Counting Technicians

Sometimes, you encounter a statement that is so powerful, it applies not only to the field of concern the author was addressing but to the assertions apply equally to most aspects of our lives. The quote is simple and profound.

“Not everything that counts can be counted, and not everything that can be counted counts.” –William Bruce Cameron (1963)
Realizing this issue of NOLN is the Technician of the Year issue, I was taken with how applicable Cameron’s words were when applied to career automotive technicians and how their peers become their judges. In our business, car counts and growth often measure success when the local community embraces and drives the business of those fortunate enough to meet or exceed their customers’ expectations.

Now, what qualities make a technician stand out so much that their peers would nominate him or her for an honor bestowed only on those who personify the ideal service technician? It becomes obvious they have several things in common. They are knowledgeable, personable to a fault and a major reason the business is successful, profitable and growing. They are involved with their community, their family, their fellow employees and give 100 percent to anything they do.

Every technician has their “voice,” and the very best technicians perfect their ability to deliver service and value better than their competition (like original equipment manufacturer [OEM] service centers and independent garages). Service, from the standpoint of asking the right questions about how the vehicle is used to determine duty rating, knowing the proper OEM service schedule and procedure for a specific vehicle, awareness of required lubricants and cost-effective service solutions based on customer needs and concerns. This award by NOLN recognizes what their peers see every day in these people; however, this award reads further between the lines from a customer’s perspective. In addition to the service standpoints, the award also means providing a warm welcoming environment (with a clean, cozy waiting area) and the comfort of a courteous and knowledgeable professional willing to add value and peace of mind to the mundane task of servicing a customer’s ride (nice to know someone cares). These things are hard to put a number on, yet add up to a successful service business that will continue to grow as customers return for an experience that, in the end, offers the best value in town.

The connection between a customer and a service technician is something that is hard to quantify and convey when we award an honor like Technician of the Year. Most of us determine the worth of the service experience based on the cost of the individual parts versus the quality of the service experience. The ultimate value can only be determined later, after thousands of miles of smooth motoring behind us, when we realize it’s time for service again. It is then that the intangibles will guide your customers back to your business, and they become comfortable thinking of your shop as a place their vehicle can call home.

To all the nominees and those unmentioned, the value of your dedication and commitment can never be accurately measured, but to your customers, it is what adds up the most.