Benefits of Education Investment
By Rachael J. Mercer
What are the long- and short-term benefits of education? How do you market the wonderful training and education your technicians offer to your customers?
According to Toni Slaton, Automotive Management Institute (AMI) executive director, "Training is an investment with many short- and long-term benefits including increased employee loyalty, reduced call backs, increased productivity, higher customer retention, a strengthened reputation and increased profitability."
Some shop owners view training with hesitancy because of fear of losing their employees once they have received expensive training. The reasoning behind this fear is that once an employer pays for training and education, an employee will leave the business with his new-found certifications for a higher-paying position elsewhere. Many education experts discredit this theory.
"The only thing worse than having your best technician be properly trained and leave is having your best technician never receive any further education and stay," said Tony Molla, ASE vice president of communications. Bill Haas, vice president of education and training at ASA, echoed this sentiment and added, "It's not just about training," he said. "It's about making an investment in the technician. They will recognize your investment in them."
Haas stressed that along with the education, a clean working environment, good compensation, correct service information and quality tools and equipment complete the package. "Why would an employee leave your business for a fifty-cent an hour raise?" he said. "It won't be because of their new training but because someone has offered a better environment than what you've provided."
Market Your Education & Training
Michael Anderson, AAM, owner of Wagonwork Collision Center and Wagonwork Consulting in Alexandria, Va., pointed out ways for businesses to market the education and training your employees have received. "We built an evidence manual," he said. He explained that as he began training employees they would hang certificates received from training on the walls. But as the amount of training increased and time passed, the walls became full and very gaudy. Anderson said that they began scanning the certificates received and compiling them electronically. Now, when an estimate is presented to a potential customer, the training received by the technician who will perform the repair is included.
"This method of marketing our technician's expertise accomplishes three things," said Anderson. "We develop trust with the customer, we display our empathy toward their situation and we provide them with information on the direction their repair will take. The evidence manual we keep in our waiting area chronicles our training, and the information included in our customer's estimate is one of the best ways we can think of in marketing the investment we've made into the training and education of our employees."
"The point of training is not to make life more difficult through costs and scheduling," said George Witt, AAM, trainer and chairman of AMI's board of trustees. "The mission is to make the life of a repair shop owner easier-to allow an owner to take a vacation without worrying, to allow the owner to return from vacation without having to deal with a crisis. Educating your managers and employees makes this possible."
To see complete coverage of AUTOINC.'s Training and Education emphasis, please click here to read, "Training, Education Can Give Your Shop the Professional Edge."
AutoInc. Web Site |
ASA Web Site |
U.S. EPA Auto Body Refinishing Regulation |
Training, Education Can Give Your Shop the Professional Edge |
Managing Supplements |
Benefits of Education Investment |
'What Would You Do?' |
Training Your Manager in Waiting |
Guest Editorial |
Tech to Tech |
Tech Tips |
News Briefs |
Taking the Hill |
Around ASA |
Shop Profile |
Net Worth |
Stat Corner |