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    • By OReilly Auto Parts
      O'Reilly VeriScan Service | O'Reilly Auto Parts
    • By Counterman
      This is always an important topic to discuss, because I consider excellent customer service one of the most important tools you can have to earn trust, respect and repeat business from the customers that come through your door. Whether that customer is do-it-yourselfer from across town or the professional repair shop across the street, your business depends on a solid relationship.

      It’s a subject that I am passionate about, and it’s one that many people are losing touch with. Whether you are communicating to someone in person, on the phone or using some type of social media, good customer service and bad can both exist. You can’t afford the latter, so this is the first in a series of topics which can and should be shared from the front of the shop to the back. No matter which role you hold, you represent the shop and yourself. Customer service should be your number one priority.

      First on the list is the greeting. From the second a customer walks in the door, they need to know you appreciate them coming in and how important they are to your business. First impressions are everything and here’s the correct way to do it each and every time: look them directly in the eye, smile and say hello!

      Of course, you can say “Good morning” or “Welcome to Joe’s Autocare,” but it should be a formal greeting and the most important thing is that you have smiled, looked them in the eye and recognized that they have walked through the door.

      You should always retain a formal greeting until you are on a first-name basis with a customer. Only once you have established that level of relationship is it OK to use the less formal greeting of “Hi,” followed by the person’s name.

      This greeting does more than just indicate respect and appreciation for someone walking through the door. Most likely there are customers both new and old who are in earshot of your conversation. For newer customers, this continues to build rapport and reinforce their positive view of your shop; they see that you demonstrate respect and treat everyone in the same manner. For repeat customers, even ones that have been coming for years, the greeting is important because the way you treat them is the reason they continue to come.

      And when a long-time customer comes in and you greet them with “Hi [First Name],” this indicates your appreciation for them and that you’re glad to see them as a person, more than just a customer. New customers that witness this will see that your repeat customers are comfortable enough to be on a first-name basis, another indication of the trust they have in you.
      If you impress someone with remembering their name and what you did last to their car, you just built a skyscraper of rapport.

      There are certain situations where you will always greet someone by Mr., Mrs. or Miss., and that is usually after you have seen them often enough to remember their name, but before you know them on a first-name basis. Many people will say, “Just call me [First Name],” letting you know it’s OK, but until then it’s a sign of respect to use a formal greeting. In some cases, you may always use the formal; it can vary from person to person.

      When thinking about the greeting, keep in mind that many people are uncomfortable walking into an unknown situation. They are probably already stressed because their car is broken, and they know it’s going to cost them money. And they may have never been to your shop or been there too often. Your greeting puts them immediately at ease and indicates, especially if there are other people waiting (and this is very important), that you have acknowledged they are there. They’ll be comfortable knowing that you’ll get to them as soon as possible.

      It’s going to happen, often enough, that you will either be on the phone, right in the middle of explaining something to a customer or have your back turned at the moment someone walks in. If you’re on the phone, it’s easy. Simply smile and wave. That’s all it takes. Don’t use a phone call as an excuse to ignore and not initiate a greeting. You’ll probably even have coworkers that do this, hoping they won’t have to wait on this person. Advice for you: don’t. It’s a sign of weakness.

      Once you’re off the phone, be sure to make an audible greeting and let them know how long it will be until you are available to help. If you’re currently talking to a customer when someone walks in, you don’t have to stop abruptly or cut them off to make a greeting, but don’t take too long. Wait just until you finish a thought and squeeze in a quick audible greeting, such as, “I’ll be with you in just a couple minutes, sir.”

      One of my favorite tricks as a service writer is to always be alert and pay attention to cars as they pull up. Try to jot down the license if possible. There’s a good possibility that you will recognize cars before you remember someone’s name. You may remember that the car was in and you may recognize the person, but that’s it. If you’re quick on the fingers, before they get in the door, you can do a license plate search and bring up their name and also see what was done last.

      If you impress someone with remembering their name and what you did last to their car, you just built a skyscraper of rapport. They’ll never know you “cheated.”

      Heres’ another trick, even if you only had time to jot down the license number and you greeted someone, “Welcome to Joe’s Autocare, I’ll be right with you,” this indicates to someone that you are finishing something up and will let them know when you are ready. Even if you buy yourself 10 seconds, you can look up the license plate, then you can say, “I can help you now Mr. Smith. We did brakes just last month, right?”

      Perhaps the most critical is that you always smile and greet your customers, no matter what. I don’t care how bad a day you are having, or if you had a difficult situation with the last customer. It doesn’t matter. Let it go and concentrate on whomever just walked in the door.

      Your greeting is your first impression. Just like a strong handshake, dressing nicely and being on time for a job interview, this is your chance. Don’t blow it. You are, for all practical purposes, walking into a job interview. You are looking for a job and your customer is doing the hiring.

