Quantcast
Jump to content









Who's The Boss - - - Lack of communication between spouses can lead to a heated argument with the repair shop.


Gonzo

Recommended Posts

Who's The Boss

Running a business is similar to a marriage. It all starts with communication. Communicating with the shop employees, the front office, and the customers are all part of my daily tasks. Failure to communicate with your spouse can end up with one or the other upset about something, or reading into a situation something different than what has actually happened. Sure, there’s a boss in every family, and sometimes you might think it’s you… but, your spouse may have a different opinion about that.

Countless times I've had a car in the shop where a wife or husband has dropped the car off, the repair is done, paid for, and sent on its way, only to have the other spouse call and give me an earful because they weren't told what had transpired. (As if that’s my fault!) Whether it's because of the cost, the time it took, the work that was done, or the fact they weren’t informed... somehow, I'll be the person blamed for all their misfortunes. As we all know... the spouse won’t admit to their better half they said anything to me at the counter similar to, “Yes, I told him to go ahead and do it.” or “I didn't ask him how much, it didn’t matter to me. I told him just get it done.” Yep, heard it all before.

On one particular occasion I had a car in for restoration. These “project” cars come in all kinds of various conditions. Some are a complete car, and the owner has a clear idea what they want done, while others literally come in baskets. This particular job was a basket case for sure. The car had been taken down to the last nut and bolt nearly 5 years earlier, and by the time it made it to my shop nothing but the steering wheel was in place. No doors, no glass, no deck lid, hood, interior, dash, seats, or an engine.

“I need an estimate on what it would take to rewire this car,” the owner tells me.

All I had to go on was the year, the make, and the condition to evaluate what it would take. The car was an older VW Super Beetle, which from a wiring stand point isn't exactly rocket science, but it can get a little complicated if you don't approach the job right.

“I see you've got an aftermarket harness in this box, but it's not complete. Do you have any of the other harness sections for it?” I asked.

“They don't make a harness for it, this is all they offer,” my new customer told me.

“Well, I think there are some better choices than this aftermarket harness you've brought. This is a harness for a dune buggy, and not for a street car. A lot of things are omitted on them that you'll need for a street driven car. Such as turn signals, horn, etc...”

I gave him a price based on reusing the original harnesses that were bundled up in another box. I pulled them out of the box and was in for a shock. They were all cut into several small pieces rather than in the usual sections. I quoted for installing a factory harness… not building one! I needed to find a better way of doing this. In the mean time we went up to the front desk to fill out some paper work. While he was busy with the front office paper work, I got on the internet and did some of my own searching for a replacement harness. It didn't take but a few clicks before I had a “useable” harness that should work... with a little adaptation to the Super Beetle fuse box and ignition.

“Once I see this kit I can give you a better idea of final cost,” I told him.

A week later he was back with the aftermarket harness. The harness wasn't a perfect match, useable yes, but it would need a few modifications. No biggie, just a lot more time involved vs. putting a good factory original harness back in. (It would have been a lot easier to leave the original harness in the car, wadded up out of the way and then reattached after painting.)

I gave him an updated estimate for the work, which in turn, he gave me the go ahead to get started. A few more days went by. I had already started putting in the front harness and part of the interior wiring when he showed up with his wife. I knew something was up.

“I think I'm going to take the car. Your price is too high,” he told me.

It was about then, the wife jumped into the conversation.

“My husband told me you raised the price on him once we got you the harness you wanted,” she told me.

“Yes, the original estimate was to put a “factory” harness in. Now I'm putting in an aftermarket harness that I have to make do with. Rather than try to find a perfect fit, your husband said to go with this. So I did, in fact I've already started on it.”

That's when the husband jumped back into the mix with his two cents, and proceeded to tell the wife how the car was going to be restored with his methods.

The wife turns to me, (ignoring her husband), “How long will it take you to finish it?”

“I figure a week, maybe sooner.”

The husband then gave his wife another lashing about costs, and how his five year long attempt at doing it was only a minor setback in the restoration. She, on the other hand, was about to blow a gasket, but not at me... at her husband. She leans over the counter to me, “Here's my personal cell number and my name, and from now on you call me direct. This has taken far too long to get done, and I want my car back together.”

