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It's not all about fixing cars... other details matter
Posted to Shop Management Forum on 11/18/2013 64 Replies

Lately I've been thinking a lot about details and how important the seemingly unimportant things are. Two things have really brought this to my attention.

The first is attempting to redo our shop website. In doing this I've looked at a LOT of websites, most of which are not in the automotive industry, I've noticed that little things like where a button is located or the background color of a page makes a big difference on how long I look at a page or how quickly I move on to something else. I'm sure I'm not the only one that is like that.

The second was going to brunch with my wife yesterday. We tried a restaurant that we've never been to before. It had good reviews, the menu looked interesting and the price was what I felt like spending. So we found the place and walked in. We were greeted nicely and sat right away. We ordered coffee and the spoon that came with my coffee was dirty. We ordered, ate, and the food was tasty. But the real kicker was there was no toilet paper in the ladies restroom. Botomline .... The food was good but we probably won't go back because the restroom was out of toilet paper and a spoon was dirty.

Last week we did a great diagnostic repair. We were the second shop to fix a misfire, we repaired it properly for less than the first shop misdiagnosed it. The car also had a light bulb out. We replaced the brake light bulb and sent the car away. I got a call the next morning with the following complaint ... "my car was there for 2 days and you didn't fix my brake light." I ended up giving away the circuit board that the car needed in an attempt to get that customer to give us a second chance in the future. But, she no longer remembers that we fixed her misfire, she only remembers that we didn't fix a brake light. Again, the details. We got caught up in the big problem, but all the customer remembers is the small problem we didn't fix.

Yes, fixing the car properly is important, but it is not the only thing. If a woman uses the restroom and it is dirty, does she leave your shop with a positive opinion? If you do the greatest repair in the world and leave a screw driver in the car, what does the customer remember? We did a survey a few years ago and found out that it was important to have a hook in the bathroom to hang your purse on. Not something that I ever thought about, but it was important to my customers.

What else do we not see that our customers do?

Nathan from Colorado

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