This month, our forum shares what they do for holiday bonuses and customer conveniences around their shops.
Martin is manager of Flash Lube Oil in McComb, Mississippi.
Q: Do you give holiday bonuses? What do you think you should give or what do
you usually give?
A: The movie “National Lampoons Christmas Vacation” is a holiday tradition in my house. We watch it every year. The whole movie centers around Clark Griswold waiting on that Christmas bonus check, and after cousin Eddie kidnaps Clark’s boss, Frank Shirley, Clark’s family is able to talk some sense into him. Mr. Shirley’s heart of stone melts, and not only does Clark get his bonus, but Mr. Shirley increases it by 20 percent!
For many years leading up to the recession we would gift each em- ployee with an annual bonus around the 1st of December. During the last couple of years, with oil increases, O-Care, lower margins, lower vehicle counts and the general state of the economy, we have not done so. Now I don’t think that makes us a Frank Shirley, but that’s just the way things happen, (we don’t give out jelly of the month club memberships, either).
However, with our business slowly growing again, we are hoping to return to gifting an annual bonus this year. Our bonus payout per employee ranges from $25 to $150, depending on job position and length of service. They also get a monthly bonus that is results oriented, based on the P&L for each month.
Q: What conveniences do you think customers value most around your shop?
A: I have customers, who as soon as they pull up, ask me if the coffee is ready in the waiting room. I always tell them, “It’s a fresh pot.” I have other customers who like the fact that if they want to they can sit in their car and watch us work on their vehicle. They tell me, “I can’t watch people work on my car at other shops.” It’s a peace of mind to the customer of having the option of watching us do our jobs.
We are also in the middle of our town near a lot of business and very close to a hospital. So I will have some customers ask me if we can come get their cars and service them while they are working. If we are not very busy, then I will do just that. I am right next door to many restaurants, so a lot of my customers love to drop their cars off and go to lunch. However, without a doubt, the No. 1 draw to my shop is the speed of the oil changes. People come to us because we are fast, and that’s why they keep coming back.
Dede is owner/ operator of a Kwik Kar shop in Bedford, Texas.
Q: Do you give holiday bonuses? What do you think you should give or what do you usually give?
A: I give holiday bonuses during our Christmas party. We have one every year, and its a really nice time. The amount depends on our revenue goals for the year as well as how long each employee has been with me. Our party is usually a couple weeks before Christmas so the extra cash comes in handy.