By Mary DellaValle
Finding and keeping good technicians tops the “main concerns” list of most automotive service providers today. Not only are technicians responsible for servicing and repairing a growing import car population, but they play a crucial role in a shop’s overall customer service experience, so they are your most valued resources.
Think about your technicians’ credentials. Their expertise allows them to deliver quality repairs that are done right the first time. Their commitment to training elevates their skills and helps build your shop’s image. Their customer service skills and professional repair ethics solidify your customers’ trust and confidence in your shop.
Keeping good, skilled technicians requires energy, effort and dedication. Consider the following factors in your retention efforts:
Ownership. Make your technicians feel like they’re an integral part of your business. Let them know you value their opinion and inspire them to offer suggestions and make recommendations. Encourage them to share best practices with one another as a means to increase their efficiency and expertise. Tell them that their contributions are a vital part of your shop’s success.
Investment. Realize that your technicians represent a significant investment in time and money, considering the costs associated with finding good people and training them. As with any asset, you want a significant return on investment. The longer an employee stays with your shop, the higher your return.
Training. Support and encourage your technicians’ training efforts. Help them make a commitment to regular training to hone their skills, and increase their ability to handle more repairs with greater precision and efficiency. Take steps to applaud their knowledge and expertise by promoting their certifications and posting their certificates in your shop’s customer waiting area.
Incentives. Consider boosting the number of benefits you offer. In a recent survey of ImportCar readers, we asked employers which benefits they offered from a list of nine common benefits. Of the respondents, 87% offer work clothes; 83%, paid vacation; 77%, allow working on own cars after closing; 71%, paid training; 71%, hospitalization/health coverage; 45%, paid sick time; 31%, bonus plan; 21%, dental coverage; 21%, pension plan; 18%, life insurance; 16%, tool allowance; and 8%, profit sharing.
Your technicians are the fabric of your shop’s success. Realize that holding on to them represents the cornerstone of its future.