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  1. Most of you probably already know what I am about to say: The Service Advisor position is the most crucial position in the shop. I know, I know, what about the mechanical work done by the techs? Well, that's important too, of course. For the most part, customers spend their hard-earned money and most of time don't really know or see what was done to their car. Let's face it, the customer can't see the water pump or T-belt. And most of the time, the customer does not feel any difference with the car as they drive out of your parking lot. What the customer does see (or experience
  2. Today is the first day of summer, and we are still dealing with the dreaded COVID-19. However, there are positive indicators that business will be better than expected this summer. People will be taking more road trips, will avoid airplanes, trains and Ubers and will take to the roads in record numbers. Gear up for a great summer and look for opportunity with each vehicle visit. Perform those multipoints as if your business depends on it….why?....Because it does! We have a lot to be thankful for. Keep positive, be a leader and thrive!
  3. I remember being at a meeting with my staff where I voiced my opinion on an important issue. When I was finished, I asked if everyone was in agreement. Everyone nodded their heads yes. After the meeting, one of my service advisors told me that half of the employees did not agree with me. When I asked why did they agree, he replied. “You’re the boss, you intimidate others.” This made me think about my leadership style. Being unapproachable will prevent you from hearing other opinions; which is important to the success of the company. When speaking with your employees, ask
  4. As shop owners, we sometimes feel that we need to answer every question and handle every situation. While you need to be proficient as a business owner, you also need your employees to think for themselves. Empower your people to solve problem. Ask them for their opinions and don’t be too quick to jump in on every situation. The more you jump in and solve their problems, the more they will rely on you. This is not to say you don’t have their back; but a team functions best when everyone takes ownership of their position and takes responsibility to take care of problems. Will e
  5. A few weeks back I had a problem with my refrigerator. I got a referral and called an appliance repair company. I called three times and each time I called this is what happened: "C and E appliance, please hold." I was put on hold three times for about 5 minutes. After being put on hold each time, a women would say, "What's the problem?" No engagement, no sign of interest for me the customer, no signs of caring. I gave the women a brief description of the problem and each time she told me someone would call me back. Well, no one did. So, I called for the 4th time, and as the person a
  6. Shop production is a hot topic these days. High production results in higher sales and profits. But there seems to be so many obstacles to overcome to achieve high production levels. I was discussing production with a few shop owners, and one shop owner mentioned that he recently hired a shop foreman; an “A” tech in his early 50’s. The foreman uses his knowledge and skills to organize the work flow. For younger techs, it’s even more important that they know how to work and keep productive. What are your thoughts? Does anyone else have a foreman or similar position? And how d
  7. The day to day operations of running a business can take its toll on anyone. To be a business owner means to address problem after problem and finding the right solutions. Sometimes the decisions we make will be the right ones, sometimes not. If we are not careful, this emotional roller coaster we call being in business, can make us focus too much on the negative, and not the positive things that happen in our lives. With nearly 4 decades as a business owner, I can say with certainty that one of the basic building blocks of being successful in business is having the right team of peopl
  8. As shop owners, our focus is on business, for the most part. There is nothing wrong with this mindset, but it may push employees away from you. Whether you like it or not, people are more concerned about their own lives and what’s important to them. When speaking to your employees, find ways to engage in conversation that has nothing to do with business. Find out about their interests, and what’s going on in their lives. Simply asking, “How was your weekend? Do anything special?” can work wonders to motivate people. When speaking with employees, be more concerned about them, not
  9. A shop owner friend called me the other today to complain about one of his technicians. He went on and on about his bad attitude, he comes in late, is always miserable, and brings down the morale of the shop. So I asked him, “Why do you keep him?” He replied, “He’s my best producer” How many times have we heard this story? How many times have you said those exact words? As a shop owner you need to come to terms with the fact that a toxic employee will bring down the entire shop. Making excuses or giving this employee a pass because he’s a great producer is not a valid argument. Eventuall
