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Nick is on the front lines of customer service each day. He is a talented service advisor, with a passion for helping others. Nick and I often debate what’s more important to the customer: price or value? He’ll often tell me, “I know you preach value, Joe, but people care about price, too. In the end, price is a major concern.” I always respond, “Nick, it’s not all about price, it’s really about value. Build a strong relationship, reach the customer emotionally, have them believe in you and they will trust you. And when that happens, price will not be the focus.”  

Here’s the reality. I would be lying to you if I told you that price has absolutely no bearing on a person’s decision to buy from you or not. However, are consumers only interested in price? I know that sometimes it may appear that way, but the bottom line is this: being competitive and profitable is a fine line we walk each day. When the perception of value diminishes, price then becomes the focal point.  Nick, who debates me on the philosophy of value, learned a valuable lesson recently, which made him a believer that there is most definitely a difference between value and price.  

About a month ago, a first-time customer called us to ask if we could take a look at her son’s tire, which was losing air pressure. Nick took the call and said, “Sure, we would be happy to help you.” He took down all the needed information and let her know that he would follow up with a phone call as soon as her son arrived.  

When the son arrived, Nick wrote up the car and dispatched it to a technician and then called the mother to let her know that her son had arrived. He also let her know that he would call her as soon as he knew something about the tire. 

About ten minutes later, the tech informed Nick that the tire was damaged from riding with too little air pressure and that the tire would have to be replaced. He also said that the other three tires looked new and that it would not be a problem replacing the one tire.         

Nick prepared an estimate for the tire and called the customer. Nick explained why the tire needed to be replaced and let her know that we could have the tire installed and have him on his way in about an hour or so. Nick then gave her the price for the job. The mother replied with, “Ok, give me five minutes and I will call you right back.” 

Fifteen minutes later the mother called, and said, “Nick, I found another shop that will install that same tire for $50.00 less than you can do it for.  So, can you put air in the tire so I can have my son drive it to the other shop?” Nick thought for a second and responded, “putting air in the tire and having your son drive his car to the other shop is not safe. Here’s what I will do. I will have my technician put the spare on the car. He’ll also check the tire pressure in the other three tires. Afterall, we want to make sure that your son is safe.” The mother thanked Nick and hung up the phone.  

A few minutes later, the mother called again, asked for Nick and said this, “You know Nick, you were so nice to me from the very beginning when I first spoke to you and right up to now, and you put my son’s safety first. You also didn’t try to force me into buying your tire. Please install the tire at your price.” Nick, now on cloud nine, hung up the phone and told the tech to finish up the job.  

Nick learned a valuable lesson that day. He learned that he didn’t sell a tire—he sold something much greater. He sold an emotional feeling. He reached the customer on an emotional level and the price of the job became less important. Does this work with everyone? Of course not. But, if you want to make more sales and build the right clientele, sell value, sell relationships and sell a positive emotional feeling. 

Later that day, Nick told me what happened. I could tell that he was proud of how he handled the situation. And he should be. I just listened as he told me the entire story and relived the moment. After he had finished, I calmly asked him, “So Nick, is it really all about price?” Nick just smiled. 

This story was originally published by Joe Marconi in Ratchet+Wrench on May 5th, 2020

