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Episode Description

On this episode of The Digital Shop Talk Radio, we are joined by our very own Bill Connor for an installment of Ask The Coach, as we dive into best practices to audit inspections for a consistent motorist experience, each and every time, whether you own a single shop or multiple locations.

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Episode Transcript

*This transcript was generated using Artificial Intelligence. Errors may occur. If you notice an error, please contact [email protected].

Tom Dorsey (00:00:06):
Good morning and good afternoon. Welcome to this week’s edition of The Digital Shop Talk Radio. I’m Tom Dorsey, and today we’ve got a great episode. Ask the coach joining us today as our very own AutoVitals trainer. Bill Connor. Welcome Bill.
Bill Connor (00:00:20):
Glad to be back again. I guess I didn’t abuse you enough the last time.
Tom Dorsey (00:00:24):
Yeah, glad to have you on because what we’ve been talking about folks over the last four weeks or so, we’ve been hammering revenue, best practices and habits to develop and processes to develop to drive revenue, specifically build hours per ticket. And we’ve had on some great shop operators, some great guests, and they’ve given us a lot of great advice. And one of the recurring bits of advice that we’ve been getting from them is to do regular inspection sheet audits. And so we thought to ourselves what a great idea to have, because saying you should do regular audits of an inspection sheet is one thing, but what does that even mean? If you’re new to digital inspections, maybe you don’t even know what we’re talking about if you’ve kind of been doing ’em for a long time and if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. And maybe you’re doing some audits or maybe you did audits in the beginning.
We want to talk to you about some ideas to incorporate into your audits that you might not be doing now and give you some ideas at least to think about. Test them out, try ’em out and look at those results. And of course, track everything. And so today is that day. Make sure that you have pen and paper handy. Open up an inspection sheet. That’s what I would recommend. Go ahead and open up an inspection sheet right now at your desktop and follow along. And as we’re going through, because we’re going to give you some live examples, we’re going to do some actual audits of real shops inspection sheets on the air today with Bill and it’ll give you some eye opening information and advice to follow. So Bill, let’s kick it off buddy, if we can. And I’d like to just start by saying, because as a trainer, especially one who’s responsible for bringing kind of new shops on board with the digital processes and the digital inspection, how do you get folks to pick up that habit right out of the gate of regular inspection audits? And what would you say to folks that either aren’t doing ’em or won’t do ’em?
Bill Connor (00:02:30):
I guess I’d like to start out by saying that in our particular part of the industry, things have changed a lot over the years. And I can tell you after the last 40 years, they’ve changed a lot. And really if you think about it, it’s been all for the better. But we’re not in the repair business anymore. We’re in the business to go ahead and deliver a safe, comfortable, and dependable vehicle to our car or our customers on each and every visit. So that’s a key and we have to think about also is that not only our customers, but you yourself will not buy what you don’t understand. So the challenge becomes taking the best practices of years gone by and then doing them in the digital world so that we can go ahead and replace the same high level of approvals we got in the past by doing certain things and using the digital tools. So Tom, that’s kind of the path I’d like to take. I’d like to discuss what we did in the past, why it worked, and then how do we equate that to the digital tools. And by the time we get to the point where we’re going to do some live audits, they should be able to go and chat in and tell us exactly the things that could have been done better on these inspection. Does that sound like a goal?
Tom Dorsey (00:03:44):
Yes. No, that’s fantastic. So folks, what does that mean? Use that chat feature, use the q and a function to ask questions, but use that chat feature to be interactive, right? And exactly as Bill said, as we get into that, give us your opinion. What do you notice in those inspections that like Bill said could be done better and we’ll make it interactive, help some folks out. It sounds like a great plan, Bill and I look forward to learning about because it’s just not in your inspection either. Pretty much anything that was in the analog or the old school world can be replicated digitally. You just have to have a process in place to do that and put some goals around it. But I look forward to seeing what you got Bill.
Bill Connor (00:04:28):
So in the past what we used to talk about is having the customers hang around in the shop so that way when we had their car on the rack and disassembled, we would march them out to their car and do what we call show and sell at the side of the car. And what I’d like you to do is think about that process and why it worked out so well. And also think about that process in the mindset that it was a combination of the service writer and the technician working as a team to go ahead and educate that customer side of a car. That makes sense. And if anybody disagrees with me, what I’d like you to do is chat in and go and challenge me and tell me that I’m full of beans and that’s just isn’t how it worked. So interesting. We will give them a second or two to chat in, but the most successful way that we can get authorizations in the past is to go and have that customer go out to the car and then the technician would do certain things at the car to educate that customer.
