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Article > Editor’s Note

Make Sure Every Aftermarket Automotive Part is Special


9/3/2009
By Mark Phillips

A part that might not be exciting to you could be the one puts someone back on the road. Or makes their commute more comfortable. Or allows them to take that trip this weekend they were originally going to cancel because their car was on the fritz.
 
Mark Phillips
Right after graduating from college, I went to work at a small, local daily newspaper.

It’s the kind of place where young journalists learn the ropes and watch other, much more experienced colleagues ply their trade. My job was to follow the police and firefighters around to shootings, fires and car crashes and write what I saw for the day’s edition. It was an adrenaline-filled job and every day was more exciting than the one before.

I sat next to the political reporter who had been at his game for many years. Instead of steady diet of exciting, unpredictable natural disasters, crime and mayhem, his job was to sit for hours in countless city and county legislative meetings and hearings and then translate the importance for readers.

Despite the seemingly boring nature of his work, he was nevertheless enthusiastic about every story he wrote. A story about a new sewer line project? Woo-hoo! An annexation by the city? It must be Christmas! To him, each story he wrote was just as important and interesting as the last.

I admit that on many occasions, I sat there in wonder at how he could be excited about something that I considered to be so boring. And it wasn’t that he was just excited about his stories, he was excited about everyone’s stories. It wasn’t until years later that I realized he had it right all along: Just as each and every story is important and interesting to some people in its own way, so too are auto parts.

A part that might not be exciting to you could be the one puts someone back on the road. Or makes their commute more comfortable. Or allows them to take that trip this weekend they were originally going to cancel because their car was on the fritz.

There’s a good reason to get excited about a set of wiper blades, for example, even though the ticket for that sale is less than a muffler. If a customer senses you’re that excited about a wiper sale, they’re going to wonder how excited you’re going to be about a higher-priced item. That enthusiasm sends out good vibes that are impossible to miss. And those good vibes will leave a favorable impression on a customer that they remember the next time they’re looking for parts.
  Previous Comments
avatar   dan   star   11/24/2009   4:13 PM

very well said ! i hope my competition is not reading this .



avatar   Cayson J   star   11/19/2009   1:20 PM

Another good suggestion is to treat every customer like your regulars. If you think about it, most counter people treat their regular customers like friends, greeting them at the door with a FRIENDLY hello. If you use the same attitude and hello with a new customer, they will become your new regular.



avatar   Obi Wan Kanobi   star   10/21/2009   3:25 PM

He is more machine now than man, twisted and evil. That's no moon, that's a space station!



avatar   Bonnie   star   10/19/2009   4:33 PM

"That enthusiasm sends out good vibes that are impossible to miss. And those good vibes will leave a favorable impression on a customer that they remember the next time they’re looking for parts." @MarkPhillips - Great message. It's true, often times we can tell when those good vibes are there, more so when we sell something small like a taillight bulb or a thermostat gasket. Customers are even more impressed when it's something small AND hard-to-find (like a 4mm screw ... or an E4 torx socket) We've seen customers leave the store whistling a happy tune after finding that seemingly impossible- to-find item. On occasions like these, I think it's especially important to embrace that attitude of excitement. Like Jody said, the customer can tell when we're interested in taking care of their needs. I agree that it's a good idea to do the best we can and put the golden rule to work. I've always liked the phrase, "Attitudes are contagious ... is yours worth catching?" :-)



avatar   Jerry   star   10/8/2009   9:24 PM

Only The SHADOW knows.



avatar   Krusty the Clown   star   10/6/2009   9:21 PM

LOL



avatar   John Talbott   star   9/24/2009   10:57 AM

I think it all boils down to one simple thing that no one really thinks about anymore, good customer service. No matter if you are a parts pro with 20 years of experience or a driver filling in behind the counter, if you treat all your customers with respect and take an interest in their particular problem, they will remember that. They might not say anything, but more than likely they will return to your store because of your good customer skills.



avatar   Ed   star   9/10/2009   5:21 PM

Jody, I've run into that over the years. Sometimes having to pry to get a 'hello' or 'thank you' out of their mouths. Usually this only occurs within my first interaction with this customer, as I will make a mental note of their vehicle and what they are buying/buying for. So next time they walk in, I can ask them a direct question relating to them. This breaks the mold in the customer's mind that we are just like cashiers at Wal-Mart, who don't care about your day and just want to get their line empty as quick as possible. Then, they become your best friend.



avatar   Eric Riley   star   9/8/2009   11:49 AM

Even worse... that kind of mindset is more contagious than the swine flu!!!



avatar   Jody   star   9/8/2009   9:56 AM

I'll agree, customers can tell when you're interested in taking care of their needs. It's an important part of our jobs, to do whatever it takes to help the customer. I will, however be the first to admit that customers have changed over the years. They've become more demanding, and expect more of the people that try to wait on them. I'm not certain if it's lack of professionalism on our part(parts pro)or if people have lost respect for each other. It wasn't so long ago that most of my customers were like friends...today it's more wham bam thank you mamn...I guess it's more reason for each of us to strive to be better, and put the golden rule to work....do you think thats really possible?



avatar   Steve Abrams   star   9/4/2009   10:00 AM

Be careful with this kind of attitude you just may make your own life more exciting and enjoyable.

















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