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DAYS WHEN EVERYTHING GOES WRONG!


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You cannot really learn this in school and only seem to be taught by the school of hard knocks called Experience: -There are days that everything seems to go wrong.

 

My old mentor told me that life goes in cycles, and that no matter how much I prepare I should accept that there are days that are going to be tough and difficult to survive.

 

Well, yesterday was one of those days.

 

I had that customer that every shop hates come in, nothing we could offer or do makes this customer happy. He claims mechanics are always out to rip him off. That we damaged something in his car and that after we had serviced his car it never ran well.

 

I have told this customer that we are not the shop for him and that we are not setup to handle his car troubles, but he always stops by and makes it a point to have his car checked by my guys. He usually waits to come in when I am not running the service desk.

 

So yesterday, my senior mechanic damaged a car when backing out of the bay and hit this trouble customer's car, pending jobs parts where boxed wrong, also one of the lift's motors died, and my wife drove over a parking spot limiter and took out the oil pan on her minivan.

 

Thank God I am healthy and have a sense of humor or I would have had a heart attack!

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Water Proof And Self Adhesive

It's official... I'm not the only one.

Hate to hear about your troubles, but... days like that are my bread and butter stories. The best thing for you and me is to let other shop owners, service techs, and anyone else in the business that things like this happen. Ya can't stop them from happening, they just do.

More importantly, getting the word out there about the ups and downs of the auto trade is even more a wake up call for the consumer we call "the customer". Being aware that we are just as much a part of their lives and the community as they are and that things can AND will happen.

Another way to look at it is... writing this stuff down beats holding it in or groveling over it at home over a beer. The family doesn't need to experience our troubles... they're family... and they want to see their dad or mom in a good light.

Thank YOU ASO for being there. Everyone in the business appreciates it... I know I do.

thanks Joe... U Da Best!

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  • 3 weeks later...

THE NON-CUSTOMER FROM HELL

 

I call it the non-customer from Hell because he is a poser, someone that looks and acts like a customer, but underneath the facade of being a potential customer lurks the most despicable toxic individual you will come across in your business experience.

 

I had a brush with this type of character a few days ago and I am still shook up from the bizarre experience. I have changed the name to protect the guilty in order to share with you my hellish experience.

 

Let's call him Sean, he and his wife came into the shop just about an hour before we closed the shop for the day. In this particular day, I had the waiting area full with some customers waiting to pick up their cars when Sean and wife walked up to the sales counter.

 

Sean tells me his car is making a squeaking noise from the front of the engine, the vehicle is a 7 year old model Merdeces Benz ML350, then proceeds to tell me that his buddy at the MB dealer could not squeeze him in to change the idler pulley, even though it only takes 5 minutes to do he says out loud.

 

He and his wife are well dressed and over-courteous, yet loud and flamboyant. He goes on to tell me how he is a "big" entertainer and that I should recognize him, I didn't.

 

I tell him that it is late in the day and I will not be able to help him. He turns and yells at me that I have not even looked at his car and that I am already denying him service. His wife suddenly begins to echo everything Sean is saying. He tell me the pulley only costs $26.00 and that it is a very simple repair to make and I should not have any problem getting the part even at such late time in the day.

 

He makes a scene and a scandal as how I am denying him service he yells.

 

I ask him to leave and he tells me to call the cops, I say, ok and call the police. I call the police department and they tell me they will send out a patrol car. Sean keeps yelling as to how he is being singled out and his wife acting as a chorus keep making a scene, then just as fast as they walked in they walked out and drove off.

 

About 10 minutes later the police come in and the officer laughs it off.

 

I am still wondering if this was some hidden camera show attempt to get a rise out of us....

Edited by HarrytheCarGeek
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  • Have you checked out Joe's Latest Blog?

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      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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