So what am I talking about you ask? Primarily people’s perception of what we do in the field. Many technicians like myself enjoy doing work with no one looking over their shoulders and asking questions. For many of us it’s the same kind of questions and for the most part simply distract us from our job. Sometimes they’ll make sounds of gasp or sounds of disapproval as the repair is coming along. This only intensified the need to give them a reassuring smile or some other kind of platitude that we use to reassure them.
That’s why many of the mobile repair technition refuse to work under such scrutiny. Who can blame them? But of course, I’m different. My customers are interested in how the repairs hold up and the like. So I have chosen to do much of my work in full view of everybody. I guarantee my repairs for life….or I should say, I use to. Now I guarantee them for as long as they want me too. Why do I do this? Simply speaking….feedback.
Example. I use to use a particular CA (superglue) on leather seat scratches cuts and all. After three months a customer called me back for what they thought was a new repair. After closer examination I could tell that it was the CA. The leather had tiny little breaks like shattered glass or cracked ice on a cold concrete. While the repair was still intact the surface coating was a problem. Our problem was eventually solved with two factors. A flexible Ca and a product we call the Answer. This product is a type of leather sealer that creates a thin film of emulsion skin and hiding the little cracks. This is a product that is frequently used to seal the leather where color coat is worn off.
Most recently, I found something very interesting when I was called to do some leather repairs on the bolster section of a seat at a dealership. This dealership tends to use everybody and not just me. One of the salesmen who had known me for years called me in to do this job for him. The seat was a typical repair. In times past, I would have used the leather crack filler, gray. But this time I chose to use the Leather Bee. Both products are leather repair cold compounds that I have had a great deal of success with. I chose the same color for both products and started the repair process. Let me say this…For the areas I used to repair with Leather Bee product I could have easily have used Leather crack filler as well. But then I found out something special about using the colored compounds that I did not expect….. Color did matter.
I could see the flaws easier and touch up was immediate. I didn’t have to color the repair and then go back and touch it up again and re-dye it. But something else happen that I never expected. Something that truly became the catalyst for me to write to you this article. It’s about….Perception… After I had finished the job, I chose to spray a little color over the repair for general blending.
From time to time the anxious salesman and customer would be doing his usual spot checks on my work but that day I had been on and off the phone a lot and never gave had a chance to converse with them, so I was never really sure what they were talking about. But I was about to find out real soon. I picked up my tools and wrote out the bill and went to the office to get a PO. On my way there I walked past the office of the salesman that called me as he was bragging out my job to another salesman. The conversation went like this.
“I’m telling you Bob, You gotta start calling Doc. He knows what he’s doing. “
“My guy knows what he’s doing,” he says in his defense.
“You’re nuts Bob. I’ve seen your guy work. I’m telling you I know how he would have fixed the same job that Doc did. That dark blue seat he would have smeared it up with some gray primer (likely Leather crack filler) on the seat and then would have painted it!”
“Doc’ doesn’t do it that way. When he puts on his repair stuff and it makes those cracks disappear!”
Yes friends….color does matter…Truth was, my competitor’s method of repair was the way I would have fixed it in the past. It may have been as good as my repair. But the difference….perception. Where he smeared gray primer over cracks and painted it I repaired it with colored compound and made the cracks disappear. So who was perceived as be better? Nuff said.
I also was reminded again of the same point. Once again when I did a furniture store. Because of customers and the closeness of so much of all the plush and elegant furnishings spraying anything would have been difficult.. The color compounds proved not only to be the answer but ultimately proved to be quick, easily and profitable. I spend close to 5 hours and did repairs that ranged from $25 to $35 a piece. When I was done I was almost afraid to give them the bill of $980.00. But I did and I dare say I’ve been back many times doing repairs. And this is the kicker…I only sprayed one area. All the other areas were repaired with Leather Bee. Yes…Color does matter. I know that personally. I love my Colors… …especially the greens.