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How to charge for on-line help


theboss20

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So we all use various on-line help systems to find difficult problems...how do you invoice those costs to your customer? It seems like between monthly subscriptions for shop management software and  help software costs the profits keep slipping away...help!

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A good question that I've thought about but haven't done anything about. In CA we can't charge shop supplies. I don't think it would work to add a specific separate charge, which would be hard to explain. About the only way I see to do it is to add a little more test labor that the tech doesn't get flagged for.

 

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  • 2 weeks later...

I just took a class from Jeremy O'neal that addressed this exact issue. Rather than raising your shop supplies fee, you can add it as another, separate fee on any diagnostic line. Label it 'additional resource fee'. I haven't started this yet, but he says that he hasn't had a single customer question it. I imagine that if you have clear a detailed explanation of the testing a diagnostic process you went through to figure an issue out, they won't think twice about 'additional resources' needed.

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If we use a service like Identifix  for technical help we charge a computer access fee of 69.95. I have never had anyone complain about this charge once it's explained to them that without the technical help the time to diagnose there problem would have taken a lot long and cost them more money in the long run. I also let them know that we as tech's can't know everything about every vehicle out there and anyone that thinks they do run from them. Even doctors get outside help from other doctors on some problems with there patients.

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Great info guys...I like both thoughts...the key is having the right words that the service advisor can use to explain to the customer that is plausible and believable...Thanks for your input! 

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  • Alex changed the title to How to charge for on-line help
  • 9 months later...
On 3/7/2018 at 3:22 PM, Dec said:

I just took a class from Jeremy O'neal that addressed this exact issue. Rather than raising your shop supplies fee, you can add it as another, separate fee on any diagnostic line. Label it 'additional resource fee'. I haven't started this yet, but he says that he hasn't had a single customer question it. I imagine that if you have clear a detailed explanation of the testing a diagnostic process you went through to figure an issue out, they won't think twice about 'additional resources' needed.

An additional line item for "Additional Resource Fee" or something similar is an interesting idea. 

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      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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