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A while back I wrote a series of posts on the dealer experience. This series will go more in depth on both sides of what to expect from your dealer and what we would like to expect from you, in order to make your purchase and service the best we can provide.
So.. I will start by providing a lil info on myself and my dealer group.
I am 59 yrs young. Been turning wrenches for pay of some sort since I was 14. I am a 3rd generation wrench turner. Even during my 20 yrs wrenching on Army helicopters, I always did side work. Trucks, cars, AMF pinsetting machines for bowling alleys, ultralight aircraft up to Boeing 737s. I went to Emery Riddle University with a hope of going into crash investigation. Well.. That didnt happen. So after Army retirement I went to work at a contruction equipment rental company with my old Army crew buddy and here I am. No regrets.
My dealer group has over 40 locations in the Carolinas, Va and SC. The location where I work at was a very successful Mom and Pop store. Our current store mgr is the prior owner and has been for several years. Avg employee time is hard to figure.. But we have over 75% with 15 yrs or more. At least 6 with over 25yrs at this location. I am at 12 yrs with 2 Deere dealer groups.
So.. Thats that. Next post I think I will touch on the subject of dealer buy outs of the small guys by the big guys. What it means to you and how it effects the employees.
If you all are game to listening, I'm game to posting.. If not.. I'll let it ride.


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Ñh

I’ll tag along and listen to ya!
 

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Keep going. :bigthumb::bigthumb:

and

Thanks
 

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I'm very interested to hear what you have to say. Your dealer in North Wilkesboro is fairly close to my land where my tractor lives, and you guys will probably be who I use for all my service that I don't try to take care of myself. I'd love to hear your take on all sorts of things dealer-related.

In addition, I'd just be interested in learning more about how the dealers work. I said when I first bought my tractor that tractor buying is unlike anything I have ever experienced. If I custom order a car, I'd expect to have to wait. But having to wait months and months as I have heard some people do for their tractor to arrive, I just don't get that. Why does it sometimes take so long to get a tractor. If you have any insights into that, at some point I'd love to hear them. :)
 

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I'm very interested to hear what you have to say. Your dealer in North Wilkesboro is fairly close to my land where my tractor lives, and you guys will probably be who I use for all my service that I don't try to take care of myself. I'd love to hear your take on all sorts of things dealer-related.

In addition, I'd just be interested in learning more about how the dealers work. I said when I first bought my tractor that tractor buying is unlike anything I have ever experienced. If I custom order a car, I'd expect to have to wait. But having to wait months and months as I have heard some people do for their tractor to arrive, I just don't get that. Why does it sometimes take so long to get a tractor. If you have any insights into that, at some point I'd love to hear them. :)

Business is so good they cannot keep up with the demand.:good2:

When I bought my 1025R, they had them in stock, but with R4 tires and I wanted R3 tires. 3 weeks later, I had my tractor with R3 tires as they just ordered it in like that, rather than switch tires on an existing unit.

Dave
 

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:good2:i'm game to--so story on:laugh::munch:
 

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Looking forward to seeing your insights.
Seems your posts always are on point and interesting :munch:
 

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Thanks for suggesting this topic. I've written and posted a few disparaging remarks about my one and only experience with JD Equipment, though I have had several good interactions at the parts counter. Knowing from the dealer's perspective how customers and their attitudes could improve the overall relationship would help the forum greatly.

Post away!!!