Ok, I see where this is going. The wife wasn't told the whole story, and what she did hear from her husband didn't add up once she heard it from me.

“Did you bring him any of the lights, dash gauges or any of the other electrical stuff so he can see if they work? NO? Well, you're just an idiot!” she snaps at her arrogant husband. (I could tell me and the “Mrs.” were going to get along just fine.) Totally ignoring her husband, she pulled out a pad and pen and starting jotting down notes on what components I needed, and told me she would have them over to the shop that afternoon and out of her house for good.

After all was said and done, they ended up with a pretty cool restored bug out of the deal, and I got one happy customer... maybe not the hubbie... but, I’m pretty sure I know now … … … who’s the boss in their family.


View full article

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Yes it's all about communication in this business. Who's the boss, maybe there is not one boss and that's a good thing. Who wants one person calling all the shots? what if they are wrong, being wrong costs, customers and shop owners!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

When we were actively selling aftermarket hubcaps and wheels covers much like those you find at Pep Boys and WalMart I would refuse to sell a set to a husband who came in alone. I always insisted he come back with his wife. Yes there were a few who got mad and never came back but many thought it was a good idea and did return often the same day. I seldom missed a sale once I had both of them choosing. I should add that occasionally it was like selling shoes at Sears and I would have several sets out to try on before I made the sale. Had to have an edge over the big box stores.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Have you checked out Joe's Latest Blog?

         5 comments
      I recently spoke with a friend of mine who owns a large general repair shop in the Midwest. His father founded the business in 1975. He was telling me that although he’s busy, he’s also very frustrated. When I probed him more about his frustrations, he said that it’s hard to find qualified technicians. My friend employs four technicians and is looking to hire two more. I then asked him, “How long does a technician last working for you.” He looked puzzled and replied, “I never really thought about that, but I can tell that except for one tech, most technicians don’t last working for me longer than a few years.”
      Judging from personal experience as a shop owner and from what I know about the auto repair industry, I can tell you that other than a few exceptions, the turnover rate for technicians in our industry is too high. This makes me think, do we have a technician shortage or a retention problem? Have we done the best we can over the decades to provide great pay plans, benefits packages, great work environments, and the right culture to ensure that the techs we have stay with us?
      Finding and hiring qualified automotive technicians is not a new phenomenon. This problem has been around for as long as I can remember. While we do need to attract people to our industry and provide the necessary training and mentorship, we also need to focus on retention. Having a revolving door and needing to hire techs every few years or so costs your company money. Big money! And that revolving door may be a sign of an even bigger issue: poor leadership, and poor employee management skills.
      Here’s one more thing to consider, for the most part, technicians don’t leave one job to start a new career, they leave one shop as a technician to become a technician at another shop. The reasons why they leave can be debated, but there is one fact that we cannot deny, people don’t quit the company they work for, they usually leave because of the boss or manager they work for.
      Put yourselves in the shoes of your employees. Do you have a workplace that communicates, “We appreciate you and want you to stay!”
  • Similar Topics