And again, if you think about this in the terms of safety and comfort, that’s the only thing that will make a customer go ahead and open their wallet and push them a hundred dollars bills out is safety, comfort or dependability. Those are the three things that we’re going to use to actually get the customer to open their wallet. So if that makes sense, what I’d like to do is go on a little bit further and talk about the things in the past that the customer would be shown at the side of the car. And so if anybody’s on and got any questions, please go ahead and chat ’em in. And Tom, if you have something that you’d like to add before we go on, get it out of your system now. Now we forever hold you peace.
Tom Dorsey (00:06:06):
No sir.
Bill Connor (00:06:07):
Alright, so when you think about the things that were shown to the customer at the side of the car, the technician would normally go ahead and take their finger and point to it. They tell the customer what it is, what needs to be done and the reason to buy today. So that’s the picture that they’re creating on the car with the customer standing there, they point to it, say what it is, what needs to be done and the reason to buy today. And so that’s what we want to try and accomplish using the digital tools. So we know that’s what worked in the past and now we want to do it using the digital tools. The next thing is is that if you think about it, if the technicians in the past, if they knew there was 8 or 10 things on the vehicle that needed to be done, they wouldn’t only show them that mental picture of one item, they would do that on every single one of the items that they had found in the car. So their job in the past was to spot needs and to go ahead and educate the customer at the side of the car. That makes sense.
Tom Dorsey (00:07:03):
Definitely. And Charles Longo has got a good point in here real quick too. He’s saying sometimes too many people intimidate the customer one is enough.
Bill Connor (00:07:11):
That’s a good point. And like I said, keep that in mind. So these are all things that we’d really like to go and hear. And so the next thing is if you think about it is that if the test technician or the service writer, whichever, if you want to use one person was educating at the side of the car on average, depending on the complexity of what they were just telling them about, it would take about one minute per need that was spotted to go and educate that customer. So does anybody disagree that that time spent was valuable and that it actually produced good results?
Tom Dorsey (00:07:49):
I think so.
Bill Connor (00:07:49):
You following me so far? So the technician’s job was the spot needs to go ahead and educate the customer and then the service writer or whoever would go ahead and talk about money after the fact. So now today what we want to think about is when we’re building an inspection to present to the customer, we don’t want them hanging around in the shop. We want them to go ahead and be off doing whatever they need to do, turn them free to do their thing. Now what we want to do is make sure that when we’re building an inspection, we keep these same guidelines in mind and then we’re going to use the motorist research time to see if on average for each one of them recommendations, does our motorist research time get to somewhere in that one minute per recommendation point? So that’s a good way to go and think about it is if you’ve got eight recommendations on there, you multiply it by 60 seconds, that’s what your motorist research time should be. And looking at literally hundreds and hundreds of shops over many, many years, I just see that over and over and over again. Some shops that do more complex type repairs like maybe a diesel shop or some of the European shops, that number will actually be a little bit higher than that. But you’ll find your own level of motorist research time in your shop. But that’s a good rule of thumb kind of make sense.
Tom Dorsey (00:09:08):
That’s a great rule of thumb because that really is the building blocks to get you to those five build hours on average per ticket that we’ve been talking about over the last few episodes. It’s really the fundamentals that get you to that point.
Bill Connor (00:09:22):
So one of the things that happened in the past in the paper world is that the technician would do all this nice write up and they’d put it on the back of the paper and so on and it’d go to service writer. And then the service writer would kind of cherry pick through what they actually presented to customer based on their skill level as far as educating the customer on the needs. And so now with the digital inspection, if the technician and the inspection sheet is built right, basically what happens is the technician can choose the condition, drag an arrow into the picture, all the notes are prefilled for them and go onto the next topic. And then when the inspection sheet is configured and mapped to the management system, every one of them recommendations that was documented properly are all brought into the point of sale system where they can be educated.
So the goal is a one-to-one relationship between what was actually documented by the technician and what made it to the repair order and was estimated for presentation to the customer. So when we’re looking at our inspection sheet to go ahead and do this audit on it, we’re looking for things on the pictures and we’re also looking for things in the text and notes. So for instance, did the technician when they made a recommendation on it, is it in the right category? So there’s nothing worse than going through an inspection audit and seeing things in the green area and then looking at the pictures and notes on it and seeing the technician was recommended to do it today because the safety item and it never got estimated and presented to the customer or things that are in a yellow area that shouldn’t be. We’re also looking for things like the inspection is a retention tool from day one, the first time that customer comes in, we can use that inspection sheet as a retention tool.
