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By Jon Ellsworth

I’m constantly amazed at perceptions and how differently the world is viewed from one person’s eyes to another.

Two people seeing and hearing the same event often times explain it very differently when asked to recount it even a short time later. I’m sure you’ve all experienced talking with someone after a seminar or meeting you both attended and you are left wondering, “Did I attend the same meeting?” Or, “Wait, I don’t remember that, where did you get that from?”

Some of this difference could be chalked up to being distracted or differences in peoples’ knowledge and history.

My experience has been that a lot of this is caused by feelings. The old adage, “People don’t remember what you said, they remember how you made them feel.”

The fact is if I enter the meeting with the feeling that it’s going to be a waste of time and I’m not going to learn anything – I probably won’t. The opposite is also true.

We at AutoNetTV have a somewhat unique perspective in the automotive industry. While we work and speak with so many shop owners, service advisors and managers, none of us claim to fully understand what they do or how they think; but we have seen how they feel about their customers on a regular and profound basis.  Our perspective is somewhat special because we also have an unfiltered view of how their consumers feel at the same time.

The fascinating part to me is that if each side knew how the other side felt about them, many of the consumer’s fears and distrust would evaporate and many of the shop’s frustrations would cease to exist.

What I’ve seen is that shops truly care about their customers. They want them to be happy and they want to save them money. When they ask a customer to have a service performed, it’s because they are worried about their safety and they know the customer will be better off if they were to get it done. Shops are in it for the service of their fellow man. A pleasant side benefit is they make some money.

Consumers on the other hand are convinced that some shops are all about taking advantage of them: There is deep rooted fear and the only way to protect themselves is to say “NO”.

Fortunately, most consumers will tell you they have found an honest shop and they won’t take their car anywhere else. When asked how they know “their” shop is honest… the typical answer is amazing: “Because, they want me to know what is going on with my car and they take the time to explain it.”

In other words. Those negative feelings are replaced by positive ones (like trust and appreciation) when the shop takes the time to educate their customers. Imagine all your customers coming to “the meeting” with the feeling “This is going to be good for me. I’m going to learn something.”

The struggle is to give customer education the priority it deserves when things are busy.  Even the best Service Advisor can let it slip when the workload is overwhelming and then some customers don’t get the benefit of the understanding and motivation that comes from education.  A wise shop owner will invest in tools to give every customer an educational opportunity even when the Service Advisors are spread thin.

AutoNetTV’s in-lobby platforms are truly effective tools created specifically for Service Advisors to help facilitate this education.  The Service Advisor is able to educate customers more efficiently, and customers are empowered with knowledge that helps them understand why they should say “Yes” to your recommendations.  And that’s something everyone can feel good about.

Check out AutoNetTV’s digital, in-lobby education products at