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By Joe Marconi
In my 38 year business career, it has always been an issue with summer vacations. We want our employees to enjoy life, but the summer is our busiest time. What are shop owners doing to maintain production, while balancing vacation time?
By Elite Worldwide Inc.
By Chris Monroe of Elite
We have all felt that empty feeling in our gut when a client walks back in the door with the “look” shortly after installing that new set of tires on their BMW. As they uncomfortably begin to describe some rim damage that didn’t exist when the car was dropped off…yuck.
Yes, you have policies in place to address such situations, but for whatever reason, the training on quality control has failed and now you are left to deal with the fallout. What next?
It is obvious there is a quality control issue that must be addressed, but how you take the next steps are very critical to the image of your business, as well as the credibility of your team.
The first step is to remain calm while reviewing with the client their concerns. Walk out to the vehicle and allow them to express what they feel is of issue. Once you have listened and observed with sincerity, start the process of restoration.
In our case, we had an incorrect set up on the tire machine with a low profile run-flat that ultimately allowed contact with the rim. This scratched the lip in multiple places. In addition, the technician continued with the installation without stopping to involve the advisor so we could get in front of the issue with the client. The technician did tell the advisor, but the timing was such that the client looked at the assembly on the car prior to checking out. Imagine how much easier this would have been had the advisor gotten to the client immediately to make them aware and assure them that we would professionally restore or replace the wheel.
Needless to say, I spent the next day with each and every technician reviewing the situation and the importance of why we have policy and process in place. Our technicians are now well aware of what to do (stop immediately and report the issue to the advising team) if damage occurs or could occur to a client’s vehicle, and understand the importance of getting in “front” of these concerns.
A better example this week where a technician wisely notated worn lug nuts and a partially damaged center cap “before” we began work. He gave the advisor a quick heads up that enabled a client visit to the vehicle to see in person and discuss the concerns. Not only did we replace the brakes on the car, but also replaced 20 lug-nuts and 4 center caps! The service concluded with the client scheduling another vehicle for service and thanking our team for being honest and helping resolve the issues. (This ain’t rocket science folks)
If you are in the automotive service business, incidents can and will happen. Coach and train your team on how to handle these situations, and demonstrate how important timing is with advising your client. Your shop's reputation and credibility ride on it.
This article was provided by Chris Monroe, an industry leading shop owner who recently won the 2018 Tire Dealer of the Year Award, and a Business Development Coach who helps other shop owners reach their goals through the Elite Coaching Program.
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Ode to Santa and the Economy
There goes Santa, running for his sleigh;
He’s gotta run fast, to get away.
You see, the economy has struck the North Pole as well;
The elves are on strike, and his wife is givin' em' hell.
These days when Santa appears at the local department store;
It’s not just for fun or photos, but for gifts he needs to score.
He'll check the store layout and make a quick dash;
Why even Santa max'd out his credit card and is low on cash.
So off he goes, into the night;
To find those gifts, and get out of sight.
Now, he’s not going to make a whole lot of stops;
‘Cause look out Santa… here comes the cops.
Santa leaps to his sleigh and flys far into the night;
Carrying all those gifts, on his yearly flight.
Way into the morning, the police search high and low;
Only to find a few tracks left in the snow.
You'll hear all the alarms blaring, late into the night;
But old Saint Nick will be long gone, and clean out of sight.
Santa has to be quick, to have it done by Christmas Eve;
So many gifts, and so many places to be…
The presents will be wrapped, and the tags will be off;
Cause old Santa is very careful, not to get caught.
So check your presents, early on Christmas day;
(Keep it hush-hush if they're from Santa, OK...?)
Now, I don’t know if Old Saint Nick, stopped at your house or not;
But If he did … … … … …
.....THOSE GIFTS ARE . . . HOT ! !
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By Joe Marconi
Years back it was common to hear, "Leave your problems at the door." Essentially that meant that your home life and all its issues should not cross over to work.
The truth is, it's not possible to simply turn a switch and forget about what's happening at home. For example, what if a tech's child is sick? What do you think that tech is thinking about throughout the day?
Your employees have to know that you care about them as people, not just workers. Recognize that things will occur and there are times when your employees will need your understanding.
When the people around you know that you care about them, they will care about you. This builds employee loyalty and a healthy work place.
By Joe Marconi
If not managed correctly, employee vacations can kill your business. Having everyone take vacations back to back, as in the summer months, will not only kill production, but kill morale.
The reality is that people do look forward to their vacation time. There is nothing wrong with this; people need down time and enjoy time away with their families. But we need a balance too.
The other issue is that sometimes the owner of the business is the last person in the shop that schedules time off. The owner needs down time too.
With the summer months approaching, what's your policy on vacation time?