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"I "NEED" air"


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We have a beef with the general public and their (lack of) manners and respect. In this case it relates to tire checks. When a customer walks in the door and looks at us and says "I need air", and then walks out to their car. Um, excuse me.... where did manners go??? Do you walk in a restaurant and say "I need food", no, at least not mean it like the way some customers do. I never mind checking and adding air when a customer shows appreciation for my free (law enforced) service. Treat me as you would prefer to be treated, with manners and at least a "thanks". Minor bitching here, but it just erks me, probably asking for the moon. :huh:

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We started charging for air a few years ago as TPMS systems became popular. $1 if you do it yourself, $5 if we do it. If they are good customers I often don't charge. It became way to much of a burden to no longer charge a fee. Plus we have to reset the TPMS light in the IP and know which systems need resetting. So far its ok. Especialy when the weather gets cold I could use a kid running around doing this all day, it becomes quite a hinderance but we deal with it.

 

We are not required to offer air unless you sell gas in NYS.

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I think that Southards should follow procedure. Write the customer up. Pull the vehicle in and diagnose why the tire needs air. Air doesn't just disappear. Most likely the tire needs a $25 flat repair.

 

It is a WIN WIN. If the customer had a nail and you fixed it then you may have just gained a customer.

 

If the customer just wants a free quick service then you may have just became less attractive to him because there is a check in and out procedure.

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Looks like another opportunity to sell, I mean the tires low for a reason right? just putting air in the tire could open you up legal issues, like the tire has a nail or glass in it they leave your shop with it like that and the tire blows out and kills someone, the owner of the car states he was just at your shop and you just filled it with "air" (if he's still alive). If he doesn't want it looked at or fixed send him on his way. Law or no law I'd rather deal with fighting the fine from the state than a blood thirsty ambulance chasing attorney.

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Looks like another opportunity to sell, I mean the tires low for a reason right? just putting air in the tire could open you up legal issues, like the tire has a nail or glass in it they leave your shop with it like that and the tire blows out and kills someone, the owner of the car states he was just at your shop and you just filled it with "air" (if he's still alive). If he doesn't want it looked at or fixed send him on his way. Law or no law I'd rather deal with fighting the fine from the state than a blood thirsty ambulance chasing attorney.

 

That's being a little to paranoid, an attorney would have to prove gross negligence on your part in order to have any type of case. If you aired up a tire, made a recommendation to put the spare on or replace the tire and the customer refused the service you have performed your duty. If you refused to air the tire despite being required to by law to do so you will would easily be held negligent as it fits the legal description perfectly.

 

As for an opportunity to sell, most of the time the tire is only down a few psi, just enough to set the TPMS light off, usually its because they went to a quick change oil place that never checked/adjusted and rotated the tires, that or its turning to winter and the weather is colder.

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Some folks are just testing you - looking for a reaction. Maybe they feel defensive about about needing your help. What does it hurt to say "Yes sir, somebody will take care of that right now"? You might make a friend for life. Kill them with kindness.

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I've adopted a new policy because of this post and I want to thank usedtireshop. They pull up "I need air" now I respond no problem we'll get you right in and check your tires. Car goes on the lift. If they are all uniformly down a few psi we top them up, check the condition, take a look in at the brakes and suspension and out it goes. "No charge" and the customer feels like we care, we even got a tip yesterday. If something's wrong its a great opportunity to sell a tire, the car is already on the lift. Filling tires in the parking lot was a loser for us.

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We are a small shop just around the corner from a 7-11 (convenience store) that sells gas and used to have a FREE air pump. Now, in the past year they have changed to a $1 charge for air, just pop in a dollar and the compressor runs long enough to top off all your tires. What has happened is that we now see all of the people who are to "thrifty" to spend a buck to top up their tires... Much as you describe they have a "I need air - serve me" attitude without so much as a thank you. I am seriously considering one of those self serve dollar a pop air compressors to put on the outside of the building and then inviting those people to "help them selves - it's right out there for you to use"

 

I find that people are becoming more and more demanding of service at no charge - like it is our responsibility to take care of their every whim.

 

Get real people! In the "old days" people had respect and common courteousy for those who would go out of their way to help them out.

 

I know, it sounds like a minor thing but when it pulls techs off of jobs and delays getting the work done for "paying clients" it really does get under your skin after a while.

 

Thanks for seeing this...

 

Curtis

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We are a small shop just around the corner from a 7-11 (convenience store) that sells gas and used to have a FREE air pump. Now, in the past year they have changed to a $1 charge for air, just pop in a dollar and the compressor runs long enough to top off all your tires. What has happened is that we now see all of the people who are to "thrifty" to spend a buck to top up their tires... Much as you describe they have a "I need air - serve me" attitude without so much as a thank you. I am seriously considering one of those self serve dollar a pop air compressors to put on the outside of the building and then inviting those people to "help them selves - it's right out there for you to use"

 

I find that people are becoming more and more demanding of service at no charge - like it is our responsibility to take care of their every whim.

 

Get real people! In the "old days" people had respect and common courteousy for those who would go out of their way to help them out.

 

I know, it sounds like a minor thing but when it pulls techs off of jobs and delays getting the work done for "paying clients" it really does get under your skin after a while.

 

Thanks for seeing this...

 

Curtis

Myself and my husband love this post!!! Hit's so many points dead on!! Excellent reply!! Thanks, I've really enjoyed all the thoughts and some of the suggestions since starting this. Had no idea it was such a pain in the a$$ to other shops as well.

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That's being a little to paranoid, an attorney would have to prove gross negligence on your part in order to have any type of case. If you aired up a tire, made a recommendation to put the spare on or replace the tire and the customer refused the service you have performed your duty. If you refused to air the tire despite being required to by law to do so you will would easily be held negligent as it fits the legal description perfectly.

 

As for an opportunity to sell, most of the time the tire is only down a few psi, just enough to set the TPMS light off, usually its because they went to a quick change oil place that never checked/adjusted and rotated the tires, that or its turning to winter and the weather is colder.

Yes, maybe just a little paranoid, I see your point not filling the tire on that one too for sure. So it seems your damned if you do and damned if you don't and as things go when your work for yourself and as for the attorney proving negligence seems like anymore you have to prove your innocence and that could cost you 5-10k or more for your own attorney, yes I know i'm being paranoid, lol...

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I've adopted a new policy because of this post and I want to thank usedtireshop. They pull up "I need air" now I respond no problem we'll get you right in and check your tires. Car goes on the lift. If they are all uniformly down a few psi we top them up, check the condition, take a look in at the brakes and suspension and out it goes. "No charge" and the customer feels like we care, we even got a tip yesterday. If something's wrong its a great opportunity to sell a tire, the car is already on the lift. Filling tires in the parking lot was a loser for us.

 

Great job turning what appears at first glance to be a situation where it could seem like

the customer is trying to get over on you. And understanding it as an opportunity to get a new customer.

 

Adopting this new policy can add thousands to your bottom-line.

 

Think about it...

They're showing up at the door and you didn't have to spend hundreds of dollars in marketing

to get them there. That person now views your shop as the shop that cares and is trustworthy.

There's a really good chance when they need service or tires, they're going to think of you

because you took care of them.

 

And... if they're like most people... they're telling other people about how they were treated.

You taking care of them is like throwing a stone in the pond. You just don't know who they

know or how many people they will tell, about their experience with you and your shop.

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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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