Free Auto Repair Management Tips Blog

Professional Obligation

In the excerpt above from our Front Counter Workshop series, Brian discusses the concept of professional obligation in the automotive industry. We owe it to our coworkers and clients to be both honest and consistent. The members of your community, as well as your profession, talk. Word of rudeness, dishonesty, and overall unprofessionalism travels quickly.

YNR Members on the call talk about the similarities between auto repair shop staff and medical doctors. It is up to us to not only correctly diagnose a vehicle’s problems, but to also remain up front about them with their owners. Think of how you would feel as a customer if a service advisor withheld information about problems with your car because he or she was afraid of charging you more. Imagine if these problems caused your car to break down, and cost you even more later. You probably would not visit that shop again. You may even leave the shop a poor review online afterward. What if that review included the service advisor’s name? Surely, that would cause harm to the shop’s reputation, as well as the front counter staff.

Our professional obligation as Auto Repair Shop owners and staff

If you and your auto repair staff don't perform your professional obligation to customers, it could be costly.You owe it to your team to model both honesty and integrity. As Warren Buffett famously said, “It takes twenty years to build a reputation, and five minutes to ruin it.” If your staff sees you practicing what you preach, then they will get buy in from you.

When mechanic technicians, general managers, and service writers work together to perform their professional obligations, customers respond. They will reward your honesty and consistency with the one thing every automotive shop needs: return business and referrals!

Learn more about professionalism in your own auto repair shop!

Could your front counter staff use a deep dive on the concept of professional obligation? Learn the systems that run a successful automotive repair business, as well as how to teach them to your people. You Net Results offers LIVE online webinar groups every week. They are also archived on our site for you to view at your convenience. Sign up for a free strategy session!


30-60-90 Principle

30-60-90 Principle

In this clip from the May 20th Front Counter Workshop webinar, Brian discusses a few scenarios that service writers might encounter. When your customers bring their vehicles in for recommended checkups at 30/60/90k, advisors must print out a checklist. During this scheduled maintenance, it is important that front counter personnel and technicians are thorough. Making the right recommendations when sharing the printout should always be part of this car service system.

Car service system - returning key to customer30/60/90 Car Service System Discussion

The YNR members on the call then propose specific services to recommend. What if the customer objects after that? Perhaps your customers who have read their manuals will reject recommendations when your service writers make them. “The manual does not recommend checking that part at this mileage, so I will opt out.”

Brian guides us how to respond when such instances occur. These are core tenets in systems that both build customers’ confidence and maximize your profits.

Put the most effective systems to work in your auto repair shop!

Do you and your front counter team need hands on, real time training? If your profit margins are not what you wish they were, then the answer is always yes! Learn the systems that run a successful automotive repair business, as well as how to teach them to your people. We offer LIVE online webinar groups every week. They are also archived on our site for you to view at your convenience. Sign up for a free strategy session today!

General Manager Clip - Coaching Groups Build Confident Leaders

General Manager Clip - Coaching Groups Build Confident Leaders

Check out this clip from our members-only live General Manager Process webinar, originally aired May 12, 2020. Firstly, Brian sparks a roundtable discussion. Veteran shop owners then reveal what it means to be a confident auto repair shop leader. Each member agrees that when you regularly participate in an auto repair coaching group, it is key to building confidence.

Auto repair coaching groups will build your confidence, and your staff will be confident in you, too!

Both automotive owners and general managers chime in to stress modeling systems to their employees. Thus, automotive staff respond best to confident, consistent leaders.

Afterward, the group reads bullet points in the You Net Results brand script, which outlines our mission as a company. It also ties into this clip’s theme of repair shop owners and managers training together and supporting each other.

Finally, Brian discusses the concept of silent thieves. When you don’t put the right processes in place, chaos sneaks in and then money sneaks out. If you don’t activate the right systems and processes, then you will be powerless to prevent these thieves from robbing you blind!

Auto repair coaching group for general managers

Are you a directionless general manager? Silent thieves might be bleeding your business dry, but there is still hope for you! Learn how to master finances, daily operations, phone skills, service advisor training, as well as intangibles only experienced pros know. Sign up for one of our coaching groups today!

Here is a clip from our Management Process Workshop, which is available exclusively for YNR members! Our group is discussing how to use the hireMAX Job Pre-Planning form for the purpose of hiring new recruits. Norm Bobay’s well crafted document is an essential tool for recruiting the team your auto repair shop is looking for.

Brian begins by reviewing the information YNR members have access to in our library. Specifically, he takes us to Gary Gunn’s interview with Norm from our members only People Process section. Alongside the video interview are a series of document links. Brian reviews the Planning Form, then quizzes members on their search for a new Service Writer.

He points out some of the sections in the form that could help members on the call. Our members on the call also give great examples of “hard” and “soft” skills which are necessary for certain jobs. So many important skills go into being effective team members in the automotive industry. A lot of them may not come to mind until you start filling out the form. When filling out the form, do not overlook factors like basic communication skills, simple math, and computer knowhow. Even if you are hiring a mechanic or technician, these are crucial.

