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Large MPVs -- Ford Galaxy / VW Sharan / SEAT Alhambra: => Ford Galaxy / VW Sharan / SEAT Alhambra => Topic started by: SirDavidAlhambra on June 13, 2021, 11:35:11 AM

Title: Advice for garage
Post by: SirDavidAlhambra on June 13, 2021, 11:35:11 AM
Hello everyone, there is a garage I use where the mechanics are very good but they’re not so good with customers. They do however seem very responsive to feedback and over the years have made many improvements following customer suggestions that have made the garage run better.

Now then. They have recently taken on a new apprentice following customer suggestions (young people are after all our future and we have to do everything we can to support them) and he is doing very well. He is a car enthusiast and is very good with the electrical aspects of automobile maintenance in particular. For instance, in his own vehicle he has an extremely powerful car hifi and I was very impressed at how he had set it all up (proper use of cross-overs, large capacitor bank to handle extended bass notes and so on).

There is however one small issue. He is an enthusiast of rap music and while some of it is beautifully melodic, sometimes the lyrics can be a little coarse. I’ve suggested that they could play the rap music in the garage (the mechanics there like that music and find it motivational) but they must play something a little more easy going in the reception, perhaps BBC Radio 2 which seems to cater broadly for all tastes. They have said they don’t see why there should be any difference as it would mean putting a new hifi in the reception, but I’ve said it’s important to consider customer tastes and that many customers are not as masculine as them or even people who are a little intimidated by the garage environment and so it is important to make them feel as welcomed and safe as possible (it is best for business!). Garages can be quite scary for a lot of people because the mechanics often look so tough and also because they are often only there because they have a problem with their car and they are worried they might have to pay out lots of money. So very important to build trust by being honest and also doing everything they can to make it a safe, inclusive and welcoming environment.

They are going to start playing radio 2 in the reception soon (I’m dam well going to make sure of it!!!) and have recently made other changes too such as:
- having a friendly welcoming receptionist who is calm and reassuring
- offering free tea and coffee
- putting in some children’s toys
- taking down the posters of ladies (clean but not right in this day and age) which you could see from the waiting room
- having some general interest magazines, such as about gardening and politics instead of just old car magazines
- keeping the reception spotless!! And I mean absolutely immaculately clean!! This is very important
- having a water cooler and some attractive broad leaf plants
- having some lollipops on reception for the kids

Can any of you think of any more ideas to help them out please? They are very good mechanics and are lovely people but can appear quite unwelcoming at times which is not the impression I know they want to be giving. I know it’s not my business but these are mostly young honest lads (except for the real old timer who must be about 70 by now and is scarier than the lot of them) and people like this really are our future, they seem so clueless in many ways but there’s one thing they’re very very good at and that’s fixing cars. They are also honest too even though they all look like thugs

Should they ask the mechanics to wear branded uniforms or maybe a polo shirt with the company logo on it

Also what is the situation with asking staff to shave and have a tidy appearance except if for medical or other reasons

Basically they want to be as welcoming as possible so that they attract a broad customer base

Thank you
Title: Re: Advice for garage
Post by: pillboxhunter on June 13, 2021, 05:17:38 PM
Never going there if they have radio 2 on. Try something a bit more modern like Radio 6.
Title: Re: Advice for garage
Post by: SirDavidAlhambra on June 14, 2021, 12:36:07 PM
Very good point, I had made an assumption that Radio 2 is likely to be a generically acceptable station to most tastes... I've not heard of Radio 6 but will look into that, thank you

 8-)
Title: Re: Advice for garage
Post by: regw on June 14, 2021, 01:23:02 PM
Radio 3 or I flounce out in a huff
Title: Re: Advice for garage
Post by: SirDavidAlhambra on June 14, 2021, 01:28:12 PM
Will look into that too, I think Radio 3 is classical music?

Who here likes Radios 4 and/or 5?

 8-)
Title: Re: Advice for garage
Post by: regw on June 14, 2021, 03:18:28 PM
radio 3 or Kurupt FM, either will do
Title: Re: Advice for garage
Post by: SirDavidAlhambra on June 14, 2021, 06:43:41 PM
Kurupt FM looks good, it sounds not unlike the Timothy Westwood show I sometimes used to listen to on Radio 1 and I’m sure the lads in the garage would like it but not sure if it’s suitable for mums, families etc who might prefer something more easy going

Very difficult to find something that suits all tastes
Title: Re: Advice for garage
Post by: mike wilson on June 16, 2021, 08:02:24 PM
No noise at all for me. 8 -)

You seem to have hit everything else on the head.  Maybe a general business management course for whoever is in charge, to cover loose ends?