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Money versus Customer Service

One goal of any auto repair business is to provide quality service that people want to buy.  We’ve all seen or heard about what can happen when people get poor service and complain about it.  Law suits are filed all the time against companies for unethical practices and faulty products.  Earning more money is not to be gained at the expense of proper customer service.

How important is customer service?  It is a vital part of your auto repair business.  Satisfied customers keep coming back.  They will tell their friends about you and they will buy from you.  It is the way that business owners ensure that their business will continue.

I try to put myself in the customer’s shoes.  Actually, I am not just a small business owner but a consumer as well.  I know what constitutes excellent customer service to me and anyone I do business with deserves no less than that.

One thing about customers; you never know who they know.  Any one of them could be a person with a lot of influence in their town or city.  A word from them could send people to your website.  On the other hand, their job could allow them the opportunity to tell others of influence that you don’t provide good customer service.

All right, so it could be a hundred to one shot that one of your customers is someone like this.  But, the average customer who is concerned about customer service can post a bad review on forums, eBay, and other places where you may be looking for new customers.  And, the truth is, people flock to bad news.  They will think twice about using your services if it is floating around in the ether that you are a bad egg.

As your auto repair business grows, so will your customer service responsibilities.  The people who purchase goods or use your services are more than dollar signs.  They have lives and spheres of influence.  Treating each one like gold is our responsibility.

It is a mistake to think that your business could ever get so big that one customer doesn’t count.  It is also a mistake to think that providing a cheap product just to make money won’t come back to haunt you.  It is a fact that it will.  You could be on the receiving end of a suit.  This is not a good way to do business.

But, neither profits nor customer service has to be suspended to have a successful business.  It you feel that customer service is getting lax because you are spending most of your time marketing the business, consider outsourcing parts of the operation.  Set up email drafts and use other features to handle emails effectively and in a timely manner.

There is always a way to make it work.  Consistently providing good customer service will help expand your customer base and your image on the Internet.  This is vital to continued growth in your industry.

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  • Have you checked out Joe's Latest Blog?

      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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