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By Joe Marconi
As shop owners, we sometimes feel that we need to answer every question and handle every situation. While you need to be proficient as a business owner, you also need your employees to think for themselves.
Empower your people to solve problem. Ask them for their opinions and don’t be too quick to jump in on every situation. The more you jump in and solve their problems, the more they will rely on you. This is not to say you don’t have their back; but a team functions best when everyone takes ownership of their position and takes responsibility to take care of problems.
Will employees make mistakes? Yes. But there isn’t a shop owner on this planet that has a perfect record at making decisions. We all make mistakes.
As a shop owner; teach, mentor and coach. Include your employees in on decisions that relate to their job position. When employees feel you trust them, they will begin to solve their own problems. This will set you free to work on the things that will bring you greater success.
By Joe Marconi
We know the value of technical and sales training, but what about in-house training. What I am referring to is review policies and procedures. By reviewing in house written procedures gets everyone on the same page, improves production and also improves quality in the repair process. A simple process such as everyone following the same procedure for a cooling system problem will add to the overall shop's production and in the long run procedure a better quality job.
By Ron Ipach
I released a video on my blog yesterday that seems to be causing a bit of a stir. Some shop owners are saying my idea is brilliant - others say I'm totally wrong.
In a nutshell, I'm advocating giving away $100 in services for a new client referral.
The last thing I want to do is give away bad information, so I'm asking for some help to set me straight if I'm way off base.
You can watch the video here for my full explaination: http://www.captaincarcount.com/auto-repair-marketing/is-this-a-crazy-idea-or-what/
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?
We've been running adds for months, (AdWords, facebook, monster and many other sites) and just can't find quality candidates! I was thinking it was just us, be it the shop, methods or maybe am unsaid reputation but I've been talking to other shops and folks who frequent other shops (tool dealers, part suppliers etc) and they say everyone in a 100 mile radius is hiring but can't find help.
Any insight? Are we alone in this?
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By Ron Ipach
Do you want the The HARDCORE TRUTH to Finding, Attracting, Hiring, And Keeping Top Techs?
Sign up (for free) here for access to my brand new mini series: http://bit.ly/find-techs.
Video One Coming Monday, 11/5...
MORE DETAILS AND REGISTRATION: http://bit.ly/find-techs
Free webinar for all members hosted by @Ron Ipach from Captain Car Count!
As you already know, finding good, qualified technicians isn’t as easy as it was in years past. Gone are the days of simply placing a few ads online or in the newspaper help-wanted section.
When you combine the fact that more shops than ever are in the hunt for qualified applicants, with the ever-shrinking pool of technicians to draw from, it’s no wonder so many shop owners are frustrated with their search.
Attracting good technicians today requires a radically different approach, and on this highly informative online training event, Ron Ipach, president of Repair Shop Coach, will walk you through the same strategies that his clients are using to attract lots of highly qualified to their shops on a consistent basis.
CLICK HERE TO REGISTER
Time slots vary and are held weekly:
Please reach out to @Ron Ipach for additional information.
By Joe Marconi
I recently made a call to my Internet provider to discuss and issue I was having. After multiple attempts at trying to explain my problem, the customer service rep on the other end of the phone had no clue how to solve my problem. She was nice, extremely polite, and had the voice of an angel. She was well-trained, but not in the art of problem solving.
Great customer service is not about being nice to people, it’s all about understanding the customer’s needs and coming up with solutions to their problems. Train your service personnel in the art of proper etiquette, but also in the art of problem solving. Empower your people to also make decisions. Set limits, but give them the authority to solve issues without every problem reaching your desk.
By [email protected]
So this year I have taken my shop towards the next level and am at a point where I need good advice and wisdom before proceeding.
I went from a one bay facility to a two bay facility and added a second lift. I am the only person working. I am looking for an employee so I can get out of the shop and start doing sales and management. I have spent a lot of money over the last years in business on tools and equipment. I need to grow because I am just way too busy and slammed with work quite frequently and staying very late at the shop to complete tasks. I have very little personal time and need to delegate. Several large ticket repairs often cause my schedule to back up. I plan to save up money to hire a good technician and to be able to start them out and have money for the hard times until I can get them up to the "speed of trust". I have worked at shops in the past and have seen employee turnover and have seen where we found a great technician but the boss couldn't pay on time for whatever reason and the tech would end up leaving. I don't want to be in that situation.
Question 1: I need to know should I be looking for a master tech or maybe a mid level tech who knows their way around??? I dont really want to take on an apprentice because I don't have time to train them and babysit them. I want someone who can hit the ground running. It would be nice to turn them loose and not have to worry about the repairs they are doing. I want to make an employee handbook and agreement for shop procedures, cleaning, showing up on time, policies, etc. so they will know up front what is expected.
Question 2: What should I expect to pay them? Salary, flat rate, bonus, a combonation of any of these? Starting pay vs normal pay?
Question 3: How did you go from a one man army to having employees and bigger successes?
I really don't need help to find one at the moment although I am open to suggestions but I want to focus on the questions at hand. I am a good tech but I am also not the fastest because I am picky and want things done right. Call it OCD or whatever but I don't like come backs. I am also a great service adviser and would rather have a tech doing the work so I can run the business. Thank you