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More Dealer Tactics to Contend with!


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More Dealer Tactics to Contend with!

 

A customer rudely commented to me that my price for a wheel alignment is $10.00 higher than the dealer. He went on to say that if I were higher than the dealer, I must be ripping off my customers.

 

NOW, most of you know that I am Bronx Born Italian-American and I don’t like my buttons being pushed in this manner….but I remained cool and asked him how did he know this? He said that the service department called him at his house to let him know that his 2012 Buick (with 8,000 miles on the clock), should come in for service. The service advisor went on to mention that after a year, they need to go through the car, change the oil, rotate the tires, perform a wheel alignment, check the air condition, perform a fuel service, plus a few other services. He then asked the service advisor, “How much is a wheel alignment”? He knew our price because we just put a set of tires on his wife car and aligned it.

 

Is this guy kidding…who’s ripping who off? How does this service advisor know over the phone that the car needs all this work? A car with 8,000 mile on the clock! I explained to the customer that HE is the one who should be questioned, not me.

 

For him to suggest this work, he needs to know prices. And dealerships have been positioning themselves against the independents because their bays are empty and they need the work. I asked him, “If this service advisor was busy, do you think he would have the time to call you”? And do you really think you need all that work on your 2012 Buick with only 8,000 miles”? He looked at me a little funny.

 

I told him; "To put your mind at ease, I will inspect the car, check the alignment and give you a print out, peform a complete multipoint inspection at no additional cost when you bring it in for your next oil service". He’s coming in Monday.

 

We need to be aware of the on-going tactics and strategy from the new car dealers. They want our customers, and will be more and more aggressive. Plus, in some strange way, many customers view the dealership as the All-Knowing Grand Old Oz.

 

In a way I was lucky this customer approached me.

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  • Have you checked out Joe's Latest Blog?

         0 comments
      It always amazes me when I hear about a technician who quits one repair shop to go work at another shop for less money. I know you have heard of this too, and you’ve probably asked yourself, “Can this be true? And Why?” The answer rests within the culture of the company. More specifically, the boss, manager, or a toxic work environment literally pushed the technician out the door.
      While money and benefits tend to attract people to a company, it won’t keep them there. When a technician begins to look over the fence for greener grass, that is usually a sign that something is wrong within the workplace. It also means that his or her heart is probably already gone. If the issue is not resolved, no amount of money will keep that technician for the long term. The heart is always the first to leave. The last thing that leaves is the technician’s toolbox.
      Shop owners: Focus more on employee retention than acquisition. This is not to say that you should not be constantly recruiting. You should. What it does means is that once you hire someone, your job isn’t over, that’s when it begins. Get to know your technicians. Build strong relationships. Have frequent one-on-ones. Engage in meaningful conversation. Find what truly motivates your technicians. You may be surprised that while money is a motivator, it’s usually not the prime motivator.
      One last thing; the cost of technician turnover can be financially devastating. It also affects shop morale. Do all you can to create a workplace where technicians feel they are respected, recognized, and know that their work contributes to the overall success of the company. This will lead to improved morale and team spirit. Remember, when you see a technician’s toolbox rolling out of the bay on its way to another shop, the heart was most likely gone long before that.
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