Garage Mechanic

Dear Doc

I have recently taken over a garage in SE Queensland from the previous management and have the latest equipment to ensure that I am able to give a good service to car owners. I have always wanted my own business as I felt that I could give a superior quality of service and not over charge owners.
From the figures I have sent you, it can be seen that I have been in business now for nine months. However, even now I find that customers are reluctant to give me their vehicles, even though they can see that I am doing a good, no great, job on their vehicle.

When people bring their car in for a service, I check and let them know what is needed to make the vehicle perfectly roadworthy at a reasonable price. My competitors do a simple service at a higher cost and then try to add all the extras at a high charge. Why don’t the owners see what is happening? Must I compromise my ethics to stay in business?


“Only the client will pay our costs and provide our profits. So we have to conduct all business planning from the client’s point of view.” Ian Carlzon (Former CEO of Swedish airline SAS)

This advice is relevant for all service providers, whether a garage mechanic, fitness club, wellness centre, physiotherapist, a pool shop or computer service.

When potential clients bring their car in for service, that is what they want and what they should be offered.
To be a successful service provider, it is important to build a trusting relationship with clients and have them perceive that you care about them as well as their car. Whilst competitors may know how to trick one off customers, your aim should be to build a rapport with all clients who come to you and have those clients return on a regular basis. You are not a doctor healing a sick patient, but a long term carer looking after both the owner and their car.

Once they have received the initial service, you can explain to the owner other things that are required, in a way that they see you are thinking about the long term care of their car and show understanding of the costs involved.

I suggest that you look after your clients and they will not only bring you a regular income but will find other clients for you.

Remember, whether the ‘product’ is a car, pool, computer or human body, it still remains a fact that it is easier to retain long term clients than to find new ones