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    • By Counterman
      IMR Inc., a full-service automotive market research firm, has released its latest insight, an update from its 2021 insight on the importance of private-label and national-branded parts at independent repair shops.
      As of August 2022, more parts purchasers at independent repair shops reported knowing what brand was in the private-label box (20.8%) compared to 2021 (19.6%), with purchasers at smaller shops (one to three bays) more likely to know what was in the private-label box (22.6%) compared to larger shops with eight or more bays, where purchasers were less likely to know what was in the private-label box (16.4%).

      This year’s survey results showed that 40.8% of shops said that their first-call supplier carried mostly private-label parts with only a few national-branded parts options, which is a decrease from 2021 survey results, at 42.6%. Of that 40.8%, 19.1% said that they go to another supplier to purchase nationally branded parts, 10.3% said that they always or frequently do and 66.7% said that they occasionally do.  

      When shops were asked about the likelihood of switching their first-call supplier if it changed to offer majority private-label brands with limited national brands, only 6% of shops said that they definitely or very likely would switch, compared to 2021 survey results, where 15.2% of shops said that they definitely or very likely would make the switch. However, of the 59.2% of shops that said their first-call supplier doesn’t have heavy private-label branded categories, the number of those who would definitely/very likely switch rises to 8.8%, and another 13.5% say they would be likely to make a switch. 

      Overall, more than half of shops surveyed reported in 2022 that they occasionally go to another supplier for nationally branded parts at 66.7%, while 17.9% rarely go to another supplier. 10.3% reported going to another supplier frequently and 0% reported always going to a different supplier for nationally branded parts. 

      For more information on IMR Inc., visit 
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    • By Counterman
      ShowMetheParts has announced a new integration with Shopify, which the company says brings together the cataloging of ShowMeTheParts with the power and flexibility of Shopify online stores.
      “We’ve created a simplified front-end product fitment finder powered by ShowMeTheParts data,” the company stated in an online announcement. 
      Unlike other third-party platforms such as Amazon or eBay, a business’s Shopify store will give them complete control over the customer experience. Users will no longer be selling right next to their competition, and instead will have the full attention of their customers in their own custom branded store.
      Ready to review the Shopify solution? Find out more 
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    • DIY like a pro! Shop from over 1,000,000 Repair Manuals at eManualOnline.com! As low as $14.99 per manual. Shop now.


      DIY like a pro! Shop from over 1,000,000 Repair Manuals at eManualOnline.com! As low as $14.99 per manual. Shop now.


      DIY like a pro! Shop from over 1,000,000 Repair Manuals at eManualOnline.com! As low as $14.99 per manual. Shop now.

    • By Counterman
      Lately, if you read the news or follow social media, it might seem as though the entire world is just itching for a fight. The most popular of these articles and videos highlight people behaving badly in all sorts of situations. From the war in Ukraine to our own country’s social and political divisions, right down to daily interactions between customers and staff, there is a distinctly “uncivil war” being waged all around us every day.
      People are fed up with a lot of things right now, and these same folks will be walking through your front door sooner than later. Dealing with angry customers is never fun or easy, but you can get through these encounters by de-escalating the situation and focusing on the common goal of getting the customer what they really need.
      When conversation becomes conflict, the first thing we need to remember is to stay calm. Even when the customer comes at you with a bad attitude, your own needs to remain in check. Some people thrive on conflict, bullying others to get their way, or even to feel superiority over others. “Ken” and “Karen,” full of themselves and emboldened by the media coverage of people mistreating workers, actually want you to get down in the mud with them. Someone (but most likely not Mark Twain) once said, “Never argue with a fool. You won’t change his mind, and bystanders can’t tell which of you is the fool.”
      Instead of getting drawn into a shouting match (and giving them control of the situation), redirect the conversation back toward getting to the root cause of their complaint. Let them tell their story (they do love to hear themselves talk), but keep them on track. Don’t interrupt them, and be an active listener. If their complaints stray from the actual issue, asking relevant questions can help focus them back on the problem you’re trying to solve with them. It also shows that you’re interested in them and their concerns.
      Don’t play the “blame game.” As you work through the issue at hand, it will probably become clear where the misunderstanding or fault lies. Being accusatory toward the customer will only widen the gap you’re trying to close, and blaming a store policy (or another employee) only creates mistrust in your company and staff. If the problem is a result of your mistake, admit your error, and work toward correcting the issue to the satisfaction of the customer and your company.
      If the situation is the result of the customer’s error, be compassionate in your efforts to explain what you suspect went wrong with the previous situation. Nobody likes to be made to feel stupid, so avoid negative “YOU” statements. “YOU gave me the wrong information” or “YOU installed the part incorrectly” may be completely accurate statements, but they don’t need to be phrased this way. Sometimes, (politely) repeating the situation in the customer’s own words will be enough to make their error clear to them, while establishing that you are both in agreement.
      Finally, make every reasonable effort to fix the issue. If they simply wanted to vent or complain, they’ve done so, and you’ve made the best of the situation, calmly and quietly so as not to cause a scene. If they need to return or exchange eligible merchandise, process these transactions politely and efficiently. If they still require additional advice, parts or services, do your best to address these needs. If you have the knowledge and authority to resolve the problem, DO IT!
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