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How to make the phone ring?


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Do you have a means to stay in touch with customers? CRM program? Very important to keep your name in front of customers to keep them coming back. Email, text messaging online reviews are all more pieces to the puzzle of a marketing plan that must be used with today's technology. It is also very important to have people at the counter that will have the right attitude with your customers. They must give them a reason to come back.

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I do "have" the means of accomplishing some of these tasks, but i'm afraid i've been caught off cuard by the necessity to do them, and now find myself at a critical point. I'm working with another shop owner/motivator, great guy who is advocating the same thing exactly and had me working in that direction on a more religious basis. But something has happened in the last couple weeks where someone has just turned the switch off and freaked me out a little. But thanks for the reinforcement as to how critical it is now days to stay visible. Used to, our philosophy was, open the doors and they will come....not so much anymore.

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Thanks for the encouragement. Speaking for myself, I tend to get stuck in a my own world and my own daily routine...right wrong or otherwise, and having my blinders on to what might be so obvious to others. Seems so obvious NOW to work your customer base to get the phone ringing again. Had I been implementing some of the offensive strategies discussed, I may not be dealing with this now. We can't dwell on the past, but it sure can be a good teacher.

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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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