By Murray Voth, RPM Training
In my opening column, we discussed the purpose of a business. In this column, I’ll expand on that concept and break it down into pieces that you can use in your own business.
In the last column, we stated that the purpose of a business is to meet or exceed the needs of customers, employees, and shareholders. These are the three stakeholders in a business, and keeping their needs and expectations in balance is what keeps a business growing successfully. The broader purpose of a business is made up of the reason, the focus, and the results of that business.
To start and maintain the cycle of the purpose of a business, the primary purpose, the reason the business exists, is to meet or exceed the needs of its customers. One of the big challenges in business is to understand the needs and wants of our customers, and to provide those needs and wants in a way that they are willing to pay good money for.
It seems that many consumers view the automotive shop as a grudge purchase; vehicle service and repairs are not their favourite things to spend money on. (A shop owner friend of mine once said that he wanted to sell his shop and open a pub. That way, everyone would always leave happy.)
I know many of you have lots of customers who appreciate what you do for them, and pay their bills without complaining. But it seems that we always remember the price shoppers, the argumentative customers, or those that grumble about their bill. It is important to remember that, in many cases, what the customer is unhappy about is not that their car needed a repair, but that the process was so painful.
In no particular order, these are the top five complaints by the driving public in North America.
- I was sold something that I did not need
- My vehicle was not ready when I was told it was going to be.
- The advisor did not really listen to my concerns.
- The invoice I received at the end of the day was larger than the estimate I was given.
- The vehicle was not fixed right the first time.
I am going to guess that those of you reading this who have solved these top five challenges, are probably the most profitable shops in your town.
For the rest of us, stay tuned for some solutions. (Let me give you a hint: it starts with not being defensive.)