    • By Changing The Industry
      Shop Marketing Pros Live at L&N Auto
    • By carmcapriotto
      Thanks to our Partners, AAPEX, NAPA TRACS, and Automotive Management Network By leveraging tools like digital vehicle inspections (DVI) and customer relationship management (CRM) systems, businesses can significantly improve their operations and customer experience. These integrations allow for a more streamlined process, from diagnosing vehicle issues to maintaining consistent communication with clients. Ben Dexter, National Training Manager, NAPA TRACS Show Notes
      Ben's journey in the automotive industry (00:00:55) Ben's progression from service writer to National Training Manager and his experience in the automotive industry. Importance of shop management systems (00:02:04) The critical role of shop management systems in the automotive repair industry and the support provided by NAPA TRACS. Value of training (00:03:21) The significance of investing in training and the impact of leadership participation in training programs. Building customer rapport (00:11:22) Ben's approach to building customer rapport and the importance of effective communication and attention to customer needs. Significance of scheduling (00:13:12) The shift from reactive scheduling to a coordinated approach, addressing the issues of timely and accurate repairs through effective scheduling. The power of software integrations (00:15:37) The commitment to utilizing shop management software and the potential of integrations with other tools like DVI and CRM for business growth. Utilizing shop management systems (00:19:08) Encouraging the use of shop management systems and the availability of resources for business advancement. Role of technology in DVI (00:20:42) Discussion on the coordinated effort required for effective Digital Vehicle Inspections (DVI) and the benefits of real-time communication. Challenges in utilizing software (00:22:32) Exploring the reasons behind the underutilization of software tools and the need for effective leadership and training. Importance of testing and measuring (00:25:13) Highlighting the significance of testing and measuring business performance for improvement and growth. Communication and customer service (00:28:27) Emphasizing the importance of effective communication with customers to prevent unexpected breakdowns and enhance customer satisfaction. Impact of scheduling on service advisors (00:30:07) Discussing the influence of scheduling on service advisors' decision-making and the need for consistent customer recommendations. Rethinking business analysis (00:32:47) Encouraging a reevaluation of business statistics and reports to identify missed opportunities and improve overall business strategies. Morning Meetings and Reporting (00:33:21) Discussion on the importance of morning meetings, sales reporting by service writer, and constructive performance discussions. Maximizing Existing Resources (00:34:55) Emphasizing the significance of making the most of existing resources before seeking more car count. Linear Quantity Opportunities (00:36:32) Exploration of the linear quantity opportunities in parts matrix, addressing traditional matrix problems and opportunities for improvement. Commitment to Lifelong Learning (00:38:54) Highlighting the importance of lifelong learning for success in shop management and overall strategy. Thanks to our Partners, AAPEX, NAPA TRACS, and Automotive Management Network Set your sights on Las Vegas in 2024. Mark your calendar now … November 5th-7th, 2024. AAPEX - Now more than ever. And don’t miss the next free AAPEX webinar. Register now at http://AAPEXSHOW.COM/WEBINAR NAPA TRACS will move your shop into the SMS fast lane with onsite training and six days a week of support and local representation. Find NAPA TRACS on the Web at http://napatracs.com/ Get ready to grow your business with the Automotive Management Network: Find on the Web at http://AftermarketManagementNetwork.com for information that can help you move your business ahead and for the free and informative http://LaborRateTracker.com Connect with the Podcast: -Follow on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/RemarkableResultsRadioPodcast/ -Join Our Private Facebook Community: https://www.facebook.com/groups/1734687266778976 -Subscribe on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/carmcapriotto -Follow on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/carmcapriotto/ -Follow on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/remarkableresultsradiopodcast/ -Follow on Twitter: https://twitter.com/RResultsBiz -Visit the Website: https://remarkableresults.biz/ -Join our Insider List: https://remarkableresults.biz/insider -All books mentioned on our podcasts: https://remarkableresults.biz/books -Our Classroom page for personal or team learning: https://remarkableresults.biz/classroom -Buy Me a Coffee: https://www.buymeacoffee.com/carm -The Aftermarket Radio Network: https://aftermarketradionetwork.com -Special episode collections: https://remarkableresults.biz/collections            
      Click to go to the Podcast on Remarkable Results Radio
    • By carmcapriotto
      In this week’s episode, Hunt gets into the financial intricacies faced by auto repair shop owners, from refinancing debts and selling shops to securing new mortgages in today’s unpredictable market. He explores the strategies and tips to steer through the banking hurdles and optimize your financial operations.