Brian[

QUOTE=xcopterdoc;3124632]A while back I wrote a series of posts on the dealer experience. This series will go more in depth on both sides of what to expect from your dealer and what we would like to expect from you, in order to make your purchase and service the best we can provide.
So.. I will start by providing a lil info on myself and my dealer group.
I am 59 yrs young. Been turning wrenches for pay of some sort since I was 14. I am a 3rd generation wrench turner. Even during my 20 yrs wrenching on Army helicopters, I always did side work. Trucks, cars, AMF pinsetting machines for bowling alleys, ultralight aircraft up to Boeing 737s. I went to Emery Riddle University with a hope of going into crash investigation. Well.. That didnt happen. So after Army retirement I went to work at a contruction equipment rental company with my old Army crew buddy and here I am. No regrets.
My dealer group has over 40 locations in the Carolinas, Va and SC. The location where I work at was a very successful Mom and Pop store. Our current store mgr is the prior owner and has been for several years. Avg employee time is hard to figure.. But we have over 75% with 15 yrs or more. At least 6 with over 25yrs at this location. I am at 12 yrs with 2 Deere dealer groups.
So.. Thats that. Next post I think I will touch on the subject of dealer buy outs of the small guys by the big guys. What it means to you and how it effects the employees.
If you all are game to listening, I'm game to posting.. If not.. I'll let it ride.


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Discussion Starter #12
Ok. Sorry about the delay! Somehow life gets in the way.
My first post was going to be about dealer buy outs but I am still gathering info on that. So I will go into what to expect from your service dept and what the service dept expects from you. Especially the technician.
First lets explore the non warranty problem. Your 5 yr old X, GT, GX whatever needs some attention. May be just a service, may not run ect. Make sure you tell the service advisior, the person writing you up, EXACTLY what you want, need. If you're bringing it in for just an annual service make sure what that includes. Make sure of the price. Most dealers menu price a service. $1xx.00 includes xxx. Make sure yur ok with that. Point out anything else. Hey.. My right front tire leaks down. May not be cutting right. The list goes on. Make sure you give the writer a good phone number! A cell or land line you don't answer is no help. Take your keys out. We don't need or want them. Make it very clear that no repairs are to be made without a quote and your authorization. Period. This is the most important part. Never drop it off and say just fix it. At my shop, we don't care if you do say that.. We are going to look it over and you will get a call with a quote. No surprises. We diag, we quote, you approve, we fix, you pay. Simple.
What do you expect from the dealer? First. Communication. We should let you know what's going on. We should let you know when your unit will be ready. If we had to order parts, we should tell you that and when we will have them in hand. When the repair is complete we should call you promptly to let you know. Also we should let you know the final cost. If it's not very close to what we quoted...ask why. When picking up your unit go over the bill. Make sure you got what you payed for. Look over your unit. Check for damage. Start it, run it ect. Check it to make sure we took care of the issues you noted. Make sure it's clean. We wash every unit that comes thru the shop. Exceptions being sub freezing temps where the wash rack is inop or broken but you will at least get a hosing off. If after you get it home and on the first use you notice the same issue, call right away. Don't come in 6 months and 50hrs later and say "well it aint been right since I got it back ".
The bottom line is.. Explain and even point out, to the best of your ability, what your machines issue is. Make sure the service writer understands. Be available. Give us a good way to contact you. Expect us to quote the repair before we repair it. Expect the repair cost to be very close to the quote. Expect us to make the right call, fix it right, at cost, the first time. Expect us to stand behind our work that was performed. On that note.. If we repair a fuel leak and a week later your belt breaks.. Well.. You get the idea.
Mistakes happen. No one is perfect. It is how the dealer responds to the mistakes that makes the difference.
At my dealer if a tech has a come back, we pay. It's $20 an hour labor on the repair that comes out of my pay. I don't do come backs!
Reasonable expectations.

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Something I was thinking about the other day- How do the techs and dealers themselves split up your payment? Not trying to pry about you personally, but in general, how is it done?
 

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I typically do my own work, with the exception of warranty service. When I do find it necessary to bring an item in for service, I ask myself how I'd like to receive it:

1. If it is winter, which is snow and ice, I bring it in near the close of business the day before. In this manner, it will be inside overnight, melted off, done dripping, and the metal is at room temperature. Nobody likes to or should have to work on a sloppy, dripping, Popsicle. Don't assume the service writer will run it in when you drop it off. They are just one notch in the evolutionary scale above a salesman (which is pretty much a bottom feeder in my opinion). I get down right insistent about it and shame them into it.

