Monday, September 14, 2015

Attributes Of A Good Service Writer By Mike Lee

There are many things that lead to a successful business. One of them is a good Service Writer. I have visited lots of shops where it was obvious that the Service Writer was not trained and was not motivated.

There are many important attributes of a good Service Writer.

1. They are alive.
2. They are motivated.
3. They like people.
4. People like them.
5. They enjoy their job.
6. They have good communication skills.
7. They have patience.
8. They know what they are doing.
9. They have stable lives.

There are others, but these are some of the more important ones. 

Are They Alive? 

It is amazing how many Service Writers are just going through the motions. They are not happy and this communicates to customer immediately. Customers react unfavorable to a Service Writer, who is acting like a walking zombie.

If they are not motivated, it greatly affects their sales. You can advertise like crazy, but the sales will be slow because the Service Writer is turning people off. This is especially true when they answer the phone.

In some shops, they have a mirror right beside the phone with the word “SMILE” above it. This way, when anyone answers the phone they will look at themselves in the mirror and remember to smile while talking to the customer.

Are They Focused?

I have seen in the past, Service Writers who are pretty good at their jobs, suddenly, start forgetting things and not following up or stay on top of their job. At the same time, the sales start to drop when it was busy. Later in talking to the Service Writer, you will find that he has some major problem going on.

Sometimes, you will find that they have a drinking or drug problem or they are going through a divorce or they have financial problems. When a Service Writer has personal problems, it will affect his ability to do his job.

Do They Like People?

When we do interviews with Service Writers, occasionally, we find that they actually don’t like sales. Mainly this comes from not knowing how to handle people in general or not knowing how to sell.

It is really apparent to customers when a Service Writer does not know how to deal with people or is not happy with life in general.

Often times, Service Writers get busy and are short with customers or they fail to take enough time with the customers to make sure they have handled all of the customers questions and considerations. Handling customers requires a person who likes people, who has patience with people that are confused and don’t fully understand what they are agreeing to have done with their car. Anytime a Service Writer loses his patience he generally loses the customers.

Do They Know What They Are Doing?

A high percentage of problems Service Writers have with customers come from their inability to handle problems thrown at them by customers. I have seen Service Writers start to lose their effectiveness when they start having problems that they don’t know how to handle.

They have problems with price shoppers, they don’t know how handle upset customers and what they or others at the shop did to help create the upsets.

Their lack of training causes them to lose sales, upset customers and not enjoy their job. Many do not fully understand their responsibilities and what is expected of them.

I can not tell how many times, I have seen Service Writers suddenly light up and take off once they understand what they are suppose to do and how to do it more effectively. Many times, you can turn a Service Writer who is not doing well into a happy, very effectively salesperson, who makes good money for themselves and you, by having them adequately trained on their job. Is your Service Writer producing at the levels you would like? It is only money…Yours!

Management Success! 

Friday, September 4, 2015

Loren’s Auto Repair Hosts Management Success General Repair TOP 20 Group Meeting

From August 29th to 30th, 2015, the TOP 20 general repair shop owners met to network and discuss concerns and issues general repair shop owners face and what they can do about them. The discussion took place at Loren’s Auto Repair in Kalispell, Montana and was hosted by owners, Loren and Travis Sallee.

On Friday the 29th, the group began the get-together sightseeing at Logan Pass in Glacier National Park. With an elevation of 6,647 feet and encompassing beautiful mountains, lakes, and wildlife, it was a peaceful way to clear their mind before the discussions. In the evening, they dined at a restaurant in Whitefish.

The following day, the group discussed challenges they are each currently facing, and they provided suggestions and solutions that could help the challenges of each owner. They went over using tablets for inspections and how that is incorporated into shop flow. One shop owner who already uses tablets gave useful pointers to the others on beneficial ways of implementing it.

The meeting also consisted of a tour of Loren’s Auto Repair. Travis Sallee walked the group through the shop, which was designed and built by his father with the help of Travis. He showed their shop’s different systems, such as workflow, and talked about the history of their shop. The group finished the day off by having dinner at a restaurant in Kalispell.

On Sunday, Jim Smith led the group on a profit & loss and KPI study. Members got to compare numbers and zero in on members who have exceptional performance in various categories giving everyone ideas on how to improve their bottom line. The meeting concluded at noon on Sunday, leaving enough time for everyone to get back home and start their week off with a fresh mind and new ideas.

For more information on Management Success! or the General Repair TOP 20 Group, please contact Morgan Scott at