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Waiting Room Waiters?


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A waiting room should a be a peaceful place to have people wait a few minutes for a courtesy ride to the place of their choice. I would think that if you ran a report on average invoice and profit amount on "waiters" it would be clear. When i was working and dropped off my car for repairs i did not want to hang around the waiting room, i wanted to go make a few Grand to pay for the bill! I have advised many customers that were worried about the cost of needed repairs and wanted to wait for them to accept our courtesy ride so that could make some money to cover the bill. Time is Money!

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Hi Frogfinder! I agree with your comments, but you still can't control every situation. What I hear from shop owners is that they focus on things that aren't as important. Here's what I am saying. Your waiting room should be all about YOU, the shop owner.

 

Face it, the biggest hurdle you've got to face is overcoming 'trust'. Car owners typically approach repair shops not trusting them.

 

That's why I promote using your waiting room to 'build' trust. Things like simple pictures of you handing keys to smiling customers; pictures with local celebrities, pictures of happy customers with their testimonial posted right beside it - the 'familiarity' of YOU builds trust.

 

I'm not saying it shouldn't be comfortable - but it's one of your best chances to help build trust with customers.

 

Hope this helps!

 

Matthew Lee
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Hi Frogfinder! I agree with your comments, but you still can't control every situation. What I hear from shop owners is that they focus on things that aren't as important. Here's what I am saying. Your waiting room should be all about YOU, the shop owner.

 

Face it, the biggest hurdle you've got to face is overcoming 'trust'. Car owners typically approach repair shops not trusting them.

 

That's why I promote using your waiting room to 'build' trust. Things like simple pictures of you handing keys to smiling customers; pictures with local celebrities, pictures of happy customers with their testimonial posted right beside it - the 'familiarity' of YOU builds trust.

 

I'm not saying it shouldn't be comfortable - but it's one of your best chances to help build trust with customers.

 

Hope this helps!

 

Matthew Lee

 

What i am saying is it's wise to control what's in your waiting room. Good customers are always welcome. Whiners and not so nice people are directed elsewhere in a nice way. I will offer them $7.00 bucks and a coupon for the jack in the box across the street that has wi-fi.

Edited by FROGFINDER
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I get the occasional "waiter",and for the most part they wait. There's lots of photos of cars and customer's rides, WIFI and magazines. But, if there is a unscheduled delay I'll offer a ride home or get them a taxi. The ones that get me are the "pacers".

 

My lobby door is hooked up to a bell so that I can hear the door opening when I'm out in the shop. Like some trained dog, if I hear the bell, I'll run up front.

 

When there is nobody there, and no one in the waiting area you can bet the "waiter" is now the "pacer". I sometimes find them waiting outside on the park benches but the true "pacer" has to wander around to the service bays and spy on their car. Sometimes for a brief look and then back to the waiting area... over and over again.

 

Eventually, some of them will inch their way into the shop next to their car. Which, I totally don't care for, but will deal with. If they get to be a problem I'll suggest to them to go back up to the waiting room.

 

It's really the "pacers" who keeps ringing that damned bell that bugs me, not so much the "waiters". Just sayin' I guess it's all part of the life of a small shop mechanic. ROFL.

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  • 3 weeks later...

The probability of something going wrong goes up dramatically when people decide to wait. What happens when something breaks and isn't readily available and they are camping in the waiting room? I encourage everyone to drop off their car.

 

Yep. Thinking through the pros and cons of waiters:

 

Cons:

- Techs feel rushed, since the customer is tapping their foot

- Customer gets upset if the tech is not 100% devoted to their car every time they look in the shop

- If a part order is wrong, it's another hour of waiting for the next delivery

- No additional work added, as that means more time

- Customer hears every interaction with every customer good and bad

 

Pros:

- One more free parking space when the car is done

 

It's simply not pleasant having customers waiting in the lobby. For everything other than a basic 30min oil change, we strongly encourage coming back in 4-6hrs and even provide a shuttle or Uber to get them somewhere. We spend $200-300/mo on Uber to make this happen.

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  • Have you checked out Joe's Latest Blog?

         0 comments
      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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