Bill Nalu is President of Interstate Auto Care in Madison Heights, Michigan and has been in business for 30 years. He collaborates with industry professionals, in building today’s “high-tech/old-fashioned” customer service system. Bill has been a big contributor to the podcast and he currently serves on several industries and educational advisory councils including AutoValue/Bumper to Bumper, Dorman Industries, and Cardone. Listen to Bill’s previous episodes HERE.
Frank Leutz from Desert Car Care in Chandler, AZ. Frank has a weekly radio ‘call in show’ called ‘Wrench Nation’. . Frank also does a video feature called ‘Inside the Garage’ where he discusses vehicle failures and cures. Listen to Frank’s previous episodes HERE.
Brian Glowski is from South Street Auto Care, Rochester, MI
Key Talking Points:
- Bill and Frank are immigrants
- Bill has a graphic on his wall with the word ‘Welcome’ in over 25 languages
- You’ve got to know how to do business with our diverse clientele and specific cultures
- Your customers may have a language gap and the fear of the unknown on the repair of their vehicle
- There are certain taboos you need to know.
- Left hand from middle east people is taboo
- Japanese use two hands
- Easy to develop relationships is you understand their way to communicate
- Show patience and understanding with your customer
- Why we are different
- Why we have value to you even though more than what you want to invest in your vehicle
- Patience with the language barrier
- Most are tight-knit communities
- You need to know how your customers want to be communicated with
- If you are hugger, you need to know how cultures will except that
- Match your customer’s tone and style of communication. Minimize friction. Get to know them
- Why so much?
- If you answer with a question rather than an answer, it is a totally different dynamic.
- If you ask, “Do you know what a battery cost?” It starts the dialogue
- Let me tell you why this costs this much
- Create a relaxed encounter
- You train on your shortcomings. What can we learn from a walkout
- We pay technicians a livable wage is a strong answer the ‘Why So Much’ question
- This is what we charge
- Consider options on parts for your customers, but never negotiate your price only on options
- Options are key, negotiations are not
- Everybody loves the cheap guy
- Different Cultures:
- Germans love a very direct approach when dealing with business -no fluff here.
- Italians enjoy getting to know you first with a personal approach before any business dealings
- Australians are very picky about time –deliver on time every time
- Chinese may not accept your gift right away –could take 3 attempts before they are comfortable
- Japanese frown upon giving or receiving with one hand –both hands out is key
- Arabs consider the left hand unsanitary –any usage of such is taboo
- Russians may consider smiling as weakness & insecurity
- Israelis do not conduct business on Fridays
- India -caution on pointing fingers & respectfully expect deep negotiation
- You need an inviting heart and universal policies and for every customer, you’ll do well
- Kindness is a universal language
- A special thanks to Bill Nalu, Frank Leutz, and Brian Glowski for their contribution to the aftermarket.
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