Have you ever heard anyone in your shop or your service lane say, “No thank you, I make enough?” The answer is, probably not. The truth, to coin a phrase, is that actions speak louder than words. It is being said daily by many of our Technicians, Advisors, and even Managers. Most of us experience this and cannot understand why it occurs. The reality is that it occurs because we allow it to happen.
When you think about it, we have allowed a culture of “get the customer out and don’t have any ‘comebacks.'” A culture of “sell” more dollars, hours per RO, services, etc. Do not allow the customer to get to upper management with complaints. Sound familiar? It should. Let’s look at the levels of this occurrence.
- Fix it right the first time and do not have the customer complain.
- Get the cars out quickly and move on to the next one.
- Produce hours and pay for the stall.
- I don’t get paid to perform “your” inspection.
- The Advisors do not sell what I give them.
- I “billed” my normal hours this week.
- I need a raise.
The question now is, do your Technicians realize that these are not achievements, rather basic job requirements? Do the Advisors fear asking Technicians to perform above these basics? Does the Manager discuss increased goals over and above these basic requirements? Does your Technical staff understand that we must sell at all levels? Does the Technician understand that they “DO NOT GET PAID TO NOT PERFORM THE INSPECTION”?
- I have to move more customers through.
- I need to get the customer to buy more services.
- I’ll sell more if it has a spiff attached.
- The Technicians won’t provide quality inspections. (see #5 under Technicians)
- I do not have enough time for these processes.
- I don’t make enough money. (I need a raise)
There are many more common statements, but again questions. Do the Advisors understand they are “sales people”? Why can they only sell if there are spiffs attached to particular items? Are there goals designed around customer service and quality “need-based sales”? Are they allowed the autonomy to require quality work (including paperwork) from the Technicians? Do they understand that they control their own pay?
- I can’t afford to lose any senior (or junior) Technicians.
- We need more cars coming through the door.
- The Advisors do not have time to perform proper service lane processes.
- I can’t get any more through the shop- we are at capacity.
- I have to deal with too many customer issues.
Still, there are more statements that we hear continually, but first, more questions. Would you really lose technicians if you challenge them to produce more? Do your Technicians and Advisors have daily personal goals? What if your people were sales people and you got more per car already coming through your door? Is time really the issue? Are you really at capacity? What are the causes of the customer issues?
To bring this discussion full circle, the original statement was that “I make enough.” All of the issues pointed out in this article are signs of why we cannot make more, yet we complain that we do not make enough. The reality is that instead of implementing the correct processes, it is easier to just say this can’t be done; therefore, “I make enough money.” That has to be the answer, because we are not pushing for the extra effort that will gain us more personal wealth. We are happy to use these excuses because we are not requiring a culture of selling and making our own wage. It is much easier to make the excuses and complain, rather than make the correct processes the “norm”.
With proper coaching and guidance, these issues can be addressed. It may be necessary to request help to instill the right culture throughout the organization. It may be necessary to get guidance to implement attainable goals, proper processes, and sales-oriented practices. These issues can be identified, addressed, and overcome.