Published on February 26, 2007 @ 6:00am EST

Letters: Back shop blues

Back shop blues

I read Dan Marinucci's column (“Be more aware of back shop activities,” Jan. 1 issue) about the back room, walking the walk and talking the talk and while I don't proclaim to be an expert, he's right on track.

I don't do repairs on cars—just tires. For 15 years I've run a mobile tire service, working only 15 days a month to make about $250,000 a year part time. It is funny that the industry has so much technology and training for mechanics and tire techs, who are the backbone of the tire industry. Yet there is no technical training for managers and sales staff, and there are no more move ups of mechanics to service managers and sales help.

Why? My belief is that most owners don't care about customer service and giving the customers real answers. They are more interested in a sales person who can produce dollars and BS like the pros, rather than focusing on customer service.

When I first got into this business in 1981, I learned from a previous boss, Don Olson, that honesty and customer service are imperative in good business. And he did try to promote from within his company.

I also learned a lesson from a salesman in our shop, watching as he sold muffler bearings to a customer on a bet from the mechanics. Yes, he sold them and was later terminated—and he was one of the best sales persons in the company.

My point is that there is no more communication between labor and managers and sales staff anymore. It's all about sales.

Craig J. Knarich


Pit Crew Tire Service Inc.

Palm Harbor, Fla.

'Offbeat' works

Your article (“Anything but dull,” Jan. 29 issue) on “trying the offbeat” is great.

I believe businesses that follow the same routine and operations are not going to grow. We have people here that know our employees by name due to the length of time that our employees are with us.

Trying different ideas can give you a feel for what will or won't work—not only with your workers, but with the customers as well.

Thanks for the insight that your newspaper has and continue the good work.

Don Collins


Custom Tire

Springfield, Ohio

Fix that window

I have to agree with the Op-Ed column by Bob Barstow (Tire Business Jan. 1 issue) about the “Broken Window Theory” of running a business, in which he stated that it's often the little things in your business that don't get done that can kill you.

I think customers' first impressions are their last. In this day and age, you must have your personnel and stores in their most friendly mode and clean. The best way to tell if the little things are getting done is to send your wife into a location. If she comes back, you have a winner.

Kevin Berg

Regional manager

Kost Tire Autocare

Rochester, N.Y.


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