By Elvis L. Hoffpauir MACS president and chief operating officer
Competition is fierce for today’s automotive service shop owner.
It starts with the physical plant, equipment and the tools; service information for the ever-growing fleet of vehicles; well-trained, highly motivated technicians; marketing and promotion; customer amenities; the ability and willingness to foster community goodwill…the list goes on and on.
In his feature article in the March 2016 issue of award-winning MACS ACTION magazine on becoming Service Ready, Bill Haas observes that “consumers expect you to have the tools, equipment and talent” to fix their vehicles (so you better make sure you do), and argues that “the (service) experience is all that matters to the vehicle owner.” What makes for a better service experience?
One is convenience. Another is speed of service: how soon you can make the appointment after the initial contact, and how quickly you can service or repair the vehicle and get the customer back on the road. “The advantage will go to the store that returns the vehicle to its owner in the shortest amount of time,” Haas notes.
“Get the vehicle in the service bay at the appointed time. If the vehicle has not moved from where the customer parked it ten or twenty minutes past the appointment time it is a sign of disrespect. You have to respect their time. For many consumers time is as valuable as the money they will exchange with you for your services. That disregard for their time is also an indication of you don’t do what you said you would do. Not the best way to start what you are hoping is a long term relationship with a client.”
He also cautions shop owners to “Make absolutely sure that what consumers see and hear in your marketing is exactly what they see and hear when they visit your store…Trust is tested when what is seen online is different than what can be seen in person. Don’t make the mistake of misrepresenting any aspect of your company.”
Clearly, the standards by which a service provider is measured are many, and the bar must be set high, but customers still most often follow the word-of-mouth that leads them to the shops with proven core competency and a reputation for honesty.
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Mobile A/C professionals should plan to attend MACS 2017 Training Event and Trade Show, February 15-18 in Anaheim, CA.
See where training classes are happening by clicking here.