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    • By carmcapriotto
      https://youtu.be/yqxX5sBiqYw Welcome to a special CarmCast #094 on the role you play in recognizing our auto care industry top people. The AAPEX Service Awards are ready for your nomination. Find them aapexshow.com/service awards. The deadline is September 1, 2021. Joining me is Dwayne Myers, Partner, Dynamic Automotive and Bill Nalu, Interstate Auto Care, Madison Heights, MI. Bill and Dwyane were nominators from last year honors. They each had their nominee win. This is a very important opportunity to increase the bar of professionalism in our industry. I’m sure you know someone worthy of a nomination. There are three awards in this annual recognition. Shop Owner, Technician and Service Advisor of the year. This is the 2nd annual and the honors will be presented at AAPEX 2021. I know you know someone worthy of a nomination. Consider your peer groups and twenty groups to nominate a shop owner of the year. Think about the dedication from your technician and service advisor that makes a great contribution to the professionalism of your business. You may be a technician and would like to nominate one of your co-workers or a  friend. Key Talking Points:
      aapexshow.com/serviceawards Recognize the unsung hero’s of our industry It is in our hands as shop owners to partner with AAPEX and recognize our own A challenge to all in the industry You are helping the industry and raising the bar You can print the application and write it out before keying into the site Applications re due September 1, 2021 Thanks to Dwyane Myers and Bill Nalu for their contribution to the aftermarket 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 is segmented by Series HERE. Key Word Search HERE. Be socially involved and in touch with the show: Facebook   Twitter   Linked In   Email Join the Ecosystem – Subscribe to the INSIDER NEWSLETTER HERE. Buy me a coffee Are you seeing auto shops in your area get hundreds of 5-star Google reviews and are you feeling left behind because your shop only has a few? Hey look, Broadly is your answer to getting more online reviews. With more reviews, your business will rank higher in search results — and that means more customers coming into your shop every day. Broadly helps you automatically request reviews so that your customers can promote your business with just one click. When you immediately ask for a review after service, when the experience is still fresh in their mind, you’re more likely to get a 5-star positive review. Plus, asking for feedback makes your customer feel valued and more connected to your business. Isn’t that what you want a connected customer? See how Broadly can help grow your auto shop.  Visit www.getbroadly.com/carm to learn more.Click to go to the Podcast on Remarkable Results Radio
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      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4RDrRgsYj6A
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      https://youtu.be/lAWzbES7h8M
      Panel:
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      Bill Nalu, Interstate Auto Care, Madision Heights, MI. Listen to Bill's previous episodes HERE.
       
      Key talking points:
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      Facebook   Twitter   Linked In   Email
      Join the Ecosystem – Subscribe to the INSIDER NEWSLETTER HERE.
      Buy me a coffee

      Are you seeing auto shops in your area get hundreds of 5-star Google reviews and are you feeling left behind because your shop only has a few?
      Hey look, Broadly is your answer to getting more online reviews. With more reviews, your business will rank higher in search results — and that means more customers coming into your shop every day.
      Broadly helps you automatically request reviews so that your customers can promote your business with just one click.
      When you immediately ask for a review after service, when the experience is still fresh in their mind, you’re more likely to get a 5-star positive review.
      Plus, asking for feedback makes your customer feel valued and more connected to your business. Isn’t that what you want a connected customer? See how Broadly can help grow your auto shop.  Visit www.getbroadly.com/carm to learn more.
       
      Click to go to the Podcast on Remarkable Results Radio
    • By carmcapriotto
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4nBtoP83XYE
      Charlene Parlett, AMAM, CEC, ATI Executive Coach
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      Kevin Vaught, Elite Worldwide Business Development Coach, former multi-shop owner. Find Kevin's previous episodes HERE
      Key Talking Points
      Developing customer experience- the customer is more willing to pay more if the experience meets the criteria to warrant the price. Customer service is different than the experience. Big things are expected (fix the car and have some complimentary amenities), what about the little things (using first name basis, water bottles with logo in the cup holder when ready). You need to have the entire team involved. Treating internal (employees) and external (customers) with high value. You don’t need money to be kind and nice to others. How does the building look? What is the smell when walking in? How are employees dressed? Do they have nametags? When organizations were asked to rate their quality of Customer Experience, 80% believe they are delivering a superior experience. This is compared to only 8% of customers who believe they are receiving a great Customer Experience  GLUE- giving little unexpected extras    Number one priority is to treat customers like kings and queens- they are the most important person that day.  Relationship business- want customers to keep coming back the rest of their lives, they are not an interruption in your day You’re being compared to a customer’s last great experience (inside and outside the industry). What is a good experience for them? Ask them! Technical knowledge means nothing to customers- they don’t know and want to know when the car will be done. Technology won't replace the experience a customer gets, it is a tool.  Overpromise and under deliver- customers remember that more than the price of services What’s your favorite restaurant? Is it based on price or comfort and service? Every customer will talk about a good or bad experience to others You make sales with conversation, not email or texts Don’t chase money, money will follow with exceptional service “We don’t fix cars, we take care of people” Raise your standards and communicate them to your team, doesn’t happen overnight. Have a plan and procedure until it is engrained. Make everyone accountable with clear expectations. A special thanks to Charlene Parlett, Maylan Newton and Kevin Vaught for their contribution to the aftermarket. Books Page HERE Listen to all Remarkable Results Radio, For The Record and Town Hall Academy episodes. Facebook   Twitter  LinkedIn   Instagram  Youtube   Email  
      Mobile Listening APP’s HERE
      Join the Ecosystem – Subscribe to the INSIDER NEWSLETTER HERE.
      Buy Carm a Cup of Coffee 

