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About Martinelli

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    Occasional Poster

Business Information

  • Business Name
    Bill's Automotive
  • Your Current Position
    Shop Owner
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  1. I find customer service is a skill like being a A-Tech or great actor, part is natural ability, part is experience. Sure you can teach someone how to handle customers, but really good customer service people are naturals. My barber can remember every customers name that walks in his door, no matter how long he has known you. It is a great ability, becuase it says, I care and you are important. Name recognition does a wonder for our industry as well. We are in a field where we have to be seen as caring and that means being on a personnel level with our customers, and that means you h
  2. You couldn't have picked a better example of branding, well maybe Kleenex, Xeorx, etc. What all these companies did was make their brand name the product name. Kleenex is tissue, but we call all tissues Kleenex. And we don't make copies we make Xeorx. We don't order cola, we order Coke (at least in the north east). This idea of branding is most commonly associated with products, but the idea of constantly having your name out there works. So consistancy is very important. People have very short term memories and it dos't take long for them to forget you. With advertising we are try
  3. I agree, shops that work on volume price their services low and when repair shops charge the price we need to we are seen as high. Then I find myself explaining why I charge more. I have found that lowering the price of an alignment I am doing more, but I won't give it away. I find over the course of a day that the law of averages works in my favor. Sometimes it may take a while (Audis) but some alignments are done very quickly.
  4. I agree money isn't always the best motivator, but it does work. I have found making note of employees accomplishmenst works well, mentoning an employees accomplishments in a news letter, lets the employee know their work is a appriciated and tells the customer what kind of people you have working for you. I use it when they get now accreditation, sometimes I will just profile and employee spoltlighting their abilities, etc. I looked into offering stock options to employees, but the cost of setting up and running the program is very expensive for a private company. But the idea of givin
  5. Exactly, good points. Even if my children don't want to take over the shop, I can at least sell it and give them the profits, so they can build there own business, in what ever field they choose. I think investment classes should be taken as well as management training courses. Finding a good finacial planner can help, as shop owners are time is already scarce we don't have time to watch the markets and reasearch best places for our money. I have found many people pop up as finacial planners who have no education. Ask if they are Certified Finacial Planners, this means they have at l
  6. November 22, 2007 It seems Honda is gearing up to be the one of the first major companies to bring a hydrogen fuel cell car to market – their FCX Clarity is set to go to production in 2008, in a move they’re hoping will break the catch-22 dilemma stopping motor companies from producing cars because there’s no hydrogen distribution, and stopping fuel companies from distributing hydrogen because there’s no cars that use it. To nurse consumers through the infancy of the hydrogen economy, Honda’s also attempting to decentralize the production of hydrogen through their Home Energy Station unit, whi
  7. What do you find works best for finding out what your customers want? I go by the three-time rule If one person asks for something I make note, if two people ask I look into it, and if three people ask I implement it.
  8. Most of the time I find irrate customers happen because of misunderstandings. If both sides are head strong and unable to capitulate, you are risking the customer leaving, and spreading the misunderstanding. Most of the time these misunderstandings occour because of customers "expert" family and friends, filling their heads with the wrong information. And if this cusotmer is new, they will take the word of the "expert." when we incounter the irate customer, we need to take a breath, and try to calm the customer down. Now we can have dialogue, and get to the root of the issue.
  9. Great point. I found myself working all day and night, and I wasn't getting the returns I had hoped for. I had to step back and evaluate the problem. I was pushed to look at myself because of customers comments (a customer who ran several successfull business). He said, how do you run a buisness when you work all day.... What he ment was i was working as a technician not a business owner. A business owners responsibilty is to propel the business forward and that is an all day job. You made the choice to run a business, giving up the hands on work. We shouldn't sacrifice our fam
  10. Today people use the internet like a phone book. I personnaly use it as another information source on prospective compaines I look to do business with. And I think our customers do as well. We are all on computers today, it is more convinet to look a business up on-line then it is to go find the telephone book... The affordablity of web-site design makes it a no brainer. I also think it adds an air of crediablity these days.
  11. It is impossible to judge the effectiveness of advertising. Advertising/marketing should not be disected to one thing; it is the culmination of all activities. For we don't disect a stew to see what we liked, for it is all the ingrediants that make a good stew. Most people do not make snap decisions about trying a new product or service. We usually require repeated exposure to a new concept before we even remember it, much less decide to buy it. We need to become familiar and comfortable with it before we invest our time or money in it. This is true in all areas of life. It's a bas

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