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I need advice! We only have 3 employees and they treat the ground like a huge dumpster can. I have reminded them to clean up so many times and they will clean up once I tell them to, but they wont do it unless its gotten to the point that I HAVE to tell them to. Should there be some sort of discipline? What do you guys do?
By Joe Marconi
A long time customer came in the other day for a LOF service and an annual state inspection. He also needed a battery, but said that he would come back for it. When I tried to explain to him that we had to jump start the car, he said he knows about it and he will come back.
This did not seem right. Being me, I pushed a little; “Tom, why won’t you let me install the new battery today?” He was silent. I then said, “Tom, you are going to buy the battery from someone, why not buy it from me.” He replied, “Joe, I can’t afford your price.” I replied, “Tell me what you want me to do.” He said, “Nothing, I will put the battery in myself and save the labor.” I told him, “No Tom, I will put the battery in, you pay for the battery and I’ll pay for the labor, deal?” He was silent again, and then said, “Yes, you got a deal and thank you.”
Sometimes, you need to close the book on sales strategy, profit margins, and quotas and just do what you feel you need to do.
Sometimes, a compromise is a win.
By Joe Marconi
Don’t Let A Customer Compromise Policy
A women came to the shop a few weeks ago asking for a donation for her son’s baseball team. The woman has come to us for minor service work a few times, but not one of our loyal regulars.
After we gave her the donation, she thanked us and made an appointment for her car. It had a check engine light on and “claimed” it was diagnosed at another shop. When she brought the car in for her appointment, my service manager explained to her that we needed to obtain certain information from the on board computer and then discuss what tests would be needed to determine the cause of the problem. She was vehemently against paying any testing charges, stating that the car is already diagnosed and it needs a catalytic converter. She said, “Just put the catalytic converter in, no other charges." When my service advisor asks why the other shop didn’t do the work, she said, “Your shop gave me a donation, so I wanted to show my appreciation and come to you."
After a few rounds of trying to reason with the customer and against his better judgment, he agreed to just install the converter.
Well, guess what? Yes, the car is now back with the check engine light again, and with the same code. My service manager at this point explained that this would have been avoided if we only followed our policies and procedures and properly tested and diagnosed the car. She stated, “I never told you NOT to diagnose the car, I just didn’t want to pay for the diagnostic charges again.”
No amount of reasoning would sink into this women’s brain (or lack of a brain) and we now have to start from scratch to see why the check engine light is on.
The lesson: Don’t let anyone sway you away from proper procedure or policy. In the end WE were wrong and now we have to make it right. A lesson for all of us.