And what I mean by that, are there certain topics that we take pictures with measurements on that we can show the customer where over a period of time, one of the best things about the customer when you’re talking about inspection ma sir, we will be doing inspection on your vehicle today. So you’re taking a proactive approach. You’re not asking if you wanted them to do it, we will be doing inspection on it. The reason we do this to make sure your vehicle’s safe, comfortable, dependable. The next thing is is that some of the pictures that we take are going to have measurements on it and when you can use them to go and see where over time in case you’d like to budget for future repairs. So we’re building into the customer from day one. Everything we do is all about them.
Tom Dorsey (00:11:47):
Yes. And you soft close them on the future repair right now. And as a matter of fact, you need to come in regularly and have this updated so we can be more accurate in letting you know when those breaks are going to be needed or whatever it is. And then when that comes up, when that time comes, well it’s not a shock. They’re prepared. They’ve been hearing that theme and expecting it for months or even a year now and you’re much more likely to get that approval.
Bill Connor (00:12:18):
So to go ahead and break this down on the pictures themselves, what we’re looking for is certain things. We’re looking for it to be well lit and in focus. That’s the key. If the customer can’t tell what it is, that’s not going to do any good at the proper zoom level. So that way you’re getting the customer right on it. It should have something on the picture, an arrow circle or something to guide the customer’s eyes exactly where you want it to go. Same thing as the technician taking their finger and pointing to it on a car or a flashlight or a laser pointer or whatever. You’re guiding their eyes where you want them to go. And then we want some information on the picture to go ahead and be the words the technician would use at the side of the car. What are they looking at, what needs to be done about it and what’s the reason they should open their wallet?
So those are the things that we want to have on the picture. And so if anybody can think of anything else that needs to be added to that, please go ahead and chat it in. If anybody believes that those items don’t need to be on the picture, if you would please challenge me and tell me why you don’t think that needs to be on the picture. And bear in mind that these customers are looking at these inspection results on very small devices. We want to own the spot on the cell phone just like we used to want to own the top left hand corner of the windshield years ago for the oil change sticker. We want to own the spot on the cell phone. And so when they’re looking at on their cell phone, when they’re looking at a picture, you have to bear in mind that when they open that picture, they’re covering everything else up. And if you’re going to expect the customer to read the notes and the text on the inspection sheet and then open the picture and correlate them notes to the picture they’re now looking at, that’s not going to happen. So these are all best practices that we use and measure over and over again.
Tom Dorsey (00:14:01):
Yeah, Bill and those notes, those annotations right on the image because that’s what helps connect the information to the visual that needs to be as. So that’s another audit point, isn’t it? That should be very clear in layman’s type terms versus maybe text speak or abbreviations, that kind of thing.
Bill Connor (00:14:23):
So that’s exactly true. And the real goal is to build it into the inspection sheet and use the guided inspection. But you need to think about when it comes to the automotive consumer, you have to think about their education level being about the sixth grade level. So if we go ahead and take a cabin air filterer for example, and we don’t tell them this, your cabin air filter, it needs to be replaced so you don’t have to breathe this stuff being pulled into your car as an example. That one sentence is very short, very concise, and it covers all the elements that actually need to be on that picture. So you just think about short and sweet and we don’t want to write a story on it, we just want to go ahead and very concise.
Tom Dorsey (00:15:07):
Ken Anderson agrees. He says, choose your words carefully and be clear. And that is great advice. And like Bill said, once you have those audit, those run ’em by your customers, your friends and family, even if they understand it and it’s clear to them, chances are it’s clear to everybody. And then you can that information, put it right into the inspection sheet, build it into the guided so you don’t have to kind of retype it and you have a clear message that is effective for the most common at least recommendations.
Bill Connor (00:15:41):
And that brings up another point is that when you’re building the guided inspection sheet, if you go ahead and find that repeatedly, the education isn’t getting the customer to go ahead and understand or open their wallet so to say, then what you need to do is you need to go into your inspection sheet or change the verbiage you’re using and kind of tweak it over time. So these inspection sheets, they’re not etched in concrete, they’re a dynamic tool and let’s say struts and shocks for instance, a lot of times people just go and point out, but if you don’t tell the customer what’s in it for them, you don’t get any authorizations for that tool. So go in there and tweak the text and stuff that you’re using over time until you get something that actually works. So that kind of covers the picture part of it. Go ahead Tom. Bill,
Tom Dorsey (00:16:29):
Did you see Steven Zas comment in there? You’re saying many times the pictures are close up and while a professional who is accustomed to seeing those components, but they’re completely out of context for the average motorist, right? Have you found that videos which start farther away from the issue but give the owner an idea of where the component is on their vehicle and then zoom into the specific area are more effective?
