Jump to content

The Un-assured Motorist - - - Trust and confidence


Recommended Posts

The Unassured Motorist

You’re driving down the road when all of a sudden the check engine light comes on. The car begins to sputter, cough, and nearly dies. You find yourself in need of a good mechanic, so you decide to make a few phone calls. But which one? Who can you trust?

Motorist should be cautious when trying out a new mechanic, even recommended ones. The reasons for being cautious are as varied as the car problems themselves. It’s not like you can go to good ol’ dad for the repairs. Things are bit different than they were just a few decades ago.

Back then the car manufacturers built the cars and good ol’ dad kept it running by tinkering on the family car in the drive way. Every conceivable part was available at the corner parts store, and since most everything was rather simple, dad could tackle just about any job.

Very seldom did the car go to a regular repair shop, unless you had one of those dads who didn’t work on cars. By the time the computer age came along, good ol’ dad had met his match. Things were getting too complicated for the average guy to work on the family truckster. More and more parts were dealer only with a no return policy, so taking guesses at the repair could affect the family budget. (But we all know good ol’ dad never, ever guessed at a repair.)

The computer age might have done more for the mechanic and consumer relationships than just changes in the automotive world. Now, it’s not good ol’ dad fixing the car, but some stranger at a repair shop, and some of the motoring public may not be too sure the guy with the big tool box knows what he’s doing. It’s that lack of assurance in the mechanic’s abilities which can hold back a lot of repairs at the shop. (Of course, we never questioned good ol’ dad’s qualifications). More to the point, qualifications are important, but the repair shop has an even bigger responsibility of reassuring the motoring public that they can do the job.

Sooner or later, every repair shop and mechanic will encounter an unassured motorist. They’ll question the cost, perhaps ask how long the shop has been in business, or maybe (very rarely) ask to see their credentials. It’s important that there is a trust established between the shop and the unassured motorist. This ultimately comes down to how you (the service guy) answer their concerns and how comfortable the motorist feels with the answers. Otherwise, the shop loses out at the intersection of lost work and bad reviews, because the damage done from an unassured motorist may never be fully repaired.

For some, the mere thought of paying someone too “look” at the car is enough to send them back out the door. Good ol’ dad never charged them for looking at the car, so why should this guy with the expensive scanner? It might be a carry-over from years gone by when mechanics were more grease than data signals. I’m not sure. Thankfully, the old stereotypical vision of a mechanic is slowly disappearing as the sophistication of the modern car increases.

Sometimes just a single word can break down the newly found trust with the service center. Things like, “no warranty”, “obviously, you don’t understand”, or “your problem sounds expensive”. To the motorist who is unsure about a repair shop, certain phrases just might be the tipping point to leaving their car or leaving with their car.

Keep in mind, they have questions, too. “Have you seen this type of problem before?” They’re not just asking if the shop is familiar with the problem, they’re asking if they’ve fixed this kind of problem before. (Hmm, never asked ol’ dad that question.)

Of course, if they’ve already self-diagnosed their problem, and the mechanic is trying to interject with their own “over the counter” diagnostics, it may inadvertently cause even more confusion.
Sometimes, the unassured motorist can be even less sure of the repair shop’s abilities after a repair or diagnosis. Especially if the diagnostic results are something they’re not familiar with or have never heard of before. For instance, the mechanic tells the motorist their alternator is bad, but they’ve never seen the warning light on the dash stay on. Even though the mechanic goes over the test results and describes the problem thoroughly, there’s still some doubt.

Being too technical, or not technical enough is a fine line between understanding and disbelief. It’s still a question of trust. The best bet for the repair shop is to give the unassured motorist the most honest answer they can give and try to answer their question as best as possible.

But, that’s not all. There are thousands of unrelated reasons why someone would favor one shop to another. It may come down to those political protest posters the boss left behind the counter, or the location of the shop, maybe your religious affiliation, or it could be something about the shop decor.

So what are the best ways of helping the unassured motorist become assured? What makes it work at one shop may not work at all for the shop down the street. The best thing we can do is to treat everyone fairly and with respect on both sides of the service counter. Regardless of where they come from, or what their political and social beliefs are.

