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Ok here is a new one on me. Usually when a customer approves a repair large or small we either get verbal approval over the phone where we list the time and method of call (whether we called them or they called us) or written approval through a signed estimate, whether in person or by email.

 

Well a new customer brought us a 2001 F150 with severely worn timing chains and guides that turned out to be broken as well as leaking valves from kissing the pistons. Of course this led to a replacement engine.

 

After going back and forth for about a week with the options of a used engine (which did not last long) or a reman engine (which he chose) he finally approved the work. He brought in his deposit for the engine along with a contract for me to sign basically stating all that is getting replaced and the warranty involved. Nothing above what we agreed on but a little out of the ordinary.

 

Now the customer is an electrical contractor by trade so I'm assuming this is where this comes from. I signed the agreement since nothing was out of order and I wanted to make him feel comfortable since he is a new customer.

 

What are your thoughts on this?

 

PS- The main frustration with the customer comes from having to go through explaining what I could research as to the pros and cons of different brands of reman engines, only to end up ordering a Jasper unit like I quoted at the beginning. I have always had good luck with Jasper products and the one time I had an issue it was resolved quickly and painlessly.

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  • 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!”
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