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Charges For Customers with Multiple Items Being Diagnosed


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When you have a customer that comes in to have multiple items diagnosed on their vehicle, do you charge each diagnostic item as a separate charge or do you lump them together into one charge? Example - Customer comes in with ABS Light, Check Engine Light, and Inoperative Gas Gauge. Customer wants all three items diagnosed. We typically charge $80 for computer diagnostic and would charge $80 for Fuel Gauge Diagnostic. The total charge would then be $80 * 3 = $240 for diagnostic of all 3 issues. This seems high but I wasn't sure if other shops charge in this manner or just group them together and charge a discounted diagnostic because there are multiple items that are being diagnosed - maybe a $160 charge?

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I do. More than not, all these problems didn't start at the same time, they've let them build up over a number of months or more.

 

Besides, what seems like a simple problem say like... "no park lights" and you find out they have put an oversize fuse in and melted the harness from the fuse box to the headlight switch what good is it going to do to diagnose why the blower quit or what ever their other complaint is.

 

When that happens I get paid for the one diagnostics and the other diagnostics are forgotten about. Because, 9 chances out of 10 if it's "that" bad they ain't going to have any of it done anyway and all they were after is that "lucky" find and fix that you or I might run across while testing things.

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I do.  More than not, all these problems didn't start at the same time, they've let them build up over a number of months or more.

 

Besides, what seems like a simple problem say like... "no park lights" and you find out they have put an oversize fuse in and melted the harness from the fuse box to the headlight switch what good is it going to do to diagnose why the blower quit or what ever their other complaint is.

 

When that happens I get paid for the one diagnostics and the other diagnostics are forgotten about.  Because, 9 chances out of 10 if it's "that" bad they ain't going to have any of it done anyway and all they were after is that "lucky" find and fix that you or I might run across while testing things.

Exactly!

 

Sent from my SCH-I605 using Tapatalk 2

 

 

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  • Have you checked out Joe's Latest Blog?

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      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.
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