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Women In Auto Care – February 2020

Women In Auto Care

This year’s theme is Performance Driven.

I found my tribe. Women who are building leadership skills that help them grow both personally and professionally. There is a vibe at this event I enjoy. Women from all areas of the auto care industry in one room who are making a difference in the industry. Getting different perspectives of the industry broadens my view. Women sharing what is working and lessons learned helps me as a leader, coach, and business owner.

This supportive group has mentoring available. The value of speaking with someone who has been there and navigated through challenges is valuable.

Each year I look forward to our leadership conference to connect with industry peers and make new friends. Traveling affords me the opportunity to get away from the day to day and experience another part of the country. The takeaways are priceless and I’m always grateful when I come home. Check out Women In Auto Care for more information.

Comment below. If you have questions contact me here.

Business Coach, Consultant or Trainer? How to choose.

There is more to building, operating and growing a business than most new business owners realize. When a “doer” becomes a business owner, many find themselves in unfamiliar territory. Their skillsets and experience lie in the doing or production. In most cases they were known as the best in their area before they became an owner. Soon after becoming an owner they feel the weight of responsibility for the entire business. (5 Pillars of Business)

The role of an owner is not easy, but it is simple.

  • Assess – skillsets and values  
  • Create a vision & goal
  • Develop a plan with accountability
  • Implement – activities aligned with your current goal

Keeping in mind that over time you will develop your skillsets, broaden your vision and reassess your plan, becoming flexible and adaptable.

REALITY

The challenge most owners face is attempting to go it alone, resulting in years of spinning your wheels wondering how others are doing it. When you think of a professional or Olympic athlete, you know they’ve had help along the way. Guiding them in different areas to hone their skills to achieve desired results. Professional is the key word here. When you want to go pro as a business owner, getting guidance is the next step.

How do you decide what kind of help you need and when?

You made decisions when choosing your, accountant, attorney or financial adviser. There is a cost to all these services, but the cost is minimal compared to the amount of money you could lose without their help.

You need to do the same when reaching out for help to improve the quality of our thinking.  A skill which leads to making better decisions. Most people seek out a coach when they are not happy with their results or when they want to grow. Their motivation could be negative or positive. It can be daunting with so many calling themselves a ‘coach’ today.

YOUR NEEDS

A coach is someone who partners with you, getting the information needed from you and unpacking it. You to gain insights to see the bigger picture. The focus is on the you the client and giving you context.  Explain your vision or goal, and the coach keeps you accountable while you are doing the work. There is a lot of self-awareness that happens with coaching. Example: A coach will help you to get clarity on the bigger picture to gain control of your business and life. The client has a new sense of confidence which leads to the implementation needed.

A consultant has an area of expertise. They assess your situation, identify the problems, and give you the plan or prescription for results. Example: A marketing or sales consultant will assess your marketing or sales process, identify problems and give you the prescription for better results.

A trainer will teach or train you on a certain subject or topic. They have the content and teach that content. The focus is on the trainer, their skills, expertise and knowledge. You will be better equipped to perform a task or work in a specific area. Example: training on sales or social media platforms.

WHAT WORKS

What I’ve found over the years is that all business owners need training or consulting at times to either take something off your plate by delegating/outsourcing it, or to become more knowledgeable in a specific area to grow your business. It’s easy to identify the need for a consultant or trainer when you need help in one specific area.

What I believe is that every business owner needs a coach no matter what (stage of business) you’re in and here’s why.

Coaching – helps you develop yourself and by working on you, your business can become profitable, sustainable and enjoyable. Image what your life would be like having a healthy business.

It takes more than hard work and grit to build, operate and grow an automotive business.  When you go pro you realize that time is your most valuable resource and spending years stuck or spinning your wheels affects more than your business. It affects your happiness and personal life as well.

Stepping out of your comfort zone is where the opportunities are. You can’t see them or realize them without challenging yourself. It’s what the pros do. When you’re ready to run your business professionally, and tap into the leader within, it’s time to seek out a coach.  Here is a link to an assessment. Find out if you’re ready for a coach.

Rewards of Customer Service

Point of View

Do you know what the #1 complaint is from people looking for a service from a trade business? When I speak to potential customers, people in local networking groups (people who are searching for trade business services), they all have the same complaint. I can see their body change when they tell me. “They don’t call me back!” Many customers will contact a trade business numerous times to find out if they can help them.  What are the next steps or when can I get an appointment? They need to plan their day(s). Their expectation is that they are important and that your team cares.

Now when you read that, if your first thought is: These customers don’t understand I’m busy working, I have other jobs I’m working on or customers don’t understand the time a job takes. STOP! This is not about you or your business. It’s about your customers and providing them with value that others are not. You see your business from your view, but customers see it from theirs.

Have you ever had a bad customer service experience yourself? Of course, you have, and you’ve probably told that story more times than you can count. When you have a bad customer service experience it boils down to one thing. They didn’t care about you. You were just a number.

You don’t want your customers to feel that way. When day-to-day activities get in your way and you start reacting to the pressure, customer service can go bad.

  • Not setting clear expectations (Vague statements, not setting realistic times for each step of the job process or when and how you will contact your customer.)
  • Tone when speaking (When you’re rushed or you just finished a stressful call, the next person you speak to senses it.)
  • Technical jargon – (Using it to impress a customer with your knowledge, years of experience or forgetting to make the process clear and simple to understand.)

The rewards of great customer service can impact a trade business by making it a healthy business.

  • Profitable (Clearly selling the value you offer.)
  • Sustainable (A steady flow of returning or referral customers.)
  • Enjoyable (A pleasure because of the quality of the team and customers.)

Your customer service is making an impact on your business. It can show up in reviews, repeat business and referrals. Is it the impact you want? Is your business receiving the rewards of customer service?

BRAND

Your customer service team member sets the tone for communication through face-to-face, email, text and by phone. Are they representing your company in a professional manner? Has your customer service team member been properly trained? Do they have the resources needed?

FUN

Your company personality should be clear to the customer service team member. Allowing them to be creative to best serve customers. They are a wealth of knowledge when it comes to customer challenges and frequently asked questions. Ask your team member what thoughts they have on improving the customer experience.

SALES

An appointment to meet is a sale. Meaning a metric to measure.  Even converting a failed to authorize job because you took the time to find out what their biggest challenge was, and you then solve it. Listening to potential customer concerns prepares your team member to best serve customers by understanding their needs. When people know you care about them, you start to earn their trust.

Take a look at the Brand, Fun and Sales areas in your business for the customer service role and see how they are working for your business.

I’m sharing my Customer Care Checklist with you. Learn the skills needed to reap the rewards of customer service.