Plan your hiring process so you can build the right team!

Don’t go into your hiring process blind! Sit down and take the time to consider all the factors you should in order to screen in the right hire. Perhaps more importantly, you will need to know how you can screen out the wrong ones! Preparing a few minutes before you advertise the position will help you avoid headaches later on.

Sign up for one of our membership circle programs to access the form, as well as new Zoom meetings with fellow auto repair shop owners each week!

In this clip from our People Process Workshop, the group discusses the PAHR auto repair staffing process. Learn how to find and retain the right staff for your automotive shop.

As we join the video in progress, Brian reviews a few incentives many shop owners use to entice potential employees. These include signing bonuses and flexible hours, as well as purchasing them new work boots for them annually. We may be seeking the best candidate for the job, but if we are to successfully hire them, we must sweeten the deal for them.

Call participant Nikki reviews her shop’s hiring process, from advertising the position, to interviewing, to training new hires. Every detail of each step is crucial. Our friend Joe Evans adds the important caveat that we must have a written system (SOP) for our shop’s hiring process. Anyone in the shop should be able to conduct the steps if necessary.

Retaining Staff – Creating a Positive Work Culture

Jim Ryckman then speaks on the “R” in “PAHR” – retain. Every facet of your relationship with your new hire, starting with the onboarding step, is crucial to keeping them.

Joe Sevart follows up afterward, explaining the culture in his shop. Every team member is part of a family. Before the second interview, he requires potential hires to review and approve his written culture guide. If they can’t commit to it fully, then they are not a good fit for his family. There is no room for a toxic personality in his garage, so Joe makes sure this requirement is met before the hire. Each employee contributes to the culture guide, and also makes decisions about benefits, equipment purchases, and more. This way, everyone feels like an important family member, and has a figurative stake in the business.

Finally, Joe explains that if he hires a technician, he does not allow them to even turn a wrench for a full week. While they are onboarding that first week, it is important to learn all they can about the business. Once they are immersed in the business culture, they are then ready to concentrate on their work.

Closing thoughts on Auto Repair Staffing

Andy Arndt then points out that it is much cheaper to retain an existing employee than to hire a new one. The auto repair staffing process is both time consuming and expensive. Invest a small amount of time listening to and mentoring each employee regularly. That way, you may save yourself a lot of headaches in the future. Who knows – you may have lost a valuable employee in the past over an issue you could have instead resolved in house.

Nevertheless, if you respect you have made a bad hire, Brian suggests looking at three factors: don’t know, can’t do (aren’t able), and don’t care. As an owner or manager, you can possibly remedy the don’t know and can’t do with additional training. If your team member can’t shake the don’t care attitude, though, they have to go.

Auto Repair Staffing Process – Prepare, Attract, Hire, Retain!

Interested in learning more about auto repair staffing? You can when you join our weekly online training meetings by becoming a YNR member! If you’re not ready to commit just yet, you can sign up for a FREE class here! 

Here’s a clip from a recent members only Front Counter training Zoom webinar. Brian and the group write a phone script for letting customers know that our auto repair shops are open and safe, despite the current COVID-19 pandemic.

Firstly, our group opens up with some role playing. The owners and managers on the call pretend to make calls in order to reconnect with their past customers. They emphasize that auto repair shops are essential businesses, and also list a few steps that they are taking to ensure everyone’s health and safety.

Next, it is important to list some of the perks your shop offers. These may be special procedures because of the coronavirus pandemic, or they may be regular features. Regardless, it is a great idea to remind your clients about them. These benefits could possibly include special oil change offers, or even your courtesy shuttle. Why not offer free pickup and delivery for their peace of mind? However, it is important to stay as brief as you can with your phone script. This way, you won’t take up too much of your clients’ time before asking them to come in for a tune up.

Phone Script Training session for Automotive Service Writers

While the end purpose if these calls is to drive sales, you may be surprised at the conversations that will spring up. Even though a deeper trust from your customers will lead to opportunities to upsell, letting them know you’re concerned about their health and safety is priceless. Your phone script must let them know you are open and you’re there for them.

If you would like to see the full session and download the script, sign up to become a member. Not ready to commit? Then click here to join one of our Tuesday webinars for FREE!


On March 10, 2020, we held our very first You Net Results Zoom Webinar Meeting, discussing the Leadership Process with shop owners. We reviewed a variety of topics, which laid the groundwork for our auto repair leadership methods. Please enjoy the three short clips from the meeting below.

Sign up for one of our Membership Circle programs to hear the meeting in its entirety, plus hours and hours of additional content, updated every week!

Segment 1: Leadership YouTools Review


Segment 2: Leader Level Test


Segment 3: YouTools Expanded


Sign up for valuable meetings every week, covering leadership, management, financial, front counter, and loads more!

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