Have you ever thought why some, at first glance, ordinary bodyshops never lack customers, while some others struggle? Well, there could be too many reasons for that, you could say. Nevertheless, putting aside external factors, it is down to the owner of a place or the painter, whether he or she will succeed or not. Apparently not all professionals in the industry were born equal, just like in any other business, be it a gardener, a carpenter or a baker. Car paint sprayer’s success depends on the perceived value customers assign to his job. This perceived value depends on painter’s attitude to his job, experience and, very importantly, reputation. In Etalon we call a car painter with high perceived value – the craftsman. Why is this important? Well, usually the real craftsmen prosper. They are respected and are very well paid.
So, what are the characteristics, which distinguish craftsman in car refinishing business?
I came up with ten:
- A real craftsman will never skip steps in repair process. Whether he repairs his brother’s car or complete stranger’s one, the quality of the job will not change. This car sprayer will make sure that the repair will be invisible, clearcoat will be blended properly, seam sealer will be applied just like in OEM, body will be properly protected from corrosion. The vehicle is handed clean. Most of the customers will never know or understand these steps, but for craftsman it doesn’t matter. All that matters to him is that fulfilling feeling of satisfaction after a properly done job.
- He provides a warranty on his job. No “ifs”, no poor excuses, no blames on a third party and materials, no “small letters” behind. Period.
- He is a good payer. All his suppliers are happy and fight to get his business.
- He is paid well. In order to be a good payer, you must be paid on time by the customers. A true craftsman won’t work on ridiculous payment terms imposed on him.
- He charges fair prices. A craftsman is never cheap, but he is not overpricing either. Competition is irrelevant.
- A real craftsman is the Boss in his shop. Neither customers, nor insurance companies, or suppliers would tell him what to do.
- His bodyshop is neat, tidy and ergonomic. A craftsman’s place may not be fancy with luxurious reception and all the dust is in the customers’ eyes, but it is appropriate.
- A true craftsman has his tools in tiptop condition. Spray guns are clean, always in place, spray booth is tidy, mixing room reminds a surgery room. And don’t you dare touch this special edition spray gun!
- Real craftsman knows how to choose materials he works with. Paint, clear or any other consumable he chooses solely on its performance, not on the price or brand alone. He has his own opinion based on tests and experience. No use of sales pitching.
- Finally, a real craftsman shares his knowledge with apprentices, he teaches and guides the new generation through the maze of refinishing craft, helping them to avoid mistakes and pitfalls. He will be called “master” or “teacher” by his successors.
And what is your definition of a car refinish craftsman?
Etalon – a real craftsmen’s label.