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Joe,

It takes some backbone to handle it the way you did, but I think you handled it the way that was best for you and your shop. I still struggle in that situation, but I've found that by trying to be all things to all people only makes me miserable. If we release these customers into the wild they often come back with a new found respect and appreciation for what we do.

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Unfortunately, I don't believe it's stupidity most of the time.

This is how customers have been conditioned to think for the last decade or so.

If you take the time to educate your customer about value and the good work you do, and they still don't respect it (they just care about the almighty dollar), then I do believe it's time to fire that customer.

 

I believe that firing a customer is a tactic that is underused in this industry, and if most of the "problem" customers got fired by a shop or two, it would greatly benefit everyone (especially you and your employee's morale).

I'd be willing to bet it follows the old 20/80 rule: 20% of your customers cause 80% of your problems. The same 20% also most likely cost you money and your valuable time, rather then making you money from your time.

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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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