Shop leaders should work to motivate technicians on educational value, and instill a more positive outlook. They can do that by explaining why training is good for the health and stability of the business. Use phrases such as “Please attend this training and bring back as many things as possible to share with your colleagues.” Even if a course is known to be basic, challenge technicians to find one thing to bring back and discuss. This promotes a sense of excitement that there will be value, and motivates them to retain information.
Leading by example may be what it takes to set the tone and show the importance of consistent, steady training. You may just need to attend trainings to convey that message.
Once information is learned, it has to be applied in the real world before it’s lost and forgotten. You need to have a process that allows technicians to quickly apply new skills.
Develop an environment that isn’t afraid to discuss things a technician learned from a training effort. Many technicians feel that admitting they learned something will expose that they did not know the information to begin with. Work to dispel that mindset and challenge your technicians to come back and talk about it.
For example, say a technician just completed a class on ultra-high-strength steel. Find an example of that on a job already in your shop. Have your technicians huddle around it, discuss the course material, and identify how the learned information can be used for that situation.
Take it even further by creating a positive type of group learning, in which technicians learn information from one another. Training in that fashion ensures that technicians share accurate and up-to-date material in an organized environment.
Sometimes, shop owners during the interview, misunderstand the potential technician’s capabilities or the technician lies about what they really know. This happens across any industry but soon flushes itself out with time. Assuming that a technician has all skills needed to achieve accurate and efficient repairs on a vehicle can get you in trouble.
Shop owners should seriously consider testing their technicians before hiring them. It has been found with other shops doing just this, that only 46% of its applicants can actually pass the test. That’s pretty scary but very proactive of the shop to eliminate technicians that will end up costing them more in costly, uneducated mistakes.
It’s extremely difficult to find young, well-trained technicians. One shop spends roughly $14,000 annually for technician training initiatives. Quarterly, 10 to 12 hours are scheduled and booked for classes for each technician, and posts on an Excel spreadsheet are used in the shop that outlines each of the technicians training requirements for the year. Every technician takes at least five to seven classes annually.
As a shop owner, you have to ask yourself how you see providing training for your technicians. Do you find it to be a burden? Or do you see training as a way of solving problems proactively?
Using phrases like “You have to go to training, it’s not an option!” or “Just get through it, you won’t have to do it again for another month.” These don’t promote positivity and set you up for failure right from the start. If you are doing these trainings just to get on with an outside manufacturer or insurance program, then I can tell you already, you’ve failed yourself, your shop and above all, your technician.
Lack of proper knowledge and education is a problem that has plagued the industry for years. Now, with the complexity of new cars, it has become downright dangerous for both the technicians and car owners. It’s not only the technicians fault though if they were improperly trained. There are several key things that can derail the value of training and some of that lays squarely on the shoulders of some industry professionals that have a negative attitude about training. Shops need to cultivate an environment that supports and even offers additional training for technicians. A simple offering of pizza and training during the lunch hour or just after work can increase production. Now instead of flying with blind folds, you have technicians that have at the very least, heard of these new changes in the industry.
Training is the very least that should be offered to technicians and it should be conducted in a motivated way so that the technicians are more willing and able to retain the information. If you go into a training feeling like this whole thing is stupid, so will your technicians think. You want to encourage changed behaviors and training initiatives.
Creating structure within your shop or within yourself if you are a PDR technician is your first goal. Sign up for industry news through onsite spots like FenderBender and more. There are many to choose from and any new education is better than none. Say you spend Sundays, if in business for yourself, searching all industry news. Not just collision but also the automotive industry overall. How else will you learn about electrical systems that could affect your overall finished product? Maybe you won’t have such an unrelated situation as the previous story, but you may find that you accidentally disconnect wires while performing your duties in dent repair. If you don’t understand the intricacies of that particular car, you’ll be sorry.
<img class="size-medium wp-image-2633 aligncenter" src="http://www.paintlessdentrepair how can i lose weight quickly.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/07/pdr-training-classroom-300×202.jpg” alt=”pdr training classroom” width=”300″ height=”202″ srcset=”http://paintlessdentrepair.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/07/pdr-training-classroom-300×202.jpg 300w, http://paintlessdentrepair.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/07/pdr-training-classroom-1030×695.jpg 1030w, http://paintlessdentrepair.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/07/pdr-training-classroom-1500×1013.jpg 1500w, http://paintlessdentrepair.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/07/pdr-training-classroom-450×304.jpg 450w, http://paintlessdentrepair.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/07/pdr-training-classroom.jpg 1526w” sizes=”(max-width: 300px) 100vw, 300px” />
Here’s a story that I think every shop owner, PDR technician and shop technicians can appreciate. If this hasn’t happened to you, be warned, it very well could.