      Customer service. That’s how it’s done. 
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    • By Dorman Products
      Putting all the best upgrades on a Chrysler Pentastar 3.6L V6!
    • By NAPA
      When it comes to working in the shop, personal safety should always be the top priority. Safety glasses, gloves, hearing protection, even work boots are all meant to keep your body protected. It should come as no surprise that with new hybrid and electric drivetrains, there are also new safety gear requirements. Insulated tools are just the start of a well-stocked shop. There’s more to electrical safety than just owning a set of
      link hidden, please login to view.  This expert advice is meant to give an overview of the kinds of general
      link hidden, please login to view (PPE) needed to service hybrid and electric vehicles. It is important to follow proper repair procedures for these vehicles, as described in the vehicle specific repair manual. This includes using all required PPE listed in the repair procedure with no exceptions. If you do not have ALL of the necessary PPE, DO NOT proceed with a repair, as doing so could lead to severe injury or even death. Now that you have an idea of the serious nature of vehicle high-voltage electrical systems, let’s take a look at how you can protect yourself.  Personal Protection
      Wearing the right personal protection gear is a must when working with electric and hybrid vehicle high-voltage systems. The electrical energy stored in a typical main traction battery pack is more than enough to kill or seriously injure a person. 
      In the past, wearing gloves while working on a car was usually a personal preference. Today, when working on high-voltage electrical systems, wearing gloves is mandatory. And not just one pair of gloves, but two pairs (inner and outer) are to be worn together. Just in case you are wondering, welding gloves are NOT the same as high-voltage
      link hidden, please login to view.  Class 0 gloves are required for protection up to 1,000 volts AC and 1,500 volts DC. One pair of rubber gloves (inner) protects against electric shock, while the leather gloves (outer) protect the rubber gloves from mechanical wear. They must be worn together in order to perform correctly. Electrical gloves
      link hidden, please login to view every six months to ensure they are still capable of insulating the user from the rated voltage. Gloves will be labeled with the test date near the cuff.  The exact personal protection gear needed for a repair will be spelled out in the vehicle service repair manual procedures. This may include an insulated apron,
      link hidden, please login to view, insulated arm sleeves, link hidden, please login to view, arc flash face shield with neck protection, and insulated mats or blankets. These layers of protection are necessary not just for avoiding shocks, but also potential explosions like an arc flash. Tool Safety
      It may seem odd to consider hand tools as part of personal protection equipment, but that is exactly the case when working with electricity. Most ordinary hand tools are made from metal, which does an excellent job conducting electricity. For servicing high-voltage electrical systems tools need to be designed in such a way that they don’t provide a path for electricity to travel to the technician, or to other vehicle components. That’s why EV tools are specially designed to protect the technician when used properly. 
      An EV tool set is a must-have for any technician looking to service an electric vehicle. A good start for insulated hand tools is an insulated screwdriver set, an
      link hidden, please login to view and an link hidden, please login to view. Electric vehicle tools used for diagnostics need to handle higher voltages, like this link hidden, please login to view. For repairs where the battery pack must be removed, special care must be taken due the extreme weight involved. A link hidden, please login to view is the proper way to lower and transport a hybrid or electric vehicle battery pack. You wouldn’t pull an engine out of a car without the proper lifting equipment, so give the same respect to a heavy traction battery pack. Work Space Safety
      Normally, when a car is being worked on in a service bay, there is little danger to fellow technicians. But that isn’t the case with a modern electric or hybrid vehicle. Whenever the high-voltage electrical system on one of these vehicles is exposed, proper notification must be given to those working in the area. Place
      link hidden, please login to view and link hidden, please login to view around the vehicle whenever the high voltage electrical system is being serviced. This warns other technicians that there is an electrical shock hazard in the shop, and to keep their distance. You may also place an electrical warning sign on the vehicle to signal to everyone in the shop to stay away. Part of your workspace safety gear must be an
      link hidden, please login to view. If a technician suffers an electrical accident while working on a vehicle, anyone attempting to help them is also in danger of electric shock. An insulated safety hook must be used to separate the victim from the electrical source. The last tip for work space safety is to never work on an electric or hybrid vehicle alone. Always let another technician or coworker know you are working on a high-voltage electrical system, and to check in on you periodically.  Training Is The Key To Safety
      Working on hybrid and electric vehicle high voltage systems requires meticulous procedures and extensive training. While there are plenty of dangers when working on internal combustion vehicles, many of the safety procedures surrounding those vehicles have been known for decades. As EV and hybrid drivetrain become more mainstream, so will their service safety procedures. 
      Tackling hybrid and electric vehicle high-voltage system repairs isn’t impossible, but there must be dedication to proper training. If you are a technician (or are wanting to become a technician), and are looking for electric vehicle service training,
      link hidden, please login to view can help. NAPA Auto Tech offers a wide variety of convenient, cost-effective ways to become an automotive professional. In addition to eLearning and instructor-led training, NAPA Auto Tech offers hands-on and seminar-style classes for almost every make and model to help technicians keep their skills up to date. Photos courtesy of Brian Medford.
      The post
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    • Fast Free Shipping on All Orders Over $50
    • By Dorman Products
      Auto service inspection checklist?

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