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Being constantly bothered by the general public


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Almost everyday of the week we are constantly bothered by people we have never seen in the shop before asking us to stop what we are doing to help them. The biggest one is people asking us to put air in their tires for them. Now with the tpms systems it's even gotten worse. I will be in the middle of a complex job when the bell rings telling me someone has come in the front door only to see a little old lady I've never seen before telling me her tire light is on and asking me to come outside and air her tires up for her. If they are a customer and have gotten work done at the shop before no problem I stop and help them out. When I do help someone I usually get in their car to take it outback wher we keep an air hose I look at their service sticker on the window. Usually says walmart. Ugggg. What I'd really like to say is hey lady take your car to Walmart where you spend money and let them air up your tires and quit bugging us. Had a guy in the shop yesterday with a flat tire, it was on a taxi, asked me to come out right now and put his spare on, I explained in nice terms we were all busy at the moment and couldn't stop what we were doing right now to help him out. He was actually yelling obscenitys at me as he walked out the door. Seems pretty petty but very frustrating and I don't know how to handle these people. Was wondering what others do??

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We deal with this daily as well. Yesterday a paying customer came in for 1 issue and the vehicle he was driving to drop the other malfunctioned. So we had to pull off the 4 scheduled jobs to fix 2 rush jobs, which turned into customer helpers. I was miserable lol!

I'd like advice on this subject as well.

How do we make customers we've always "jumped" for understand that they need to follow our scheduling system?

 

Sent from my SCH-I605 using Tapatalk 2

 

 

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Set up an air reel/hose for tires where most people pull up would be a fix for that issue. Putting air in tires for walk ups can be annoying but you never know who will become a potential customer or refer others due to a simple act of kindness.

 

In terms of other customers "bothering" and walking up with problems I usually try to stick with our appointment schedule. This keeps the ones who have made appointments happy as well is give off a sense of how professional and good we are at what we do since we have so many appointments booked! I do make exceptions for great customers and big problems. Most respond well, the bottom feeder customers can go down the road.

 

 

Also if you are getting pulled off jobs to help customers, you need to hire a front man/counter man/service writer/helper to deal with these people!

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Every person that finds you shop is a potential customer, the key here is "potential" customer. Good will is something that we do all the time. however, we have a big shop and I won't take a A tech off of doing a T Belt job to put air in someone's tires. But, if they are coming to me and I can help, I help. We are in the service business. Give and you shall receive. Look at it from a different perspective.

 

A shop owner not far from me had a man who came in asking for a gas can. He gave him one and filled the gas can and drove him to his motorcylce. He knew he looked familiar but could not recognize him. It was Bernie Williams from the NY Yankees. Do you know what he spent with him after that?

My guess... nothing. I had a guy who came up needed a can and gas, said he'd be back tomorrow. Wow.... tomorrow seems to never show up does it. lesson learned for sure

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  • Have you checked out Joe's Latest Blog?

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      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!”
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