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Hello all,

 

I would like some feedback as to how other shops would handle this matter. We have noticed quite a few vehicles coming in with repairs that also have other severe problems- vcg leaking, torn up belts, pads almost metal to metal. It is our policy not to allow customers in the work area at all, and it is strickly enforced due to an incident in the past.

 

My question being, if you see something as noted above (or even a dent/scratches), do you take any further steps besides documentation on the work order? ie pictures and save it to the account to prevent any future problems? We currently write it on the RO with a "refused" next to it for problems and mark the areas were dents/scratches are on the vehicle. We really like the idea of pictures, but it also involves time and money.

 

Yes, we try to sell these items as it relates to the safety factor, but some customers just do not seem to grasp the concept and accept the vehicle as is.

 

 

Thanks for your thoughts and opinions in advance.

 

-Nick

 

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Hi Nick,

 

M-Spec Performance is right. Digital multi-point inspections with photos are effective in showing and telling why repairs are needed. When customers can see the extent of damage - metal to metal brakes, for example - they are more likely to authorize repairs. We've found that shops that regularly do multi-point inspections with photos have seen their ARO increase by 45 percent on average and in some cases by much more. Please let me know if I can answer any questions or provide more information about our software.

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We will take pictures on occasion and we will sometimes show the customer the actual defect or concern but we also frown on having customers in the bay areas. We will always document findings on the work order. If the work included an oil change we will document findings on the reminder sticker as well. We text the customer when the job is completed using our shop management program and we will also include remarks in the text message which is time stamped and printed on the finished repair order.

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Digital inspections. We currently use Auto Vitals but even before that we would just store the image in the electronic document file. We don't have any problem with customers in our work area and encourage it. They are always with an employee and our shop is kept clean because of it. Most people go in the shop and comment on how clean it is. We also have large windows into the shop so customers can look in if they choose. We have nothing to hide.

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We had an incident in the past where a customer "slipped" and it turned into legal matters that is why we are somewhat weary of customers in the work area.

 

In regards to digital inspections, do customers ever question as to why you are taking pictures of there vehicles?

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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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