2. It is clean. Washed on the outside, engine compartment reasonably clean, interior clean and vacuumed out. All personal items are removed from the interior. Flat rate never includes loading and unloading your junk or being your mother.

3. Remove any unnecessary attachments. When I had the air cleaner updated on my 1025R, it was just the bare tractor. No 3-point arms, no mower deck, no FEL.

4. A box of donuts for the techician's break room sure establishes goodwill.

5. Provide as much detail as possible as to the symptoms. If involved, type them up and present it to the service writer. Detailed symptoms can and will reduce diagnostic time which saves the technician time.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Something I was thinking about the other day- How do the techs and dealers themselves split up your payment? Not trying to pry about you personally, but in general, how is it done?
It varies wildly by dealer group. At my dealer group we get hourly pay with time 1/2 after 40. Payed every 2 weeks. Then we get an incentive bonus once a month. The incentive bonus is based on many factors all entered onto an Excel spreadsheet using Chinese algerbra and fractions. At my previous dealer group we were also hourly pay plus bonus. Bonus was payed quarterly and based on a percentage of your hours worked vs hours billed. All boils down to efficiency.
That's why it is important for us to quote a job. We quote 2.5 labor plus parts. Customer says Ok and we go to work. We try to be efficient and come in under that 2.5 hrs. Deere has a labor guide we use quote repairs. It's just that..a guide. We also have internal job codes. Based on our experience we build job code labor times. In spite of popular belief, we do try to be fair with the labor times. And yes they do get adjusted on a regular basis.
Come backs that are actual come backs are billed out on a job code for that. For every hour or part of an hour spent repairing my screw up costs me $20 per hour out of my incentive bonus. Repeated screw ups or even one large one, will no doubt find us looking at want ads. It's just not tolerated.

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Discussion Starter #16
I typically do my own work, with the exception of warranty service. When I do find it necessary to bring an item in for service, I ask myself how I'd like to receive it:

1. If it is winter, which is snow and ice, I bring it in near the close of business the day before. In this manner, it will be inside overnight, melted off, done dripping, and the metal is at room temperature. Nobody likes to or should have to work on a sloppy, dripping, Popsicle. Don't assume the service writer will run it in when you drop it off. They are just one notch in the evolutionary scale above a salesman (which is pretty much a bottom feeder in my opinion). I get down right insistent about it and shame them into it.

2. It is clean. Washed on the outside, engine compartment reasonably clean, interior clean and vacuumed out. All personal items are removed from the interior. Flat rate never includes loading and unloading your junk or being your mother.

3. Remove any unnecessary attachments. When I had the air cleaner updated on my 1025R, it was just the bare tractor. No 3-point arms, no mower deck, no FEL.

4. A box of donuts for the techician's break room sure establishes goodwill.

5. Provide as much detail as possible as to the symptoms. If involved, type them up and present it to the service writer. Detailed symptoms can and will reduce diagnostic time which saves the technician time.
Thank you sir! We appreciate it. Especially like the service writer analogy! Lol. Oh.. As far as donuts go.. Custard or jelly filled please. JK.
Had a commercial guy yrs ago that would blow in without warning for a repair. Simple stuff, spindles, maybe a deck belt ect. He would drop it off and go get Wendys frosties or slurpys for the the shop. We would turn and burn, get em back going. Then he would slide the tech a 10 or 20 depending on the job. We dont ever expect perks. And we half heartily turn em down but...if the customer insists, what the heck. Lol.
Martin, you posted some great comments. Hopefully others will take note. Again, thanks for the insight.

