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[Podcast] Zero Dollar Customers – Tom Palermo [RR 511]


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Tom Palermo is General Manager of Preferred Automotive Specialties in Jenkintown, PA. Tom is a world class Master Technician and a Certified ASE Advanced Level Technician, is certified from ASE including Master Auto, MasterTruck, Master Truck Equipment, Master School Bus, Master Collision, Master Transit Bus, L1, L2, C1, X1, P2, F1 Besides the 2015 NAPA/ASE Technician of the Year, Tom also earned the 2011 AAIA-ASE World Class Technician Award from the Automotive Aftermarket Industry Association, National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence, and the Best Tech of the Year award sponsored by WIX Filters. The majority of Tom’s business is fleets. Listen to Tom’s previous episodes HERE.

Key Talking Points:

  • Zero dollar customers
  • Moved to one location 2 miles down road
  • Specifically target marketing customers based on database information (how many cars they had, what their purchases were etc)
  • Noticed in first quarter they were getting a lot of zero dollar bills (car making noise, checking brakes, checking front end etc) then leaving without repair. Get repair and different shop or do repair themselves. Average RO started to drop. Started to understand behavior of customers when they come in and find out what they really want
  • Zero dollar customers can have huge effect on shop’s productivity
  • Discount if work is done at shop or ask them if they want to leave their car

Resources:

  • Thanks to Tom Palermo for his contribution to the aftermarket’s premier podcast.
  • Link to the ‘BOOKS‘ page highlighting all books discussed in the podcast library HERE. Leaders are readers.
  • Listen for free on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spreaker, iHeart Radio, Spotify, Podchaser and many more. Mobile Listening APP's HERE
  • Find every podcast episode HERE.
  • Every episode segmented by Series HERE.
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Click to go to the Podcast on Remarkable Results Radio

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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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