the ability to understand and share the feelings of another.
Having empathy is bad and good.
Having empathy comes in handy when you are explaining a job to a customer and selling a service. You’re able to sell a job more effectively because you put your self in their shoes. You anticipate questions and concerns they’ll have and are able to answer them with no hesitation.
Empathy can be a great marketing and sales tool.
But empathy can have its limitations and shouldn’t be your business credo.
People will ask for a discount and if you’re empathetic, you will want to help them out.
I feel bad for customers that don’t have money to do their repairs.
I check out peoples cars and they’ll need a long list of safety items like grinding brakes, cracked belts and split and bulging hoses. It’s difficult not to help them out. But I know if I do, it will bite me in the ass.
What do they say? No good deed goes unpunished.
It’s very true.
Discounts can cost you a lot of money and bite you in the ass.
Every time, I give people discounts, I always end up having to put up money on parts or labor because the part is wrong and the correct part cost more money. I can’t call the customer after I give them their original quote and discount and say, “hey, I know I gave you a discount on a part you already couldn’t afford but the right one’s actually more than what I quoted you.”
I have to eat the cost and it hurts me and my business.
So how do you use empathy with out it hurting you or your customer?
Use empathy when you are selling a job.
Know how people feel about you.
Mechanics have a bad reputation for being shady. Customers think you are out to get them. Know their dilemmas and fears about getting ripped off and ask your self, “what would make me trust someone who I thought was ripping me off?”
For me, someone that goes out of their way to explain something makes me trust them. I ask questions and if they answer them in a way that makes sense, I tend to trust them more. People that are hiding something will dodge your questions and try to change the subject.
Build trust by always being 100% honest about everything with your customer. Explain everything about the repairs you need to do on their cars and why.
How do you stop empathy from hurting you?
What’s your hourly rate? Is it fair for your location? Do you want to do a heavy line work for free? If you are giving fair prices and your work is good, you shouldn’t feel bad charging your fair prices to customers.
Customers appreciate you charging fair prices for your excellent work. Customer want to pay you if you did a good job.
Stop using empathy when you are giving job quotes.
Stand by what you think you’re worth. Be fair with your pricing and let the customer decide if you are worth the price.
We all have a huge heart. We want to help people. But we are running a business that needs to survive by making a profit to pay our employees and feed our families.
The best way to help people is by giving them the absolute best value for the cost and go above and beyond on the customer service. If you can do the job right, at a fair price with a smile on your face, you will not have any problems sleeping at night.
Until next time.
Always have your customers best interest in mind. Everything else will fall into place.
The book that triggered this post was “Against Empathy: The Case for Rational Compassion” by Paul Bloom