A shop owner shared this alarming story and it will hopefully serve as a wakeup call for all technicians. This is why, we here at Paintless Dent Academy Training Institute, work exhaustively to give you the latest news, even if it doesn’t apply directly to fixing a dent. Your continued quest for knowledge is paramount in your success. Here’s why:
The repair technicians at this particular shop, repaired a very high-end vehicle. This vehicle was equipped with electronic safety systems and lane departure warnings that the technicians were not aware of. After completing the repairs, the technicians took it for a test drive and noticed an unfamiliar vibration in the steering system. Many hours were spent trying to figure out what they messed up before the customer came back to claim their vehicle. They ended up taking a trip to the dealership seeking their help in the matter.
As it turned out, there was no problem to be found, the vehicle’s steering wheel was designed to vibrate to alert drivers of unintentional lane departure. These technicians and the shop owner chased down a nonexistent problem because not one of them knew about the technology.
So take a moment to reflect on this story, these technicians had inadequate knowledge of its systems and therefore wasted time and money resulting in a loss towards the shops bottom line. These type of mistakes will happen over and over again with so many new and interconnected safety components on modern vehicles. These changes are happening to both the electronic and structural developments and serious mistakes can be made due to inadequate levels of knowledge and training.
From a low-cost ‘Grass-Roots’ effort to a major campaign, a marketing program tailored for your specific business and its budget will yield the most effective results for you and your company and allow you to enjoy the quickest return on the investment.
Your commitment to business growth will dictate your success. No matter what form of marketing that works for you, you must remain diligent and committed. Just as a final note, your success with such marketing as social media will depend greatly on your ability to reach out to local potential customers. While you do not have a brick and mortar shop, you are in fact the brick and mortar. Your ability to turn a customer from needing to come to you to a customer who understands that you will come to them is going to tricky but not impossible. You are certainly not the first mobile business out there so there are those that have gone before you. Research, research, research.
Social Media sites such as Facebook have local to you visibility for your potential customers. You will simply have to figure out which social media sites will be the most useful to you. Your objective is to connect and make yourself as visible as possible. But then you also have to be sure that you make yourself available to these connections. The quickest way to destroy your business is to ignore potential customers attempting to reach out to you. These people will make it their mission to make everyone aware of your lack of customer service response times. People feel burned and that’s just a fact. Get ahead of this and respond, even if means you give them an estimate as to when you will be able to get in touch with them later that day, not tomorrow.
Where the Fail Is In Marketing Efforts
There’s an old saying that we are all familiar with, “The squeaky wheel gets the immediate attention” or “Whoever screams the loudest gets priority attention.” Yet again, this is a big fail. This strategy leaves you guilty of neglecting other potential customers. Let me put it this way, most businesses are more likely to give top billing to phone calls that come in than they are to responding to online quote requests. These are both sales leads and should both get equal time. If you do not respond to your online inquiries in a timely manner, these potential customers will move onto someone who is more attentive to their needs. We live in a drive-thru society and people want immediate service. Tomorrow is too late, you must be responsive today.
If you are using a paid search or pay-per-click (PPC) service for your advertising, then you are already positioning yourself for search engine success. It’s a way to boost SEO and it’s a way to put yourself in front of potential new customers already searching for your services. In order for this service to be successful, it will be critical that you response time be immediate. You can’t put it off for hours or God forbid, days.
The first thing you should do when using these services is to set up a calendar of when your PPC campaigns will take place. This allows you the time to get organized so that you can glean the greatest results. Next, you or someone you have asked to help, must be monitoring the ongoing results. They or you need to be prepared to take down the information and get right back to your prospects. The more effort you put into these campaigns, the greater your results will be.
Regardless of whether your potential customer was referred to you or not, that customer is going to research your business online. This is who we are as a society, no website, no business. Websites instill trust to customers. Your website, your reviews and your overall web presence has to back up the referral they have received. There are no if, and’s or buts about this simple truth.
Your first step is to have a professional website that is comprehensive and branded. It needs to have the right calls-to-action in place, meaning the correct contact information, online estimates or appointment-scheduling capabilities. It also needs to have the correct keywords and tags to improve search engine optimization (SEO) and it absolutely cannot have any grammar or spelling errors. Your attention to detail will make every bit of difference in your success or failure.
You will also want to be sure that your website is mobile ready so that a customer can easily read your information right from the accident site. Most important is that your site has reviews. Customers rely heavily on the thoughts of your past customers. If they say you are sub-par then your hope of gaining quick, on the fly business is shot. You need to be able to provide proof and value to your services and again, they need to be able to find this information easily from all devices.
Thumbs Up or Thumbs Down
When looking to acquire new customers, you need to know what works in your business and what doesn’t. You need to be hyper-aware of your customer’s responses to your services and which marketing tactics have proven themselves to be the most effective. Based on collision repair shops and PDR technician’s customer responses, the following is what has worked and what hasn’t:
Referrals, in person marketing with insurance agents and online reviews.
Social Media, Email, Billboards and TV.
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