A basic reality check may be just the tonic to rejuvenate weary service personnel at your tire dealership or service shop.
Herewith, I will prescribe mental medications for weary, discouraged service personnel at any automotive repair facility.
Today's topic applies to everyone in your business — service sales associates, service managers, shop foremen, technicians and/or tire busters. If you work — or have worked — in any of these capacities, you have endured those days when nothing goes right. To the contrary, it seems that whatever can go wrong really does go wrong.
Sometimes, a series of calamities can knock the collective wind out of everyone's sails by noontime.
You may recall the look on your coworkers' faces that begs the question, "What else can go wrong today?"
Your team appears dispirited, and you still must face an afternoon of trying to meet or exceed customers' expectations.
I recommend pausing for a few sips of ice water, stout coffee or other appropriate beverage. Notice that I said sip it — savor it, don't gulp it. What's more, take several deep breaths. Then smile your broadest smile.
Next, calmly recite to yourself the auto repair facts of life as we know them. This calm recitation may be the fastest way to "get your head together" for the rest of the day's challenges.
First and foremost, what can go wrong actually may go wrong. That's why experience has shown that we should hope for the best — but simultaneously plan for the worst.
Hmmmm, the customer may not contact you when he or she can't make an appointment.
Hmmm, that expensive parts assortment you bought may not have all the knick-knacks and doo-dads your techs require.
Worse yet, that seemingly iron-clad diagnostic conclusion from your best technician may be erroneous. The reason is that the vehicle and its problem are a classic "learn-it-yourself" challenge that even the best tech must chalk up to experience.
Second, there are myriad numbers of makes and models on the road today. Therefore, techs have less and less opportunity to perform the repetitive repairs that make them more familiar with and, therefore, more productive, on each vehicle.
Consequently, some diagnoses and repairs take longer than anyone could have reasonably expected.
Third, the typical vehicle has become sophisticated and is getting more complicated all the time. One major consequence of this complexity is that it often takes more time to research and diagnose a failure than it does to repair it.
For example, it may take 45 minutes to locate the correct wiring diagram and then perform a voltage-drop test on a suspect circuit. Then the tech repairs the loose wiring connection in 90 seconds.
What's more, there's no parts profit on the job because it didn't require any new parts.
Fourth, the motorist believes you possess a magic box of mini-creatures capable of racing down the wires, locating any loose, corroded or broken connections. In their minds, therefore, there's no need for costly testing and diagnosis.
Fifth, a typical service-age vehicle often has more than one legitimate problem — including some pending failures that may strand the car owner out on the highway. But convincing some motorists of this fact may take an act of Congress.
Last but not least, the potential failure that you overlook or ignore will be the one that occurs later. The failure leaves the customer stranded somewhere out of town and wholly unpleasant.
OK, your beverage, the deep breaths and this five-point recitation should prepare you for the afternoon's challenges.
Please, be patient and always strive to show the populace just how good you really are at what you do. Good luck.