ACtion Magazine - April 2013 - (Page 33)

Old-Timers, team players, slackers and kids: do your employees ‘play’ well together? by Angie Kilbourne D uring the session “Can’t We All Get Along - Working with Gen X and Y (and Everyone Else),” Bill Haas, AAM, president of Haas Performance Consulting LLC, Tyler, Texas, asked attendees to consider how well their teams at work get along and how well they (attendees) got along with their teams. Those answers are key to good employee relations, and Haas spent the morning showing how the workplace has been impacted by the tech-savvy Generations X and Y. Haas Performance Consulting Illustration After a review of the four generations in today’s work environment — a first in our history — Haas pointed out that a multigenerational workforce does offer some unique opportunities for your business. For instance, reverse mentoring allows you to use your youngest employees to mentor older employees on new technologies, such as smartphones and apps. What is key, however, in getting your team to “play well” together during work hours is to understand each generation’s needs, wants and expectations — and then deliver your business management style appropriately to them in the best way they will understand it. For example, your 30-something Gen-Xer tech may have grown up coming home to an empty house, learning to do things for himself alone. He may now resent your constant checking in on his progress. Understanding that point, and leaving him to finish his work without interruption will Generational differences play a major role in the working environment. likely improve your employer-employee relationship immensely. We may not always understand the people we work with. But if we have an understanding of what motivates them, as well as what actions will alienate them, your business could just turn into a place your employees enjoy. “If what we are doing isn’t working, we have to understand them before we can change,” notes Haas. Think of what that could do for your bottom line. Building your bottom line with exceptional customer service “The longer we’re in this business, the more jaded we become,” says Greg Marchand, president of Automotive Aftermarket Training, Forestdale, Mass. “We tend to forget what it’s like to be a customer.” And until you are reminded how good — or bad — a customer’s experience can be, he adds, the tenets of customer service can be forgotten by a repair shop. Using real-world experiences as examples, Marchand led MACS 2013 convention attendees through a full-day’s examination of “Exceptional Customer Handling Skills.” “Do you know what a customer means to your shop?” Marchand asked. “Have you ever figured out what dollar amount is attached to an average customer? When I ask you, ‘What’s a customer mean to you,’ what comes to mind?” Dollars? Advertising? The reason you are in business? All good answers, and attendees were challenged to define what a customer means to each person’s business. Marchand also asked attendees what an additional 30 minutes of labor on average on each repair order might mean to their businesses’ bottom lines. He countered, “You could earn another $100,000 in revenue each year.” How? That’s what attendees learned in this intensive six-hour session. From listening skills and body language to overcoming the bad reputation of the repair industry, Marchand illustrated how to identify the four typical categories of customers you’ll see in your waiting room and engage each based on personality type and level of desired interaction. Demonstrated techniques, such as follow through (rather than follow-up) and Fixed Right First Time, build trust with customers — the key to turning a challenging customer into a great customer. “Trust is fragile. It can take virtually nothing to wipe it out,” reminds Marchand. “[Trust] is cultural. It has to be the way you do business.” ❆ ACTION • April 2013 33

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of ACtion Magazine - April 2013

ACtion Magazine - April 2013
Freeze Frame
Virtual View
Under the Southern Cross
Leonard’s Law
News & Updates
State of the Industry
R-1234YF Design and Service Considerations
Heavy Duty/Off Road Technical Session
Hybrid Evolution Continues
Modern Automotive HVAC Systems
Old-Timers, Team Players, Slackers and Kids: Do Your Employees ‘play’ Well Together?
Cheap Isn’t Always Best
A/C Season Check List: Is Your Shop Ready?
MACS 2013 Training Event Social Wrap-Up
Wallace Talks Up Big Brother
Association News
Quick Check
New Products & Services
Last Watch

ACtion Magazine - April 2013