We have covered in previous articles on our blog the wavering trust the community has within the Automotive industry. Many articles have been written by others and myself attempting to identify where this lack of trust has arisen. It’s easy to blame previous generations for this and point the finger at others but sooner or later we need to stand up and be counted.
What are we, the current generation(s) doing to repair this issue? Placing blame on others gives us all the pumped up chest syndrome. We love to point out that our forefathers ruined everything, or that the Millennials are a bunch of lazy kids who are happy to reuse sump plug washers and power neon lights directly off the battery.
The fact remains that as accurate as some of these accusations may be, by placing blame we are not dealing with the issue. What can be done to undo the trust issue within the automotive industry?
Granted there are many factors contributing to the publics perception of the automotive industry. Stock photos don’t help, nor does anything Tracy Grimshaw has to say. Shows like Sunrise and A Current Affair also paint the industry with the black mark of filth.
Whilst generally not behaving like an Aussie bogan, being nice to people, having a high level of charisma and generally not being a total arse all go in the right direction. It is my firm belief that one single behaviour is directly fuelling the publics perception of the automotive industry.
The act in question is the act of bad mouthing the competition. This industry loves to rip shreds off those who do the same thing we do. As if its some primitive instinct within us to make ourselves look big and the competition look like they are ungifted, unskilled, under qualified, under equipped and generally have really small penises. This bad mouthing does not take into account that we are all trying to do the best we can in circumstances that our critics don’t know. Nor does it take into account the fact that we, like all others on the face of the earth, are human and as a result make mistakes.
None of us stop to consider that human error is one of the reasons we have jobs. People make mistakes, they run into each other, they put petrol in diesel engines, they skip timing belt intervals, they change their own oil and add thirty five litres of oil to their sump and they leave rego inspections until the day it runs out. Human error is a part of life and we all fall victim to it. It is hardly fair that we then criticise the same fault in others.
It is very unlikely that any technician is intentionally trying to do an average job, taking short cuts or ripping clients off. In most cases we should be giving benefit of the doubt and implying that whatever has happened at the previous mechanics was not intentional. We all have off days, yet the automotive industry is very unforgiving towards those who make mistakes.
Imagine an industry where all workshops adopted this attitude. The consumers perception of the industry as a whole would be a whole lot different. If the team of people our clients trusted all backed one another (yes we may miss out on a few hundred dollars in sales here an there) we would all make a heap more sales as the average consumer would not be entering our office distrusting us to start with.
We are all guilty of it at one point or another, myself included. I find it ironic that the greatest damage being done to the industry is being done by those within it.