Repair shops need customers, customers need repair shops, and they both need assurance from time to time. All it takes is a bit of understanding and confidence … and maybe a bit of reassurance once in a while.

View full article

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Similar Topics

    • By MINI4U
      We are in desperate need of techs. I tried Indeed and was very dissatisfied with the "talent" they sent us. I am considering Find A Wrench they post on Indeed as well as Zip Recruiter and some 90 other companies as well as social media. Has anyone tried them or ACT Auto Staffing? 
    • By carmcapriotto
      Key Talking Points
      Do you feel like you operate in your own space and own world? Are you missing perspective from other local shops, or out-of-area shops? What is the pulse of your curiosity and perspective? Do you have someone that holds you accountable to grow? Are you able to take a vacation? The customer/client IS the ultimate boss, no matter what we think- they sign all our checks Learn from your failures “Independent Shop Owners” They are independent, it works for you and against you.  Business coaches have businesses coaches- you are not exempt Learning something new- “Am I smarter? Or is the pool of knowledge is so big?” Mutual accountability with your team back and forth with the owner Are you too focused on the trade and “fixing the car?”  Different seasons require different types of accountability- pushing forward, attention to detail, reeling back in, etc. Growing means you always have different approaches to your business. Get out and go to events and training- you WILL resonate with someone there and it’ll change you. 6,000 independent shops went out of business last year, others are expanding and building muli shop businesses  Do you have blinders on or are you seeking growth? Not every technician needs to be an owner and shouldn’t be an owner- starting a business so you “don’t have a boss” isn't the way to go about it. Entrepreneurial freedom doesn’t start until years after you grow your business the right way.  Investment means you give to get Connect with the show:
      Aftermarket Radio Network
      Subscribe on YouTube
      Visit us on the Web
      Follow on Facebook
      Become an Insider
      Buy me a coffee
      Important Books
      Check out today's partners:

      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

      Are you seeing auto shops in your area get hundreds of 5-star Google reviews and are you feeling left behind because your shop only has a few?
      Hey look, Broadly is your answer to getting more online reviews. With more reviews, your business will rank higher in search results — and that means more customers coming into your shop every day. Broadly helps you automatically request reviews so that your customers can promote your business with just one click. When you immediately ask for a review after service, when the experience is still fresh in their mind, you’re more likely to get a 5-star positive review. Plus, asking for feedback makes your customer feel valued and more connected to your business. Isn’t that what you want a connected customer? See how Broadly can help grow your auto shop.  Visit www.getbroadly.com/chat to learn more.
      The Panel
      Ryan Clo, Dubwerx, and AVID AutoWerx, Cincinnati, OH. Both businesses have systems and processes in place so that his presence is not required on a daily basis. Ryan’s first business, Dubwerx, has a 99% customer satisfaction rate while maintaining profitability and growth.
      Ryan currently consults for the Institute of Automotive Business Excellence providing guidance to automotive businesses including on-site evaluations, off-site coaching, business plan development, and one-on-one coaching with owners and staff. He is known as the “Systems and Processes guy.” Ryan teaches several business management classes for the Automotive industry. Listen to Ryan’s previous episodes HERE.
      Reggie Stewart, Reggies Motor Works, and Nobel Auto Service in Noblesville, IN, Euro Specialist. Reggie’s was founded in 2006 as an eBay business selling used/vintage BMW parts. The initial funding for this venture was a $1,000 loan from his best friend. Over the past 15 years, this business has evolved from a dark cold building with no plumbing into a state-of-the art European repair facility, offering dealer level-service with a premium client experience. 
      Noble Auto Service was founded in 2020 to give owners of non-European cars a client experience very similar to Reggie’s. The plans for this business were well underway when the building next-door to Reggie’s became available, so the two businesses share an adjoining parking lot. 
      Greg Bunch is the owner of Aspen Auto Clinic, a six ocation automotive and service business in Colorado. Greg started his passion for cars at 15 when he began rebuilding a 1966 Volkswagen Bug. Greg has moved from a Volkswagen mechanic to ASE Master Technician, to Management, to starting his shop 18 years ago in his garage, to an award-winning multi-location business.
      Greg is currently a board member for the STEM-based charter school call “Automotive Institute of Science & Technology” and on the Advisory board of Ratchet and Wrench Magazine. Greg is also a board member of the Autocare organization and a certified instructor for the Worldpac Training Institute and Carquest Technical Institute. Greg’s unwavering passion for the industry has also led him to form a company called Transformers Institute, a coaching and training company dedicated to transforming the automotive industry.
      Listen to Greg’s previous episodes HERE. Transformers Institute HERE.
      Click to go to the Podcast on Remarkable Results Radio
    • By Joe Marconi
      There is a large repair shop in the mid Atlantic states (they want to remain anonymous) that just formed an alliance with a local new car dealer to service their used cars.  I will change some of the details; a request from the shop owner. But, the story brings up a few interesting facts. And, the big news is: This shop is profiting from this relationship!
      The shop owner was approached by the GM of the dealer to service some of the used cars they have been taken in on trade and want to sell.  The dealer techs are not trained and not familiar with the different car lines, being a Chrysler-only dealership. Due to the shortage of cars these days, the dealer is taking in on trade, all makes and models and wants to sell the used cars. And we all know profitable used cars are. 
      The repair shop performs a multipoint, which they get paid for,  and then they do many of the services and repairs, which includes tires, brakes, wheel alignments, oil changes, air and cabin filters, wipers and other simple services. Most of the cars are newer cars, and the work can be done by a GS tech.
      I don't know the pricing, sorry.  But, I am interested to see where this goes.  
      Imagine, a new car dealer asking an independent repair shop to service and repair their used car fleet???
    • By carmcapriotto
      Key Talking Points
      Justin Fricke, CarTime Auto Center, Dundas, MN
      Stocks around 100 cars on lot for used car business in the same building The car buying experience has changed- the market isn’t full of new vehicles anymore, prices continue to increase month to month Justin started as a technician and is now part-owner Program through junior and senior high schools called Career Tech Education- job fair day of different businesses with displays. As a business, go to schools and ask about their programs available. Consider field trip to the shop Where do kids fit? Stereotypes around the trades need to be broken in school. Don’t push the kids that are the “bad students” into the trades. It is no longer a secondary career path. Also has detail shop- $200 for full detailing inside and out Connect with the show:
      Aftermarket Radio Network
      Subscribe on YouTube
      Visit us on the Web
      Follow on Facebook
      Become an Insider
      Buy me a coffee
      Important Books
      Check out today's partner:

      Dorman gives people greater freedom to fix vehicles by constantly developing new repair solutions that put owners and technicians first. By always innovating, Dorman has led the way in growing the aftermarket. Here you will see a few examples of a Dorman OE Fix. An OE FIX is a Dorman repair solution you can’t get from the original equipment manufacturer. It means they found a situation where they believe the OEM wasn’t giving repair professionals what they wanted, so we fixed it. Everything Dorman does is centered around providing customer value, both in the quality of products, and the creativity of solutions. Our engineers and designers go out of their way to save repair technicians time and save vehicle owners money. Want to really go under the hood? Take the Dorman Virtual Tour at www.DormanProducts.com/Tour

      Click to go to the Podcast on Remarkable Results Radio
    • By danilredko
      Hello everyone, 

      I have an idea of a software that can be used to charge a customer a monthly fee. 

      For example, you could have different tiers: 

      Maintenance Lite - 15$ a month: low monthly payment for all of the conventional oil changes required by the average driver each year.

      Maintenance Basic - 20$ a month: Maintenance Basic includes everything you'll find in Lite, but adds... Unlimited Synthetic Oil Changes (as needed), On Rim (Seasonal) Tire Rotations (as needed), Complimentary Re-Torquing after changeover.

      Maintenance Plus - 40$ a month:  includes all services from Ultimate Maintenance Basic, plus the following...
      - Off Rim Seasonal Tire Rotations (as needed)
      - Seasonal Tire Storage
      - Flat-Tire Repair (excluding roadside assistance)
      - Up to four General Service Calls (diagnoses, bulb replacements, filters, etc...)
      - Battery Boost/Replacement (excluding roadside assistance)
      - Priority Scheduling Service (For seasonal tire changeover)

      What do you think about it? 

      Thank you! 

  • Our Sponsors

  • Create New...