      This episode is brought to you by Shop-Ware Shop Management. It’s time to run your business at its fullest potential with the industry’s leading technology. Shop-Ware Shop Management will increase your efficiency with lightning-fast workflows, help your staff capture more sales every day, and create very happy customers who promote your business. Shops running Shop-Ware have More Time and generate More Profit—join them! Schedule a free live demonstration and find out how 30 minutes can transform your shop at getshopware.com

      This episode is brought to you by Shop Marketing Pros. Your guides are Kim and Brian Walker with a rich history as shop owners and industry veterans. When someone searches for a shop, who are they finding? Your competitors? It should be you! The good people over at Shop Marketing Pros know how to drive website traffic and make Google work for you! www.shopmarketingpros.com
      Click to go to the Podcast on Remarkable Results Radio
    • By BNC173
      We are a small rural shop; my guys are on salary and average 55-60 hours a week. Between the salary & bonus plan I think we are fair on our pay. We only charge 65.00/hour for mech work but our main shop is a tire shop, so we don't get into much other stop besides brakes or light mech work. The shop stays very busy that we some nights must stay late to get everyone taken care of. 1 employee focuses on the mech. part & helps with tires, the other is mainly tire & office sales & paperwork. There are a few times a month that the tire guy will need to do an afterhours call from anything from a jump start to a tractor tire repair. I want to compensate him for his extra work but not sure how to figure something simple & fair. I also don't want to make it something that they will start running more after ours because they will get more pay then if they were able to go out & do during reg business hours. Anyone with idea what they do hate to give profit away we still need to pay for the truck & fuel?


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    • By Joe Marconi
      It was a busy Friday morning when Tom called me for an update on his vehicle. I let Tom know that his car would be ready at the end of the day. There was a pause, and then he blindsided me with this, “You know, Joe, I did a little research on that water pump you’re replacing on my car. I can get that same part for $30 less. Why does your part cost so much?” I fired back at him by saying, “That’s impossible; it can’t be.” I went on and on attempting to defend myself, but I could tell I wasn’t getting through to him. After a few more words back and forth, Tom finally said, “Look, you started the job, so you might as well just finish it.”
      You’re probably thinking Tom went online to check the part. Well, this happened in 1980, my first year in business, and years before the Internet, as we know it today, even existed. Tom simply called a local part store. The parts store gave him a discounted price and then figured he would challenge me.
      Consumers checking your prices is nothing new—it just got a whole lot easier these days with the world wide web. Now, let’s clarify one thing: I am not going to tell in this article that there is a foolproof way to train consumers not to go online to check your prices. However, what I can tell you with certainty is that if you continue to feature products and not the customer experience, you are telling people to please check your prices.
      Consider this: You’re out to dinner and you ask the waiter for the wine list. As you scan the list, you recognize a brand and then look to the right at the price. Do you Google the bottle of wine to check what you could buy it in the store? We all know that a $10 bottle of wine in the store can cost well over $40 at the restaurant.
      Here’s the bottom line: The restaurant is selling more than wine and food—it’s selling the customer experience. And if all goes the way it should, we pay for the meal and the bottle of wine, even when we know the wine is priced higher than we could purchase it at the store. And, we are OK with it.
      Our business is no different. We need to focus on the experience, not the products. Yes, we install water pumps, control arms and radiators. But, that’s not our main focus. Our focus is on the value and the benefits of doing business with us. Now, with that said, there’s a delicate balance between being competitive and being profitable. But, as value goes up, price becomes less of an issue.
      Here’s the difference between our business and a product-driven business. When you buy a product—let’s say a watch or a cell phone—the experience lives on long after the sale. Every time you put on the watch, or use your cell phone, you are continuing the experience. And if the product is high quality, the experience gets reinforced over and over every time you use it. With auto repair, in most cases, what we do, does not live on after the sale. Once a customer leaves with a new timing belt and water pump, there’s not much about that repair that lives on in the eyes of the consumer, except the customer experience. Your entire sales process—your marketing, the look of your shop, the people you employee and every aspect of your business that the customer sees—must tell the customer that what you sell is worth the price.
      Let’s remember one thing: Your prices will be challenged from time to time. So, here are a few more tips. Get the right training for your service advisors, especially in the area of customer service. Make sure your marketing and advertising communicates your brand and your culture, and please be careful with discounting. Claims that you have the best price on tires or brakes only results in consumers checking online to see if that’s true. Highlight your warranty, which has a lasting impression on the customer. Above all, communicate the benefits of doing business with your company.
      Let’s get back to Tom. After 39 years, Tom and his family are still customers. I have to believe it’s because Tom appreciates the level of service we have given him throughout the years and the relationship we’ve built. Tom has learned what Warren Buffet has often said, “Price is what you pay; value is what you get.”
      This story was originally published by Joe Marconi in Ratchet+Wrench on May 1st, 2019


