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 We recently started doing courtesy inspections through bolt on technology.   I have one technician that is  being very resistant to writing any vehicles up for any maintenance or problems as he feels we shouldn't be pressuring the customer. Today we had one come in from Goodyear that they recommended upper and lower ball joint's.  I asked him to check it out and to complete the multi point inspection. On the multi point he indicated that there were no problems with the ball joints. I had the owner recheck and he found the ball joints had significant play present. The owner was quite frustrated as this was  $1500 that we could have potential he lost had he not rechecked him. The technician that originally came and checked it out came to me and asked why the owner was being such a dick. based on his resistance to completing the courtesy inspections, not knowing what he's checking out (has recommended fuel filters and timing belts when the car doesn't have one) and hey I'm calling the owner a dick I feel it made to be time to let this employee go. Should I write him up for insubordination or just cut ties with him?

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Sound like a lack of education on the part of your tech. From what I am reading, is seems your tech is coming from a place of ignorance and lack of prosperity. I have had techs tell me ball joints were in acceptable condition from their perspective even when the service guide calls for them to be changed due to minor play. It's here where you have to teach your people why the customer comes into your store seeking your professional advice to avoid breakdowns and getting stuck on the side of a very dangerous highway.

One thing I see from my competition, they seem afraid to teach their people to be better because they are afraid their people will ask for more money or will leave and be able to get more money working for another shop. This is a very poor mentality that keeps people in poverty.

I make it a point to train my people to be the best, I encourage them to keep learning and improve their condition, I teach them how to inspect and be conscious of our customer's car conditions. I teach them about the value we give the customer and why our customer take the choice to make us their shop. In turn, I find out, my people chose to stay with me because they know we are in it for the long run to benefit them and me, I couldn't deliver great service without their support and care for our customers.

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Hi spencersauto! 
For the record, I agree with the comments above. One simple "test" I use is this. "Who's writing the checks?"

That is pretty much the acid test to determine if you're right or wrong. Look, I get the fact that not every tech is going to do everything exactly the way we want them to - but the fact is the "Inspection" is really part of your job. I insist on a good tech doing my oil changes because they've got the "trained eye". They know that things happen - and between oil changes - lots can happen. Using a "RED-YELLOW-GREEN" check makes things clear and let's customers know that you've got their back. That is, RED is needs immediate attention; YELLOW is a caution - maybe brakes are okay now - but probably need service on your next visit (gives the customer a chance to plan for the cost); and GREEN is "all good"

But the short answer to your question is "Can he find the door himself?"

Hope this helps!

Matthew Lee
"The Car Count Fixer"

Get "The Official Guide to Auto Service Marketing"

Get on the Early Bird List for my new book!

 

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Thanks for all the comments and advice. We decided to give him two days off for the insubordination and told him if he wanted to continue to be apart of our team come back Monday with a new attitude ready to follow our policies and procedures. We also told him with the fresh start he would need to take a drug test to return. He quit on the spot after telling him that. Guess everything happens for a reason.

Edited by spencersauto
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This person cannot grasp the concept of allowing wheels to eject on your customers cars without any prior notification is wrong. That is quite basic. Good bye. Please find a profession where you won’t kill anyone. 

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8 hours ago, spencersauto said:

Thanks for all the comments and advice. We decided to give him two days off for the insubordination and told him if he wanted to continue to be apart of our team come back Monday with a new attitude ready to follow our policies and procedures. We also told him with the fresh start he would need to take a drug test to return. He quit on the spot after telling him that. Guess everything happens for a reason.

This tells you everything you needed to know. The vicious cycle is hard to break for those doing drugs to detach from reality. And the irony is that he will blame everyone else and not himself for all his troubles.

Edited by HarrytheCarGeek
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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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