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Yes Mrs. Customer, We Can Work On Your New Car


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This is nothing new, I definetly believe its even more of a problem these days because of the electronics in cars. But, it's the same old thing from years past. For example, I had one the other day that the owner told me that he had it at the dealer 6 months ago for the same related problem. (No A/C) I checked it out for my usual fee, I actually used a scanner to watch the signal. It's a bad clutch coil, the pressure was a little low but it is after the winter chill, I kinda expected that. I wasn't concerned, besides it's exactly what the dealership just fixed for him. So, take it back you've got a warranty.

Now the plot thickens. The dealer tells him that I'm a dumb ass jerk because what it REALLY needs is a "Compressor Coil" not a Clutch... and that the compressor is leaking around the middle seals. AND, since what they changed was the "clutch" it's not under any warranty.

They gave the guy a total, and he called me to see what was up... I quickly looked up the cost of a compressor assembly with the labor and my total was almost half of what the dealer wanted to do the job.

That's when the customer figured out that the dealer isn't the best way to go. (It's scheduled for replacement next week for replacement)

 

My point, Look I'll buy the scanner, wrench, or whatever tool that I need to aide me in doing my job. And, figuring out the problem is NOT the issue, I'll figure it out don't you worry about that. I may not have the dealer schooling, but I wouldn't have lasted in this screwed up -"don't give out all the info, make me jump thru hoops because we are the dealer and your not" - trade if I wasn't smart enough to pick up on the new systems on my own.

 

But, dealing with the friggin attitudes of the "Other" guy who is out there doing the same job as myself, and needs to make a living just as bad as I do. It really gets me to have a person, a shop, or an industry try to use that old adage... "he doesn't know what he's doing, he's only an idependent little shop" You want to know something, in my opinion.... this is THE real problem from long, long ago... That's the thing that I don't think we'll ever get past. It really pisses me OFF. (next time I'll let ya know how I really feel about it... LOL)

 

Yes Mrs. Customer, We Can Work On Your New Car

 

Many of your customers may mistakenly believe that they need to bring their new car back to the car dealer for routine services under the warranty period. We know this is not true and we need to educate our customers of this fact. Smart sales people often mislead consumers in order to get them to return to the dealer for routine services.

 

You need to promote the fact that your customers do not have to return to the dealership with their new car for basic services and repairs. Talk with all customers who have vehicles under 3 years old and inform that bringing the car to you will not in any way affect their new-car warranty. If your management program has the capability, perform a search of your customer data base and find those you have not seen in a while. They may have purchased a new car recently and may be bringing their new car to the dealer. You need to contact these people. Also, let your customers know that you have access to all the same service information the dealer has.

 

Dealerships want to increase their market share and are willing to fight to attract your customers. Start an action plan today to maintain your customers. As we see new car sales begin to increase, this becomes even more important.

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I know what ya mean Jeff, I, at one time, used the old "brick" but after so many turn aways... I invested in the dealer scanners. I have almost all of the popular car scanners, Tech 2, DRB, NGS, etc... but minus most of the imports of course... But, I'm with you, I'll never get my money back out of them. Even to this day, I get repos from several banks that I do, they'll have a no start repo... I find out it has the wrong key. All the bank got with the repo was a cheap copy but not the programmed keys. I HAVE the programming and the cords, and the cards for most domestic cars and trucks. However, the key cost is HUGE, and even a long time customer such as the banks feel its still cheaper to tow it back to the dealer because they have the keys, and the software under one roof. I still lose out, even though I've got the stuff to do it.

 

It's a never ending struggle to make the general public aware that the independent shop isn't going anywhere, but with today's technology, the advantage is still the dealer. When the cost of these scanners are the same as the dealer pays for them, and the consumer expects me to be a great deal cheaper than the dealer, it makes it tough to get my money back on the investment. I ain't giving up, hell no... I'm pissed off, but, I'm putting up with it. At this point, when I'm ready to throw the last wrench in the box whoever buys my place is going to have one hell of a stack of scanners. LOL

 

Another day, another busted knuckle. go figure. Gonzo

 

 

I have tried for years to convince my customers I can fix their cars as well as the dealers. Then I got bit. Customer brings in a Chrysler T&C that needs the sliding doors reprogrammed and it requires a DRB. Cant do it with my trusty "red brick". Now I want to be as competitive as the next guy but at what cost? If I bought a "factory" scanner for the big 3 us makers and the big 3 Japs I would be in over 40 G! And how many different fluids do we have to inventory? Maybe I am just whinin but this is getting silly. I gotta pour GM oil or it will void the warrenty! What will be next?

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  • Have you checked out Joe's Latest Blog?

         3 comments
      Got your attention? Good. The truth is, there is no such thing as the perfect technician pay plan. There are countless ways to create any pay plan. I’ve heard all the claims and opinions, and to be honest, it’s getting a little frustrating. Claims that an hourly paid pay plan cannot motivate. That flat rate is the only way to truly get the most production from your technicians. And then there’s the hybrid performance-based pay plan that many claim is the best.
      At a recent industry event, a shop owner from the Midwest boasted about his flat-rate techs and insisted that this pay plan should be adopted by all shops across the country. When I informed him that in states like New York, you cannot pay flat-rate, he was shocked. “Then how do you motivate your techs” he asked me.
      I remember the day in 1986 when I hired the best technician who ever worked for me in my 41 years as an automotive shop owner. We’ll call him Hal. When Hal reviewed my pay plan for him, and the incentive bonus document, he stared at it for a minute, looked up, and said, “Joe, this looks good, but here’s what I want.” He then wrote on top of the document the weekly salary he wanted. It was a BIG number. He went on to say, “Joe, I need to take home a certain amount of money. I have a home, a wife, two kids, and my Harly Davidson. I will work hard and produce for you. I don’t need an incentive bonus to do my work.” And he did, for the next 30 years, until the day he retired.
      Everyone is entitled to their opinion. So, here’s mine. Money is a motivator, but not the only motivator, and not the best motivator either. We have all heard this scenario, “She quit ABC Auto Center, to get a job at XYZ Auto Repair, and she’s making less money now at XYZ!” We all know that people don’t leave companies, they leave the people they work for or work with.
      With all this said, I do believe that an incentive-based pay plan can work. However, I also believe that a technician must be paid a very good base wage that is commensurate with their ability, experience, and certifications. I also believe that in addition to money, there needs to be a great benefits package. But the icing on the cake in any pay plan is the culture, mission, and vision of the company, which takes strong leadership. And let’s not forget that motivation also comes from praise, recognition, respect, and when technicians know that their work matters.
      Rather than looking for that elusive perfect pay plan, sit down with your technician. Find out what motivates them. What their goals are. Why do they get out of bed in the morning? When you tie their goals with your goals, you will have one powerful pay plan.
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