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Customers watching?

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Copper - Posts: 155
Copper spacespace
Joined: August 04, 2003
Location: United States
Posted: April 10, 2006 at 1:27 PM / IP Logged  
I used to work at Circuit City and there was a barrier between the customer walkway and the shop bay. the customers would hang out in the walkway watching the installs going on. when I was being watched I would make comments just loud enough for the customers to hear like "that wasn't good" or " what" or "I need some help over here". it was amazing how fast customers would leave. I miss doing that.
Member - Posts: 20
Member spacespace
Joined: May 04, 2003
Location: South Africa
Posted: April 10, 2006 at 1:37 PM / IP Logged  
Oh yeah, and what about trade secrets? Aren't some of those "watching eyes" actually "spyinig eyes"? Even if it is just to gain the knowledge to install their friend's stereo on the weekend. That's another job you could've made a couple of bucks on. Right? Just an example anyway?
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Gold - Posts: 1,013
Gold spacespace
Joined: October 15, 2003
Location: Canada
Posted: April 11, 2006 at 1:12 PM / IP Logged  
No customers in my bay.... ever. For one it's a liability, secondly, their constant questions are a very major annoyance and distraction.
If some one is insistent, then I will ask them one question.... "Would you mind if I came and watched you work for a while?" That usually makes them go away rather quickly. Another good one is to just sit there.... mexican stand off style..... when asked, "I will begin working the instant you leave my bay area"
Wherever I go, that is where I end up......
Member - Posts: 20
Member spacespace
Joined: May 04, 2003
Location: South Africa
Posted: April 11, 2006 at 2:31 PM / IP Logged  
I guess it's always easier when you have a "nice" waiting area for the customers. If they can comfortably sit back and read a magazine or watch telly and maybe have a cup of coffee while they wait, I think they would almost WANT to get out of your hair. Especially if it's a timely job. Unfortunately we do not have such a cosy waiting area. Sigh!
PS I like the Mexican stand off idea!!
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placid warrior 
Silver - Posts: 357
Silver spacespace
Joined: November 06, 2004
Location: Canada
Posted: April 11, 2006 at 10:57 PM / IP Logged  
well i dont have an audio/fabrication shop persay though the small things i've done are usually dropoffs and the customer either has a ride back home or we bring them home and pick them up (depending on the situation).
At the tire shop i work at we have signs n stuff warning the customers but they come in anyways which is a pain (I cant understand why a customer would wait in their vehicle while your working on it when there is a nice waiting room with coffee n stuff). We still watch ourselves around the customers but we arent liable for the customer because we have signs warning them.
Platinum - Posts: 2,806
Platinum spacespace
Joined: February 23, 2004
Location: Canada
Posted: April 12, 2006 at 5:28 PM / IP Logged  
Actually the signs arent a fool proof way of waiving liability. The only way to really cover your ass is to have a section on the work order that pertains to liability in the shop and have them sign off on that. As for the watching thing, I have learned to not really care. If they wanna watch me then fine, but im gonna mess with them. Sometimes I will take a few extra screws in with me and throw them out the door as they watch so they think Im throwing out part of their car, or I mightt drop the phrase, "oops" or "That didnt happen on the last one" or "what is this piece from". In the end I let them in on the joke but I figure if they are gonna be there I may as well entertain myself at their expense
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Member - Posts: 20
Member spacespace
Joined: May 04, 2003
Location: South Africa
Posted: April 13, 2006 at 1:46 PM / IP Logged  
You're right about putting the "liability thing" on the order and having them sign it. That is the safest way to go. About joking around or playing pranks on the customers, those ones that will laugh and see the humor in it, are usually the customers I don't mind watching. When doing small/quick jobs like installing a stereo, speakers, cell kits etc, I really dont mind an audience. Providing that they don't get in my way. I think it's best to have a standard and stick with it. Either anyone can watch, or nobody allowed. That way nobody can take offence.
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Platinum - Posts: 5,041
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Joined: December 23, 2002
Location: Arizona, United States
Posted: April 14, 2006 at 9:09 PM / IP Logged  
Don't care about customer's watching me, but the second they open there mouth I stop working on the car. Time is money and talking don't make me money.
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Gold - Posts: 1,440
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Joined: February 24, 2006
Location: United States
Posted: April 15, 2006 at 11:00 AM / IP Logged  
I do not allow any customers in my work bays period. I  install plus my crew, I've only had a few people ignore employees only sign and walk in. No windows looking in either my installers and staff are not on display like caged animals at the zoo. I have a decent waiting area with a dvd combo to watch, magazines or they can look out the window and watch cars go by.  On a couple of bigger installs customers will come in and I'll show them the progress but thats generally the limit.
Copper - Posts: 354
Copper spacespace
Joined: September 13, 2002
Location: Canada
Posted: April 16, 2006 at 11:16 AM / IP Logged  
i know best buy has an open window setting you can actually watch them throw the window, and they're door is locked to so u cant get in.
talking about customers being annoying, staff is another big part of your situation. If your chief of install but you also know alot of the product out on the floor, staff is forever constantly coming in and bugging you with Questions. or if they have nothing to do they also just stand and watch you. which i really hate.
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