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 26 B u s i n e s s I n s i g h t doctors go to work every day trying to do a good job. Each day, the objective of most working Americans is to go to work, do as good a job as they can, and come home safe to their family, friends and pets. Sure, there are a couple of bad eggs. ey exist in every industry. It's unfair that four times a year the focus comes down on the automotive industry. e next reason is more critical of the industry. News crews come knocking every couple of months because they know it's a safe bet they will get what they came looking for. ere are billions of dollars of undone maintenance in the U.S. every year. ere is simply no reason a legitimate inspection and presenta- tion to the customer can't make you a truckload of cash in this business. Even if there is no actual fraud, they know they will get the reaction they needed to make it the leading story. Please, for just a few times a year, take the time to walk through the scenario. I've done it myself and it can even be fun for the team to act it out. Just make sure you bring everyone back and enforce that your store only goes aer legitimate work, performs everything that is sold, and if anyone breaks those rules, they will be terminated with prejudice (that means no chance of rehire, ever). As an owner, you and your store manager should be checking and double checking, on a random basis, everyone's work. Too oen, the owner gets caught up in the day-to-day activities of the business, and there is no one le to oversee the business. Trust me, you don't want to be the focus of your local or regional news station. Ever. Ask yourself these questions: • Are your employees coming to you when they suspect something? • Does the store have an open door policy where employees feel safe coming to management with concerns of any nature? • Does the manager regularly call customers back and review the purchase or service with them? • Do the advisors regularly go back to the car to review the technician's recommendations? Also, consider performing a regular, unannounced inspection of lockers and tool boxes. Look for parts that should be on cars, or other indications that your process isn't functioning properly. is helps for the as well. People respect what you inspect. I don't inspect tool boxes because I don't trust you. I trust you because I inspect the tool boxes. Do you look at what's said on social media? If one person says bad things about you, that customer is crazy. If two customers say bad things about you, it could be a conspiracy. If there are multiple complaints every week, you might want to start doubling down on acceptable procedures and reviewing policy with employees. You also might want to look in the mirror and see if you are pushing too hard on sales objectives, and employees are just taking the path of least resistance. Good luck prior to Sweeps Weeks. I hope and pray that no reporter ever graces your front door. And I hope there is good reason for it: because they know they won't get their story. ■ Dennis McCarron is executive director of Dealer Strategic Planning Inc., a company that manages multiple tire dealer 20 Groups in the U.S. (www.dsp-20group.com). To contact McCarron, email him at dennis@dsp-20group.com. Our Business Insight columnist, Dennis McCarron, is leery of Sweeps Week. You know, that time of year when television networks are looking to boost ratings so they can raise ad rates. In order to do that, as McCarron says, they sometimes set up local businesses in order to catch them doing wrong. He thinks the automotive aftermarket is a favorite target of the networks. I remember when ABC's television series "The Lookout" gave a Goodyear company- owned store a black eye in 2013 by showing up with a blown windshield wiper blade fuse. Goodyear handled it like McCarron suggests in his article. McCarron's feature on how to prevent reporters from showing up on your doorstep during Sweeps Week, and what to do if they do, begins on page 22. We also contacted the Automotive Main- tenance Repair Association (AMRA) and asked how its Motorist Assurance Program, known as MAP, helps both consumers and automotive service technicians. Here is what AMRA President Jeff Cox had to say. "The Motorist Assurance Program helps the consumer by providing the automotive service providers with guidelines for the recommendations of parts and service," says Cox. "These standardized guidelines consist of conditions for part failure or ser- vice recommendations. The result of this is that a motorist who uses a MAP Qualified Repair Facility will have recommendations that are based on industry wide criteria and communicated in a way that the motorist can understand. "Furthermore, the motorist can visit vari- ous locations and have the same recom- mendations based on the same criteria, nearly eliminating the opportunity to be sold services that are not needed. Through our Motorist.org website, the motorist can find one of the MAP qualified shop so they know they are using a trusted service provider. "There is as much value to the technician as there is to the motorist by using our guidelines," he said. "For technicians, it gives them a recipe for success during the inspection process. They can look at the various components and use the over four thousand standards established over the past 25 years to determine if that component needs to be serviced or not. "Everything is electronic so the informa- tion is always at the technician's finger- tips. This becomes even more valuable for newer technicians who have only be in the industry for a few years by allowing them access to the same criteria as a seasoned master technician." In summary, Cox said consistency in the inspection process "allows for a thorough evaluation and gives the technician con- fidence with what is then communicated to the motorist as what components are OK, suggested for service and required for service."— Bob Ulrich One way to get respect for the inspection Want to avoid a 'gotcha!' moment? MAP can help

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