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Sorry, Consumers still call us "Mechanics"


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At the Elite Invitational this past June, held in San Diego, we invited a customer panel to discuss a variety of issues with the auto industry. One of the things we discovered was that consumers don't know the term "Technician" and still refer to us as "Mechanics"

This is important to understand, especially with our internet marketing.  For example, a consumer may Google, Auto mechanic near me.

Thoughts? Opinions? 


 

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Start LLC for $0 at IncFile


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Start LLC for $0 at IncFile

IMO, "mechanic" is only frowned upon within the auto shop.    Your average consumer does not know the difference between a technician and a mechanic. A mechanic works on cars.  I have a car that needs work.  I need a mechanic.   I'm not denigrating anyone by using a common term, mostly because I don't know the other term.    I probably don't even understand that cars are hard to work on.   I can't work on my car, but I bring it to a shop and they have that computer which tells you what is broken, so how hard can it be?  Doesn't really matter.   Customer comes in.   If they don't value your service, they go out too.  Otherwise, you help them fix their car.     Heck, I overhear many people telling their ride-home that they are at "jafj fdkjfakj", not even knowing my proper business name....  but they are here, so my marketing worked.   It only matters later when they go to recommend my business to their friends and can't get the right words.

I generally explain automotive repair in this manner:     Cars are very complex.  The most talented technicians want to be paid what they are worth.  If you are seeking out the least expensive car repairs, you will find technicians that work for low pay.  Good technicians don't work for low pay.    You get what you pay for.   Sometimes this resonates, sometimes it does not.  Caveat Emptor.

Don't try to change the general public's language.   Match their language with your advertising.    Focus on your reputation.   Good reputation implies that you have good "mechanics" working for you!

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3 hours ago, bantar said:

IMO, "mechanic" is only frowned upon within the auto shop.    Your average consumer does not know the difference between a technician and a mechanic. A mechanic works on cars.  I have a car that needs work.  I need a mechanic.   I'm not denigrating anyone by using a common term, mostly because I don't know the other term.    I probably don't even understand that cars are hard to work on.   I can't work on my car, but I bring it to a shop and they have that computer which tells you what is broken, so how hard can it be?  Doesn't really matter.   Customer comes in.   If they don't value your service, they go out too.  Otherwise, you help them fix their car.     Heck, I overhear many people telling their ride-home that they are at "jafj fdkjfakj", not even knowing my proper business name....  but they are here, so my marketing worked.   It only matters later when they go to recommend my business to their friends and can't get the right words.

I generally explain automotive repair in this manner:     Cars are very complex.  The most talented technicians want to be paid what they are worth.  If you are seeking out the least expensive car repairs, you will find technicians that work for low pay.  Good technicians don't work for low pay.    You get what you pay for.   Sometimes this resonates, sometimes it does not.  Caveat Emptor.

Don't try to change the general public's language.   Match their language with your advertising.    Focus on your reputation.   Good reputation implies that you have good "mechanics" working for you!

A great message. The customer's perception is the one we need to understand.  It does all come down to marketing, and letting some terms go. 

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Well now a days they are technicians... Reading off a scanner tool that tells them what's wrong with the car isn't a mechanic they are technicians. Mechanics are a rare breed... being able to listen or look at a vehicles problems and figuring it out. Sometimes process of elimination till it's fixed. Taking a broken part, getting a rebuild kit, and rebuilding it instead of just replacing it. Just because the customer cant afford a new part. That's what I consider a "mechanic" Its a sad thing to hear about when those bad shops take advantage of people that dont understand automobiles. Not saying that your shop is bad I'm sure your shop is awesome! But we all have heard of mechanic shops doing unnecessary work just to squeeze everything out of a customer. Shame on them! But I guess they do have a business to run and it's not easy lol. Sorry if I went a bit off topic :)

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On 9/19/2022 at 12:09 PM, Jonathan Thompson said:

Although just because somethings can be a bit technical doesn't change who we are. We're mechanics... the term technician, to me sounds like it's someone that doesn't get dirty. 

You made great points. When I started in the 1970s, what we did was mostly mechanical.  In the typical repair shop, mechanics had to be skilled in rebuilding components, from alternators, generators, starters, master cylinders, engines, steering boxes, engines, etc.  The auto industry has evolved so much in the past 4 decades. Today, the hi-tech things we do has earned a different terminology.  

With all that, the consumers still say, "My Mechanic"

Great post Jonathan! 

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Hey bud thanks for noticing I meant every word. It's a prideful feeling to get someone's vehicle back on the road again. Specially when it's been to two other shops that couldn't figure it out, and the customer seems to lose all hope. And no matter how you look at it it's still a much needed skilled trade to have. 

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2 minutes ago, Jonathan Thompson said:

Hey bud thanks for noticing I meant every word. It's a prideful feeling to get someone's vehicle back on the road again. Specially when it's been to two other shops that couldn't figure it out, and the customer seems to lose all hope. And no matter how you look at it it's still a much needed skilled trade to have. 

Perfectly stated, Jonathan. And I agree with you 100%! Keep posting!

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