      • Market Update & Interest Rates: Starting with a quick market update, Hunt discusses the current state of interest rates and how they're affecting both personal and commercial loans. Despite the unchanged rates by the Federal Reserve, the historical highs are impacting mortgage affordability and commercial borrowing costs.
      • Loan Acquisition Challenges: The episode sheds light on the complexities of acquiring loans in the current financial climate. Hunt discusses the often opaque criteria banks use to approve loans, offering some tips for what shop owners can do to increase their chances of securing financing.
      • Listener Q&A and Acknowledgments: A special thanks to listeners for their engaging questions in the previous mailbox episode. Your curiosity fuels our content, and we’re here to address your concerns, guiding you toward informed financial decisions for your auto repair shop.
      • Rapid Fire Tips for Financial Management: Closing the episode, Hunt offers some rapid-fire advice for managing your finances better, from understanding the nuances of loan interest rates to practical tips for ensuring your business stays liquid and prepared for any financial challenges ahead.
      Thanks to our partners, NAPA TRACS and Promotive
      Did you know that NAPA TRACS has onsite training plus six days a week support?
      It all starts when a local representative meets with you to learn about your business and how you run it.  After all, it's your shop, so it's your choice.
      Let us prove to you that Tracs is the single best shop management system in the business.  Find NAPA TRACS on the Web at NAPATRACS.com
      It’s time to hire a superstar for your business; what a grind you have in front of you. Great news, you don’t have to go it alone. Introducing Promotive, a full-service staffing solution for your shop. Promotive has over 40 years of recruiting and automotive experience. If you need qualified technicians and service advisors and want to offload the heavy lifting, visit www.gopromotive.com.
      Paar Melis and Associates – Accountants Specializing in Automotive Repair
      Visit us Online: www.paarmelis.com
      Email Hunt: [email protected]
      Get a copy of my Book: Download Here
      Aftermarket Radio Network
      Click to go to the Podcast on Remarkable Results Radio
    • By Changing The Industry
      The Basics of Owning An Auto Repair Shop - Part 6
    • By carmcapriotto
      At VISION 2024, Kim taught a class on customer loyalty. It was incredibly well received and we’ve decided to bring a conversation here in podcast form where she touches on a critical piece of business: creating loyal customers. Listen in for tips, strategies, and just real-talk!
      Thank you to our friends at RepairPal for providing you this episode. RepairPal will help you grow your auto business and you can learn more at RepairPal.com/shops.
      Show Notes with Timestamps
      Loyalty: strong feeling of support or allegiance What that means to me. Companies I am loyal to: Bear Mountain Bakery, Holtz Leather, The Basketry, Smallwoods Simon Sinek’s Ted Talk “Start with Why”: Your purpose, Your cause, Your beliefs We are lonelier & more apart than ever before Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs Our Core Values We have an intense desire to feel a sense of belonging - even more with digital communication. Unreasonable Hospitality by Will Guidara - Episode 89: https://autorepairmarketing.captivate.fm/episode/089 Create Loyalty by: Being thoughtful and intentional with all you do. Understanding the difference between service + hospitality. Service is black and white. Hospitality is full color. Having authentic connection: Southwest Airlines - the heart, Ciro - my Italian driver, 1st Phorm, Eleven Madison Park Restaurant’s hot dog story, Bear Mountain Bakery, The Basketry, Holtz Leather, Smallwoods. Knowing your clients, understanding them, being present, listening, and being considerate and generous (read the book: Gift*ology). Being a trusted resource. VISION’s speaker: Scott Stratten, said, “If you want to worry about the bottom line, you’ve got to focus on the front line.” (To obsess about how your customers feel, you must obsess about how your employees feel. Customer loyalty comes after employee loyalty How are you taking care of your team? Daily Stand-Up (gratitude and top priority) + a checkin/awareness for me.Team Outings. Letters/notes/recognitions. Mentoring. Schedule emails/slack messages/texts Too many companies leave the human behind. We live in a world where we have an opportunity - responsibility - to make magic in a world that is desperate for it. When you make magic you add to the layers of loyalty being created. Make this part of how you do business. A process. A time, place, a procedure/reminder.  
      How To Get In Touch
       
      Group - Auto Repair Marketing Mastermind
      Website - shopmarketingpros.com 
      Facebook - facebook.com/shopmarketingpros 
      Get the Book - shopmarketingpros.com/book
      Instagram - @shopmarketingpros 
      Questions/Ideas - [email protected]
      Lagniappe (Books, Links, Other Podcasts, etc)
      Canva - Mood Boards  
      Click to go to the Podcast on Remarkable Results Radio
       


  • Our Sponsors

×
×
  • Create New...