Bill Connor (00:16:54):
So that is a very effective tool to use videos, especially if it’s anything that wiggles, squirts, drips, makes noise or whatever. It’s not a bad practice sometimes to go ahead and show the customer two pictures, one to go ahead and establish where on a vehicle something is and then the second one to go ahead and show close up. So again, you have to remember is that you’re telling them a story exactly like you would if they’re at the car and if they’re at the car, you could take their head and stick it down in that compartment or maybe get a magnifying glass. That’s the same effect. But again, we’re trying to go ahead and accomplish a task of telling a story as quickly and efficiently as we possibly can. But that is definitely a good point.
Tom Dorsey (00:17:41):
Yeah, because in your steel images you want to make sure that you don’t have a lot of background distraction stuff, a cluttered or a work bench or another vehicle maybe where somebody’s starting to look over there, Hey, that car is nicer than mine, I like that color.
Bill Connor (00:17:58):
Or your coworker flipping you off in the background
Tom Dorsey (00:18:01):
Exactly right back there having their lunch burrito. But then I’m thinking to myself, I’m hungry and I stop focusing on my inspection. That’s all the time. You can use the crop function to do that. Your service advisors should be using that. They should be having that artistic eye when they’re looking at these things and cut out distraction. But to Bill’s point, take a picture from farther away and still kind of cut out the distraction and even put an arrow and say, Hey, here’s where this component is even in the annotation. And then zoom in. And you can do that three, four different times if compiling the video takes too long, if you have other, maybe a video just isn’t appropriate for that, you can’t get the good lighting, whatever it might be for that component in the location, you can do that through several images as well. But that’s a great point, Steven, I really appreciate you bringing that up because people do need to get creative. It’s almost like you’re the director of a movie, right? When you’re putting together this inspection, at least the very effective ones. And if you think about it from that perspective and become creative and think about how your audience is perceiving it, you’re going to get much better results. So thank you for that
Bill Connor (00:19:19):
New job title, director of digital authorizations. But anyways, that’s a whole different deal. So the other thing is is that a lot of times I have in the past seen shops that have entirely too many pictures and there’s a lot of instances where you can want to take some pictures just to go ahead and cover your butt because we don’t want to walk around exposed so to say, but we don’t need to show the customer all those pictures. So it’s great to have these pictures with Dayton timestamps on ’em of every dent, ding, scratch or whatever in their car, but go ahead and turn them things off if they don’t lead any value to discussion and keep them. So that way you got things with Dayton timestamps on ’em, but you don’t have to go ahead and have the customer going in and poking through every one of them images.
We’d also like to go ahead and make sure that everything that’s there is specifically to go ahead and tell a story. And in order to be successful on it, everybody has to work together as a team. So a service writer has to be willing, or in some cases even empowered that if they don’t have what they need to do to tell the story to the customer, to send that technician a chat message and say, Hey look, I need this different image or this different information on this topic so that I can go and do my job. So we got to go in and work together as a team. And like I said in the past we used to go and do that because we could all get together and walk out to the car and have that conversation. Now we’re just doing it a different way.
So as far as picture wise, that covers pretty much what we want to have on there. We want to have area focus, we want to have the proper notes on it, they want to be in focus, well lit and so on. And we want to make sure we’ve got some pictures on topics with measurements that we’re going to show to customer over time. So that pretty much rounds up what we want on the digital side of the pictures. Now what we want to do is talk about other things that we want to look at on the inspection sheet when we’re doing our audit. So for instance, we talked about earlier is the pitcher in the correct status category. So again, if it’s in the green area and the tires are bald and got steel belts sticking out of them, well that’s a fail. If we go ahead and have something on it that has a pitcher with oil leaks and dripping all over the place and it’s in the good section, that’s a fail.
If we have notes that the customer should have been reading in the customer notes area and you still see a red question mark on it where the customer that were never approved for the customer can see, that’s a bad sign. If you’ve got notes in the measurement area that are actually been filled out by the technician as far as tread depth, brake pad, thickness on a spark plug, whatever it is that you measure, if they’re not where the customer can see it, what good are they? So again, these are some things that we’re looking on there. One of the big things that we see all the time when we’re auditing is we see some things that are marked internal that should actually be in the failed area or the good area. So there’s a lot of things when you’re auditing. And really the best way to go ahead and do this audit is to go ahead and have a conversation with your staff similar to what we’re doing today.
