By Andy Fiffick, Chairman and CEO MACS Worldwide , Owner Rad-Air Complete Car Care, Cleveland, OH
Getting (and keeping) our shops “service-ready” is a moving target – one that changes not only with each new season, but daily. We are constantly upgrading our business plan to adjust to customer expectations, economic realities and the state of the industry. Quite frankly, if we don’t stay with it, we could be left behind in a heartbeat.
To survive and thrive in today’s highly competitive environment, we have to adopt the attitude that we will not turn a customer away and we will not let a job beat us. To do that, we have to stay abreast of new technology. Vehicles can’t be repaired properly without the right tools and equipment. Service and repair operations can’t be executed effectively and efficiently when technicians lack the training and information they need.
Your staff is your number one asset. You could have the best shop, the best tools and equipment, the best advertising, the best of everything else, but if you don’t have someone to fix the customer’s vehicle – and fix it right the first time – you have nothing.
Rad Air’s business plan includes three golden rules that we live by, and we nurture an environment that allows our staff the opportunity to follow them. First, we strive to always repair the vehicle right the first time. Second, we insist that the client leaves our facility happy and content. And third, we charge a fair price.
A major part of having our shop be “service-ready” is the relationship we aspire to build with our customers. Some people will arrive with a chip on their shoulder, on the defensive, fearing that they’re going to be ripped off, perhaps based on some prior experience. In all cases, the most important thing to do is to be honest, be sincere, charge a fair price and build your client base one by one. There is no shortcut to success. It is time consuming and takes some effort.
Marketing and promotion, customer amenities, community involvement for building good will and many other factors are critical to a service shop’s commercial success, but beyond the brick and mortar facility and tools and equipment needed, being service-ready essentially comes down to good people and good ideas.
And some of those good ideas come from others. If you focus exclusively on your own shop and really don’t have a clue what’s going on in Texas, or Wisconsin, or California, or anywhere else, you are missing out on tremendous opportunities to learn and grow.
That’s why I’m a member of MACS, and why you should be too!
Have a great summer. I hope you’re “service-ready.”