mastermind groups to eliminate the stress and frustration of keeping service bays full and technicians busy. Disturbing industry statistics from the US Census and Bureau of Labor Statistics – this is not only disturbing – it’s startling and stunning! The number one reason why shop owners fail – and it’s probably not what you’re thinking When you get on the “Early Bird” List, please understand that you’re: NOT guaranteed a copy of the book – you’ll be on the “Early Bird” list and get advanced notice – even before my list of 1,000’s of subscribers and followers. In other words, you’ll be the first to know – before anyone else NOT going to be added to any mailing list. No sales force is going to “hound” you. In other words – no salesman will call. You will get notice form my private email. NOT going to opt-in to anything. This is just a list for advance notice only. That’s all. No tricks; No gimmicks; No strings attached (The last time I did anything like this – it was gone in a week! – You decide!) Get on the "Early Bird" List Now! Questions? Please post here - I will respond! Thanks!
"The Car Count Fixer"
ENGINEERED PREDICTABILITY - Get on the "Early Bird" List Now!
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How about a little lighter poll than the presidential election.
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