I had originally written something different to share with you in The Top Drawer — a good customer service story from years ago, but I just ran across a piece of wisdom that I thought was too good to not to share right away — I’ll keep the other story for later.
I was reading a recent newsletter and they had written about what to do with our customers who utilize YouTube, pointing out how so many of them, after watching a short video, feel that they are instant automotive experts and now possess knowledge far beyond that which our years of experience have given us.
It went on to discuss the psychology behind it and shared insight regarding a study on cognitive bias and the resulting phenomenon called the Dunning-Kruger effect. In writing about it, one of the psychologists involved in the study, David Dunning, noted that “people with substantial, measurable deficits in their knowledge or expertise lack the ability to recognize those deficits and therefore, despite potentially making error after error, tend to think they are performing competently when they are not.”
It made me think about a lifetime of working on cars and the mindset I’ve always had — perhaps one learned as a young technician from those who I looked up to. A good technician knows they are going to learn something with each and every job they do.
You don’t brag or boast about your skills — you’re not worried about that. You just do your job. You take the time to get all the details right, look up specifications, use the right tools and you’re not afraid to ask a question or say “I don’t know, I need to look that up.”
I’ve asked as many questions of other technicians as they’ve asked of me. It’s what we do. We research, we study, we share and we learn.
Even with the small stuff. You might think, “how am I going to learn something on an oil change — I’ve done a million of them?” Even if it’s the same exact type of car you’ve done over and over and you knock it out with no snags, it’s still “one more click of the ratchet” that keeps your skills and dexterity flowing like a symphony off the hands of a skilled pianist.
I will tell you, I’ve known more than customers who suffer from this same phenomenon; friends, family and I hate to say it, but other technicians too. So, my vision for 2020? I expect another great year as everything gets better the more I learn (except my eyesight). And this year, I’ll have a better understanding of those who don’t.