So many things have changed in the automotive repair and service industry over the last 25 years it would take days to list them all.
This series of articles is intended to address the many important things that have not changed! Clients in 2017 need many of the same things they did in 1977. Great customer service, building trust, professionalism and image are key to building and retaining a healthy base of regular clients.
I also want to open a discussion on the fact that as an industry, the same problems we had in 1977 are still with us in 2017. As a young kid, I remember hearing my father complaining about another shop in town that advertised labour rates at a ridiculously low price. Many of you who have heard me speak or read my column will recall me complaining about the same thing.
One of my main goals as an owner/manager and team member of Columbia Auto Service is to improve the public’s opinion and stature of the automotive technician and our industry as a whole. In my perfect world, the automotive technician would be thought of in the same regard as a dentist or pharmacist. The public seems to view these two as professionals with years of training who perform professional services we all need.
If you agree with me, then we have to work together. At the moment, no one else is going to solve our problems. The government, teachers, career counsellors and others in our own industry are not solving our problems, so let’s all take on this challenge and get started.
Many of the ideas and concepts that I will be writing about are not all my original work. I have had the very great fortune and opportunity of being trained and advised by many dedicated teachers, trainers and mentors. I give credit to Dave Meunier and Murray Voth of TACT and Kelly Bennett (formally of TACT). I have learned and put into practice many of their great ideas and concepts.
Over the next several months, I’ll be writing about many key components of what I believe to be important steps to becoming a better business manager and leader in your shop. We’ll discuss issues such as business training, scheduling, booking the next appointment, networking, selling for profit, time clock management, professionalism and other subjects you feel need to be discussed. The workforce in our industry is becoming younger. Young people think differently than those 50 and older. As leaders, we have to learn to adapt and understand how the younger minds work.
In my perfect world, the automotive technician would be thought of in the same regard as a dentist or pharmacist.
I enjoy reading books on business management and leadership. In the book The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership, one of my favourite authors, John C. Maxwell, encourages leaders to “not ignore the obvious.” The younger generation is the future of our industry and successful leaders will have to deal with the reality that younger minds think differently than theirs.
I invite all of you to share your thoughts, questions and ideas. I will devote part of the article to dealing with subjects brought up by readers. Please send your questions or comments to [email protected]
I look forward to hearing from you and I sincerely hope that this series of articles will be viewed as positive and relevant to our industry’s needs and moves us all forward together as a team.