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[Podcast] Our Customers Don’t Know How We Make Our Sausage and it is Time They Learned [RR 516]


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Carolyn Coquillette of Luscious Garage, San Francisco, CA chairs the ASCCA Connected Cars Committee, serves on the ASCCA Board of Directors and is active in her local San Francisco chapter. She’s also the Founder and CEO of Shop-Ware. Look for Carolyn’s other episodes HERE.

Scott Brown is an ASE Master Certified Automobile Technician with over three and a half decades of professional service industry experience. He and his wife own Connie & Dick’s Service Center Inc., a 57-year-old independent shop in Southern California.

With a strong focus on engine performance and electronics, Scott began collaborating with other industry professionals, online, beginning in the early 90’s. Since 1995, he has been an instrumental resource in the development of the largest online community of automotive service professionals, the International Automotive Technicians Network — iATN where he once served as company president. Additionally, he serves on the NASTF Board of Directors and is a member of the following associations: ASCCA, CAT, ETI, I-CAR, & SAE.

Scott is the founder of diag.net. Find other episodes that have featured Scott HERE. Diag.Net HERE

Key Talking Points:

  • Carolyn did a presentation at Vision 2019 “Don’t trust me, how to empower customers to value your service.” Better communicate with customer
  • There is no such thing as perfect communication
  • Scott has a presentation on how to best present knowledge and information to the customer (media, photos) 
  • Communicating complex problems on vehicles to customers (what are you doing, why you are doing it and what are results). Documentation of process. Communication can’t be perfect, always a work in progress  
  • Customers need to understand the quality of the facility and services and why the pricing is set in place. Peace of mind. 
  • Ultimately the car is the customer’s problem. The car is passing through the shop and the shop becomes the middle man. Easy for customers to be upset instead of appreciating the help to get the car back on road. 
  • People read approximately 300 yards of social media a day- always consuming information, customers need to be educated. I can’t assume customers don’t want to know information or details about their vehicles.  
  • The fine line between communication and overwhelm- the goal is comprehension with the customer. Data should speak for itself and tell a story. Customers often prioritize issues with vehicles and leave other issues pending. 
  • Training is maintenance, people don’t know how we make our sausage
  • Technology is moving at a rapid rate in vehicles, shops need to continue to train or be left behind
  • Shops are willing to share more than ever and help other shops- changing industry

Resources:

  • Thanks to Scott Brown and Carolyn Coquillette for their contribution to the aftermarket’s premier podcast.
  • Link to the ‘BOOKS‘ page highlighting all books discussed in the podcast library HERE. Leaders are readers.
  • Love what we do, buy a cup of coffee HERE.

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Buy Carm a Cup of Coffee 

This episode is brought to you by AAPEX, the Automotive Aftermarket Products Expo. AAPEX represents the $740 billion global automotive aftermarket industry and has everything you need to stay ahead of the curve. With 2,500 exhibiting companies, you’ll see the latest products, parts, and technologies for your business. As a result, the event also offers advanced training for shop owners, technicians, warehouse distributors (WDs) and auto parts retailers, as well as networking opportunities to grow your business. AAPEX 2020 will take place Tuesday, Nov. 3 through Thursday, Nov. 5, at the Sands Expo in Las Vegas. Therefore, more than 48,000 targeted buyers are expected to attend, and approximately 162,000 automotive aftermarket professionals. They will be from 135 countries which are projected to be in Las Vegas during AAPEX 2020. For information, visit aapexshow.com

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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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