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As much as it pains me I keep my personal beliefs off the service counter. It seems every day a customer has very strong opinions about some hot Facebook topic, and it occurred to me that whatever I say will cost me profit in lost sales. Everybody is entitled to their opinion. When a customer has a safety pin I smile and talk about their car. NRA or Trump hat same. "No Fracking" same thing. Even if I share their views I keep quiet. I feel like a hypocrite sometimes listening in silence to someone who thinks I share their wacked out beliefs but it's all for the sake of business. Do you guys ever get into it with customers?
Who can you trust?
With all the presidential debating and finger pointing, who can you trust? You listen, you observe, and you contemplate on which candidate is more likely to solve the issues. Then, after listening to the candidates you make your decision as to which way to go.
Although, when it comes to car repair most people want to rely on what they’ve been told by someone who claims to be a mechanic far more than the promises from someone who claims to be a politician. However, not everything you hear about car repair is presidential material either. You’ve got to keep in mind where and who that information is coming from.
People come to repair shops all the time with some sort of wild and zany claim from another mechanic. Sometimes their interpretation of what the last mechanic told them has been skewed by their vague recollection of the facts. Occasionally, it does take some sorting out, but even then it can still leave some doubt as to what the real issue is.
The mere mention of a code number brings on all kinds of interpretations, and a lot of trust is put into the first person who reads the service code. Now, if that’s the guy whose job it is to sell parts but offers free code checks I’m a bit skeptic. (Sounds more like the politician telling you that there will be a chicken in every pot.) Then, with attributes of a politician’s speech they’ll tell the consumer all about the repair procedures and make promises they can’t keep. All the while, the unwarily consumer puts full faith in the explanation.
When they finally get to a real repair shop the real problem begins when the mechanic tells them, “I’ll need to diagnose it in order see what’s going on.” It starts a chain reaction of doubt and disbelief. And, of course, the customer is wondering, “Who should I trust?” The guy at the parts store that told me all about the repair or this mechanic who doesn’t trust the first guy’s results?
How do you undo what has already been done by the guy reading the code and making promises they can’t keep. On the other hand, if the mechanic involved in the repair is perfectly capable of doing the repair and has all the needed equipment to properly diagnose and perform the repair, (those things the first guy may have lacked) then why is it so hard for the consumer to make the connection that the first guy may not have the complete answers after all?
Even if the code reader guy is dead right and it’s merely a problem of being properly equipped to make the repair, why is it so hard for the second mechanic to get past the paper work in the front office? It’s the politics of business I guess. I mean seriously, if doctor “A” sends you to doctor “B” chances are they are still going to re-diagnose the patient. It’s really no different for the second mechanic. They’ve got to re-check the first mechanic’s results to verify the problem.
Doubt has to be factored into all of this too. Some people will still hold onto their first choice for political office even after they’ve been proven wrong by other sources. Sometimes, it’s the same way the consumer feels about the first mechanic who looked at their car. They may feel that he knows what he’s doing, and there’s a chance this second mechanic may not know what he’s doing, but in order to go any further the consumer has to vote for either the first guy or the second guy. Either way, it’s going to cost them to find out, and just like in an election, you’re stuck with the results until you can change it again.
You would think things like certifications all over the walls, testimonials from previous customers, or online reviews would help. But, not all the time. It still comes down to how a particular person feels about the mechanic (or politician) their talking to. One off comment to the consumer and it becomes a deal breaker. Maybe it was nothing, maybe it was just their mannerism, but whatever the reason is, it still comes down to, “Who can you trust?”
Maybe, what good mechanics and service writers need is somebody who can see things from both sides of the counter. Someone who can relate to the customer, but at the same time someone who can talk mechanic talk. You know, a politically correct advisor. A lot of companies offer these types of services, and for the most part they do a great job of softening the edge between the consumer and mechanic. But, just to be politically correct, check them out before you vote for your choice.
Political speeches aside, it still comes down to the technician with the wrenches out in the service bay. Can they do the job, do they have the skills, and can they keep their promises. A good mechanic, male or female, may not always be the best speaker, or the most popular, or have the most politically correct demeanor. But, what they do have is those skills that make them a good technician, and quite frankly, the best for the job. They’ll get my vote every time. Then again, especially for the consumer, be informed, educate yourself about what is going on with your car and find a mechanic that you’re happy with. Because, it all comes down to “Who can you trust”.
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