  10. If there is one thing I have learned in my 36 years in business, it’s that people make the biggest difference in terms of success. No matter what equipment you have, or tools or information system. It’s the quality of your employees that will determine your success. Think about this. If you were the coach of a football team and your goal was to win the Super Bowl, what would be your first goal? To assemble the best players possible, a team of superstar athletes. The fanciest stadium on the planet does not win games. It takes great players and a great coach. And a great coach understands
  11. Perhaps one of the best ways to motivate employees is to give them regular positive feedback. Too often, employees only hear when things go wrong. And while we all need to know when we fail, it’s more important to recognize when things go right. People want to know when they win. People also like to be included in on the progress of the company. It’s important that everyone in your shop feels that what they do really matters to the success of the company. This also promotes the right culture and builds a strong team. Create a strategy where you give your employees feedback on their p
  12. Lets face it, a week cant go by without a technician comeback or a customer service issue. Mistakes will happen, theres no avoiding it. Obviously, you need to put systems and procedures in place to reduce the chances of mistakes occurring, but the truth is everyone at one time or another we will drop the ball. The key thing to remember when a mistake happens is to keep the lines of communications open. With every mistake there is learning experience that everyone in the shop can benefit from. Discuss the issue with your tech or service advisor. Get all the facts. Dont assign blame; t
  13. Got your attention? Good. I often hear shop owners say, "I wouldn't ask any employee to do something that I would not do." While this may appear to be effective leadership, lets dig a little deeper. Lets say you had an illness that required a specialist. You make an appointment to see the doctor and the day you walk into his office you find him scrubbing the toilet bowl? In defense of his actions, he says, "I can't ask my employees to do something I am not willing to do." I use this ridiculous analogy only to prove a point. Effective leadership does not mean performing every req
  14. Source: Improve shop productivity with a Focus on what went right, not what went wrong
  15. Too often we focus on the things that go wrong, and not on the things that go right. Lets face it; everyday things will go wrong. Have you ever watch a professional ball team play an entire game without mistakes being made. A football game where there were no dropped balls? It's more important to focus on the wins, not the losses. I am not suggesting we ignore the mistakes. But if we never recognize what goes right, and only on what goes wrong, we will end up creating a shop culture of negativity. And that will take its toll on production and lost income. Recognize what goes right, u
  16. Source: You have goals…but what about your employee’s goals?
  17. As a shop owner, you have both business goals and personal goals. Goals are critical to your success. Setting goals is like planning out a trip. Each step is carefully outlined and mapped out. You know where you want to ultimately end up, and you know how you will get there. But what about your employees? Don’t they have goals? Employees may not have sat down and wrote out a detailed plan, but let me assure you, they have goals too. Employees care about their future, their kid’s future and also have wants and desires. My advice is to find out what those goals are, and here’s why. Wh
  18. Let’s look at sports for a minute. Take for example two premier quarterbacks. Both equally talented and both equally successful. While they play the position according to the rules of football, neither quarterback plays the position exactly the same. The inherent differences between them allows them to bring out their personal best. They draw upon their uniqueness, which translates into their individual strengths. In essence, this is what makes them great, but different. It’s the same for your technicians, and in fact, for all your employees. Years back I tried to mold my employees to
  19. Years back it was common to hear, "Leave your problems at the door." Essentially that meant that your home life and all its issues should not cross over to work. The truth is, it's not possible to simply turn a switch and forget about what's happening at home. For example, what if a tech's child is sick? What do you think that tech is thinking about throughout the day? Your employees have to know that you care about them as people, not just workers. Recognize that things will occur and there are times when your employees will need your understanding. When the people around you kn
  20. Maybe it’s the 40 years I have spent in this business, but these days I have little tolerance for certain things. One of those things: Catching a once-trusted employee lying to me. To be fair, the years have also taught me to be more patient, more positive and help bring out the best in others. I find myself going the extra mile, spending time helping others and teaching others what I have learned through the years. In order to be successful in your life, you need to help others around you succeed in their lives. So, perhaps it’s the fact that because I do spend so much time mento
  21. Source: What do you do when a catch an employee in a lie?


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