Get it Out the Door!
It’s coming….Friday is coming! Friday brings a slight drop in the work load, anticipation of a weekend with time all to yourself (unless you own the place) and time to relax!
But to get through Friday, one thing has to happen, you have to get it out the door. “It” is every car that came in with problems beyond swapping parts and changing fluids. “It” is every car that has an anxious owner attached to a phone that is calling you every 45 minutes to see if “it” is ready. You have to get “It” out the door before closing on Friday or there will be issues you don’t want to face on Monday.
Doing exactly what’s asked for by the customer and nothing else will get it out the door faster for sure but will doing just what’s asked for maintain your reputation? Short cutting repairs for any number of reasons (besides getting it out the door) has hidden penalties you should be measuring. Yes, I said it, measuring. Checking, being aware of what it costs you is what measuring or analyzing data means.
Two simple examples would be brakes and a “tune up”. In talking with a local service owner, we discussed the typical brake job that comes into his shop.
A 2003 Ford F150/250 service truck that the fleet owner says just needs front pads. Pretty simple job, truck goes on the lift, tires come off, old pads are pulled and new pads are slapped in place. Tires go back on, fluid level is checked and out the door it goes!
Then there is the way this service owner does the job: truck goes into the shop, a check sheet is filled out for all the safety concerns the vehicle may exhibit. Brakes, tires, lights, leaks of any type, review of accessory drive system (belts and the goodies that make it work), all fluid levels and suspension review for torn or collapsed boots on ball joints and struts/shocks. The truck is put in position, tires come off and the brakes disassembled. Rotors are checked for grooves and wear as well as lateral run out. Parts on hand would be new bearings & seals, new pads and if needed, new rotors. Calipers are checked for leaks, locked pistons and torn boots. Parts are replaced as needed. Rotors are cut if not replaced and checked to make sure they are within legal limits. Tires are checked for proper pressures and the job is reassembled.
The first example is one I have seen and been told that it was done that way to: “save the customer money” – “it was needed back in service asap” – “been doing it that way for a long time and never got bit in the butt” – “customers know I’m not cheating them because my prices are the lowest in town”.
The second example is from a shop where I’ve seen dedicated customers both fleet and retail come back repeatedly because: “he takes care of me” – “I’ve recommended this shop to most of my friends and co-workers” – “he takes the time to explain what’s needed and what was done” – “I never have to worry about being cheated or my wife having a problem with the car after I take it here”
I could have listed profitability between the two jobs as solid reasons why you should be doing the jobs in the second manner…..ya make more money! BUT I didn’t because all of you understand a repeat customer is the core of sustaining your business! All the reasons given by shop owners for short cutting a job are evidence of short cutting how to build a customer base.
People trust shops that explain the whys and hows and that trust is reinforced when performance is delivered in a consistent manner.
Now, tune ups – or 12/20/30,000 mile checkups. It involves filters, fluids, belts etc. I’ll ask one simple question:
When was the last time you changed out a PCV valve? On the example of a 2003 Ford F150/250 with a 4.6 there is a PCV listed to be serviced. If you can’t honestly answer that this is part of your procedure, you are leaving that vehicle with an engine that may not be able to breathe and function properly. You may have oil being sucked by rings, clogged emissions components and poor fuel economy.
This simple example shows where getting it out the door versus getting it out the door right, makes a huge difference to the vehicles performance, to your customers satisfaction levels and to your reputation & bottom line profitability.