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Discussion Starter #17
Next. .. How the dealership upsets customers and how the dealerships wins customers.
Now.. First off a disclaimer. And anyone who works with the public knows.. You can't please some people.. Just ain't gonna happen. Well that is outta the way!
First.. And my pet peave.. Don't greet the customer! Parts primates and some service writers are way guilty of this. If yur up to your knickers in crap.. At least nod, wave, something. Mouth " be right with ya Mike". Something. Most reasonable folks understand. Just to let me stand there like a jack wagon while you text yur crap on FB or yur on a non emergency personal call.. BS.
Lie to the customer. Don't do what you said you were gonna do in the time you promised. Always a good way to give a customer a bad feeling. If you quote a customer $xxx and it will be done by 12 noon on Tuesday.. It better be done or if something holds you up on the repair, you better call way before that with a reason not an excuse. Again.. Most customers are reasonable folks.. Stuff happens. Communication is key.
Next.. Give it the old "could not duplicate customer concern". This one REALLY gets under my skin! Cuz if ya do this as a tech.. It's just gonna come back and bite ya! There are of course exceptions. Like the new owner didn't know that the brake pedal needed to be pushed down for it to start..ect. As a tech, I need to duplicate your concern so I can fix it. Our service writer needs to extract as much info as they can from you. If we don't and you don't volunteer the info, then WE failed.
Hold us to the dollar amount that you were quoted. Hey.. You said 125 bucks. I aint paying 150. Why the extra 25 bucks?. We better have a reason.
When yur checking out and paying your bill.. Give us some feedback. Hopefully constructive feedback. Let us know if yur happy, pizzed off. Why and how you think we can do better. We really dont want to be the "Stealership".

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I typically do my own work, with the exception of warranty service. When I do find it necessary to bring an item in for service, I ask myself how I'd like to receive it:

1. If it is winter, which is snow and ice, I bring it in near the close of business the day before. In this manner, it will be inside overnight, melted off, done dripping, and the metal is at room temperature. Nobody likes to or should have to work on a sloppy, dripping, Popsicle. Don't assume the service writer will run it in when you drop it off. They are just one notch in the evolutionary scale above a salesman (which is pretty much a bottom feeder in my opinion). I get down right insistent about it and shame them into it.

2. It is clean. Washed on the outside, engine compartment reasonably clean, interior clean and vacuumed out. All personal items are removed from the interior. Flat rate never includes loading and unloading your junk or being your mother.

3. Remove any unnecessary attachments. When I had the air cleaner updated on my 1025R, it was just the bare tractor. No 3-point arms, no mower deck, no FEL.

4. A box of donuts for the techician's break room sure establishes goodwill.

5. Provide as much detail as possible as to the symptoms. If involved, type them up and present it to the service writer. Detailed symptoms can and will reduce diagnostic time which saves the technician time.
It all boils down to treat others as you would like to be treated. Common courtesy goes a long way, both ways.

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Now.. How do we as a dealership win you as a customer and retain you. It's way easier to retain a customer than to gain a new one.
We need to quote your repair/service. No surprises. We need to be honest on when it will be ready. No blowing you off with empty time lines. If it's busy time and there is a 2 week wait or more, we need to tell you. Not a " well when we get to it we will call ya". Your unit should be clean and washed. Not detailed but washed and clean. You won't believe the customers who say wow when they get their unit back and it's cleaner than when they left it. Makes a huge difference especially after a hefty repair bill.
After lets say after service. The service writer tells ya " ok Mr Smith.. Thank you and we have you in our system. I will be giving you a call next yr to schedule your next service anything you need give us a call ". Nice huh? Makes a world of difference. Had a service writer at my other location and she started out rough. I was about ready to feed her to the sharks. But one thing she did kept us going all year. If we serviced your unit on June 14, she would enter that in her calender as a reminder to call you on June 13 to ask you if you wanted your annual service again. So the computer beeps.. Name comes up with phone number and notes.. She calls.. Bam! We just booked a service. Customer has a warm fuzzy that they and will be taken care of.
It's easy. Just plain common sense.
Next will be.. How to be lost as a customer and we really don't care..buy a Kubota. Lol

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It all boils down to treat others as you would like to be treated. Common courtesy goes a long way, both ways.

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Some how common courtesy and sense unfortunately went out the window along time ago. I appreciate you customers that know sheet happens. It boils down to how we as a dealership react to that event that really matters. Do we strive to make it right no matter what? Or do we blow you off with fake promises and missed deadlines? I think you know the answer.

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