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Training Today's Customers

New Hampshire shop focuses on training in the bays and in the parking lots.
Monday, November 29, 2010 - 01:00

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Training comes first at Precision Imports in Manchester, N.H. But unlike some shops, owner Dick Horan makes sure not only are his employees properly trained, but customers are as well.

Each year, the European, Asian and domestic auto repair facility hosts two Porsche tech sessions to educate customers about various Porsche issues. Horan says it started as a way to get to know the people in the Porsche Club, but has become an annual event.

“We do it every year and people look forward to it. It’s basically an education session,” he says. Trainers vary between industry recognized experts to himself.

Horan adds that by educating customers, no matter what type of vehicle they drive, they are better prepared to authorize repairs and recognize their importance to their vehicles. And before they can train and teach the customers, the technicians themselves must be taught through various training classes.

“I think today’s customers require certification. I think they actually look for it. In all of our ads and displays in the lounge, we always proudly display their certifications,” Horan says. “The funny thing is we have a complete wall that’s dedicated to plaques for certification. And we probably have stacks of them in one of the cabinets that we don’t have room to put them up on the wall.”

The shop has five Master Technicians with L1 designation, two of whom also are Bosch master techs. Bosch Training School and ASE testing are offered to employees at no cost to them, as is service advisor training.

“I want them to know that we are committed and the better they understand things, the easier it is for them to repair automobiles,” Horan says. “I started the company with this mentality. A former employer of mine was chairman of NIASE, which is the forerunner of ASE, and I was really impressed with how he did things. He always paid for training. I just continued that.”

Using Training
Employees are kept up-to-date in the shop with monthly meetings, and by utilizing computer terminals in each bay. These terminals all have access to Alldata, Shop Key, iATN, Bosch ESI, Porsche Technicians group and the Internet.

“They use is constantly,” Horan says of the techs, adding that they also come to him with ideas for streamlining the process. The same is true of making sure top of the line equipment, and factory-based diagnostic tools for MBMW, Volkswagen, Jaguar, Porsche, Audi, Mercedes, MINI, Mazda, Land Rover and Ford.

Horan helps transfer this training and these ideas beyond his shop to local students at the Technical College of Manchester and the Manchester School of Technology, a local high school. He is active on boards for both schools, and is a graduate of the technical school.

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