      View full article
    • By Joe Marconi
      Nick is on the front lines of customer service each day. He is a talented service advisor, with a passion for helping others. Nick and I often debate what’s more important to the customer: price or value? He’ll often tell me, “I know you preach value, Joe, but people care about price, too. In the end, price is a major concern.” I always respond, “Nick, it’s not all about price, it’s really about value. Build a strong relationship, reach the customer emotionally, have them believe in you and they will trust you. And when that happens, price will not be the focus.”  
      Here’s the reality. I would be lying to you if I told you that price has absolutely no bearing on a person’s decision to buy from you or not. However, are consumers only interested in price? I know that sometimes it may appear that way, but the bottom line is this: being competitive and profitable is a fine line we walk each day. When the perception of value diminishes, price then becomes the focal point.  Nick, who debates me on the philosophy of value, learned a valuable lesson recently, which made him a believer that there is most definitely a difference between value and price.  
      About a month ago, a first-time customer called us to ask if we could take a look at her son’s tire, which was losing air pressure. Nick took the call and said, “Sure, we would be happy to help you.” He took down all the needed information and let her know that he would follow up with a phone call as soon as her son arrived.  
      When the son arrived, Nick wrote up the car and dispatched it to a technician and then called the mother to let her know that her son had arrived. He also let her know that he would call her as soon as he knew something about the tire. 
      About ten minutes later, the tech informed Nick that the tire was damaged from riding with too little air pressure and that the tire would have to be replaced. He also said that the other three tires looked new and that it would not be a problem replacing the one tire.         
      Nick prepared an estimate for the tire and called the customer. Nick explained why the tire needed to be replaced and let her know that we could have the tire installed and have him on his way in about an hour or so. Nick then gave her the price for the job. The mother replied with, “Ok, give me five minutes and I will call you right back.” 
      Fifteen minutes later the mother called, and said, “Nick, I found another shop that will install that same tire for $50.00 less than you can do it for.  So, can you put air in the tire so I can have my son drive it to the other shop?” Nick thought for a second and responded, “putting air in the tire and having your son drive his car to the other shop is not safe. Here’s what I will do. I will have my technician put the spare on the car. He’ll also check the tire pressure in the other three tires. Afterall, we want to make sure that your son is safe.” The mother thanked Nick and hung up the phone.  
      A few minutes later, the mother called again, asked for Nick and said this, “You know Nick, you were so nice to me from the very beginning when I first spoke to you and right up to now, and you put my son’s safety first. You also didn’t try to force me into buying your tire. Please install the tire at your price.” Nick, now on cloud nine, hung up the phone and told the tech to finish up the job.  
      Nick learned a valuable lesson that day. He learned that he didn’t sell a tire—he sold something much greater. He sold an emotional feeling. He reached the customer on an emotional level and the price of the job became less important. Does this work with everyone? Of course not. But, if you want to make more sales and build the right clientele, sell value, sell relationships and sell a positive emotional feeling. 
      Later that day, Nick told me what happened. I could tell that he was proud of how he handled the situation. And he should be. I just listened as he told me the entire story and relived the moment. After he had finished, I calmly asked him, “So Nick, is it really all about price?” Nick just smiled. 
      This story was originally published by Joe Marconi in Ratchet+Wrench on May 5th, 2020

