Modern Tire Dealer

OCT 2018

Magazine for the professional tire industry

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M T D O c t o b e r 2 0 1 8 24 B u s i n e s s I n s i g h t Use these words instead: "required" and "recommended." ere is very little confusion as to what those two words mean. Required means the item no longer can fulll its original purpose in some way. Brakes no longer function as indented because there isn't any friction material le•. A bulb is burnt out. An air lter is oily. "Required" means the car does not perform as originally intended. "Recommended" means the car will function ne, but there's an item you may wish to address now to avoid a future problem or eliminate the need to return for the work. Tires at 3/32nds. A dirty air lter. You get the idea. Emotional reaction. Nothing in human behavior gets people's interest more than an emotional train wreck. e camera rushes into the store, the reporter breathlessly runs to the advisor or store manager, and exclaims that the store has been caught red handed! "Gotcha! What do you have to say for yourself ?" And the manager then angrily pushes the reporter or slams his hand over the camera and yells "Stop lming! You have no right to be here! Get your cameras out of here!" I've even seen where the manager goes to his oŒce, but he lets the cameraman follow. He calls his boss, and on TV says, "Uhh, they caught us. What should I do?" Here's what you need to do. First, you need to practice with your employees. ey need to know what it feels like to be put on the spot in front of a camera, and how to react. You can't just talk about it. You have to practice it so they develop, in a sense, "muscle" memory. e key is to stay calm, cool, collected. Employees must rst breathe. Secondly, understand that any action or any words can be taken grossly out of context. Be polite, and simply ask the reporter, repeatedly if necessary, to leave the private property. Just repeat the same way over and over again in a calm manner until the reporter relents. ey will, eventually. Reporters cannot interfere with the daily business of the company. When the reporter has le•, it's time to go up the chain of command. e boss (whoever is in charge) should begin some level of investigation to see if the accusations are credible. "Credible" simply means if there is smoke, it doesn't have to be a ve alarm re to be credible. If it is credible, the owner or person responsible for media relations (now you know why you shouldn't have your 22-year-old niece or nephew as your media person just because they are "good" at Facebook) must provide a truthful, but carefully worded statement that a•er investigation it was found to be credible and the company is taking appropri- ate steps to correct and prevent this type of incident from ever occurring again. is includes disciplinary action and education of remaining employees. If there were several employees — or worse, you nd it was ongoing with multiple incidents — you should be harsh in punishment, as o•en corruption is a poison that infects the whole shop. If it was isolated, and the person was acting outside the rules of the company, then a simple termination and meeting for other employees explaining acceptable conduct should be enough. Escalation. Reporters during Sweeps Week are out to do one thing: get the viewer to panic so the word spreads, which will increase rates. It's pretty sneaky how this gets done, but follow me on this: e story starts with "is your mechanic cheating you?" or some version thereof. It's a broad brush to paint with. Most people don't know how to work on their cars, so they are vulnerable to manipulation. en the reporter talks about the one shop they did their sting in by name, but halfway through the story the reporter goes back to general statements like "repair shops" and "employees." is generalization is done to make people think that this type of fraud is rampant, but what reporters do here is hurt the entire industry. So every time this segment is run on the news, even if you've never been targeted, your business will sužer from this type of "associative connection." When customers become suspicious, every little mistake or hiccup in the process becomes magnied and scrutinized. During Sweeps Weeks, the style of reporting is damaging to the entire automotive repair industry. Sensationalizing the story of catching one bad apple and casting doubt over the whole industry does no one any good. I write this column this month for a few reasons. First, I really dislike the idea of demonizing an entire industry. For example, 1.2 million police oŒcers do their job right every day. One million DOUBLE LAYERED BEAD CHAFER 4 BELT SYSTEM TECHNOLOGY SUFFICIENT UNDER TREAD FOR RECAPPING 100% HALOBUTYL RUBBER AIR TIGHT INNER LINER TBR TBR TBR TBR TBR TIRES ENGINEERED FOR COMMERCIAL VEHICLES AMERICAN-OMNI.COM PHONE | 281.600.TIRE

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