    • By Joe Marconi
      It was a busy Friday morning when Tom called me for an update on his vehicle. I let Tom know that his car would be ready at the end of the day. There was a pause, and then he blindsided me with this, “You know, Joe, I did a little research on that water pump you’re replacing on my car. I can get that same part for $30 less. Why does your part cost so much?” I fired back at him by saying, “That’s impossible; it can’t be.” I went on and on attempting to defend myself, but I could tell I wasn’t getting through to him. After a few more words back and forth, Tom finally said, “Look, you started the job, so you might as well just finish it.”
      You’re probably thinking Tom went online to check the part. Well, this happened in 1980, my first year in business, and years before the Internet, as we know it today, even existed. Tom simply called a local part store. The parts store gave him a discounted price and then figured he would challenge me.
      Consumers checking your prices is nothing new—it just got a whole lot easier these days with the world wide web. Now, let’s clarify one thing: I am not going to tell in this article that there is a foolproof way to train consumers not to go online to check your prices. However, what I can tell you with certainty is that if you continue to feature products and not the customer experience, you are telling people to please check your prices.
      Consider this: You’re out to dinner and you ask the waiter for the wine list. As you scan the list, you recognize a brand and then look to the right at the price. Do you Google the bottle of wine to check what you could buy it in the store? We all know that a $10 bottle of wine in the store can cost well over $40 at the restaurant.
      Here’s the bottom line: The restaurant is selling more than wine and food—it’s selling the customer experience. And if all goes the way it should, we pay for the meal and the bottle of wine, even when we know the wine is priced higher than we could purchase it at the store. And, we are OK with it.
      Our business is no different. We need to focus on the experience, not the products. Yes, we install water pumps, control arms and radiators. But, that’s not our main focus. Our focus is on the value and the benefits of doing business with us. Now, with that said, there’s a delicate balance between being competitive and being profitable. But, as value goes up, price becomes less of an issue.
      Here’s the difference between our business and a product-driven business. When you buy a product—let’s say a watch or a cell phone—the experience lives on long after the sale. Every time you put on the watch, or use your cell phone, you are continuing the experience. And if the product is high quality, the experience gets reinforced over and over every time you use it. With auto repair, in most cases, what we do, does not live on after the sale. Once a customer leaves with a new timing belt and water pump, there’s not much about that repair that lives on in the eyes of the consumer, except the customer experience. Your entire sales process—your marketing, the look of your shop, the people you employee and every aspect of your business that the customer sees—must tell the customer that what you sell is worth the price.
      Let’s remember one thing: Your prices will be challenged from time to time. So, here are a few more tips. Get the right training for your service advisors, especially in the area of customer service. Make sure your marketing and advertising communicates your brand and your culture, and please be careful with discounting. Claims that you have the best price on tires or brakes only results in consumers checking online to see if that’s true. Highlight your warranty, which has a lasting impression on the customer. Above all, communicate the benefits of doing business with your company.
      Let’s get back to Tom. After 39 years, Tom and his family are still customers. I have to believe it’s because Tom appreciates the level of service we have given him throughout the years and the relationship we’ve built. Tom has learned what Warren Buffet has often said, “Price is what you pay; value is what you get.”
      This story was originally published by Joe Marconi in Ratchet+Wrench on May 1st, 2019

    • By [email protected]
      OK. Not to start another parts markup thread but I would like to look at this from another angle. What percentages do you aim when marking up parts when you look at the part categories? 
      Just an example below:
      Brakes 70%
      Struts 30%
      Shocks 50%
      Tires 15-30%
      Maintenance, etc ,etc
       
      The reason I ask is because even a standard parts pricing matrix can blow certain items out of reasonable sale price. I am aware that less expensive items can net larger profits, which also makes up for more expensive items but I am trying to see a base line of what parts markup looks like with these categories.
      Thanks
    • By jfuhrmad
      There are quite a few threads about pricing but I think it might be better to shift that discussion to value.  How do you add value for your customers?  For example, we have a very clean waiting room with coffee, wifi, nice music etc...  We also, answer the phone in the happiest way possible, we use tablets for inspections, we vacuum the front footwells for all oil changes, we have demo parts to help educate customers and we have a 3yr 36k warranty.  Recently I've been trying to dream up ways to add even more value so I can compete hard on what I deliver.  For example, I just added a 20 year master tech, I thought I could vacuum every car and leave a thank you note on the dash.
      What are you doing to add value?  What additional value are you adding that I'm not doing?  I would love to borrow some ideas if you are willing to share.
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