Go ahead and have the conversation about what good looks like and why we do it that way. And then when you do your first audit with your staff, go ahead and have them tell you what they see that could have been done better. And if you’ve explained it to ’em correctly, they should be telling you things like, well, I think on that particular topic, the notes should have said x. I think that on that picture it could have been zoomed in a little bit. And by the way, we should have used two arrows so that we showed the customer that we’re measuring between point A and point B. And so when you get your staff to go ahead and start telling you what they could have done better, that’s when everybody starts coming together and working as a team. That kind of make sense.
Tom Dorsey (00:23:25):
Oh no, definitely.
Bill Connor (00:23:27):
So can anybody think of anything else on the audit that we’d like to look for that we haven’t already covered? So is the inspection sheet fully and completely filled out? I see that get chatted in pretty regular. Did they even go and do a full inspection? Are they doing the right inspection? If you’ve got multiple different inspection sheets for your shop, is the appropriate inspection sheet, has it been selected and filled out? So those are some other things that can go ahead and show up on there. Anything else you can think of? Besides that,
Tom Dorsey (00:24:08):
When’s the best time to do the audits? Should you be doing them randomly throughout the day? Just grab a inspection sheet and go through a fixed process. You gave this advice on what to check and if I go through and I make sure I check those for completeness, should I do that once a week? Should I ask the team to give me their best examples? How would you recommend from a timing perspective when I do these audits?
Bill Connor (00:24:43):
So is this a multiple choice with a deity above answer? So initially when a shop is first coming on board, I really like to go ahead and early on, maybe within the first week or two, start going ahead and doing maybe a five or 10 minute meeting in a morning to go ahead and pull up and actually audit just one inspection sheet and get them to participate and tell you what they could have done better. You’ll find over a period of time that you’re going to run out of things to go ahead and actually find on the inspector sheet and then you can switch over to once a week. And then you might go ahead and do it just periodically as a one-on-one employee review. But again, as long as your inspections are producing the expected results, which is a large number of approvals, then modus research time in the right timeframe as far as the amount of seconds that are actually absorbed.
But here’s kind of one of the things that we see quite often is a shop is doing a high percentage of inspections, they’re going ahead and doing a high percentage of image audits, they’re sending ’em to the customer, and the motorist research time is high, but their average hour per repair order isn’t going up. That’s the time to go back and start doing audits again. Because what you’re going to probably find is the material you’re sending to the customer isn’t producing the same result as if you were showing the customer at the side of the car. So just because you’ve got good motorist research time, if the hours per repair order isn’t improving, aren’t improving, if they’re not getting better, then what you want to do is you want to do that audit again with your staff and help them go ahead and decide what needs to be done differently.
Tom Dorsey (00:26:26):
Yeah, no, that’s a great point, right? I mean that’s what you do if you’re coaching a sports team, is you go right back to the fundamentals that affect whatever performances, lagging or not increasing the expectations, and you drill that in. And it’s a great way to get back because when we had Christophe on Christophe shopper from Auburn Neuro Motor Sports, he said that he was religious about audits in the beginning, right? He said he was doing it constantly, almost every day, all day. And then over time, once the team understood what he was looking for and they were scoring better, then he went to more spot checking and random timing, but still, and then of course introduces that into the shop meeting so that if things do come up, you have a voice, you can get that feedback and then maybe drill down into that, make those changes that help with efficiency and things like that. So real good idea if it was something that you did in the past, but like Bill said, your numbers just aren’t where you think they should be, go right back to those fundamentals, reinstitute that regular inspection audit and go from there. And I think you’ll find out that you find some eye-opening things, some gaps, some improvements to be made, tighten it up and then of course track it, track it, track it so that you know the results from the changes that you’ve instituted.
Bill Connor (00:27:52):
Here’s a great question that has come in. I’ve got more than one inspection. Can I send them both at the same time? And I’m going to go ahead and lead back to what we used to do in the past. And I’d like you to think about it this way. It’s always our job as a salesperson to go ahead and control the message and the timing that they get the message. And we’re going to do the same thing with the digital content. We’re going to control the content and the timing that they get it. So if I’ve got an inspection that I’m going to go and do maybe in my quick oil change and no one that’s more thorough and by drop-off conversation with the customer, I’m going to manage their expectations by letting them know you’re going to get two inspections from us. They’re going to come at different times.
As soon as we finish your oil change, we’re going to send one to you. And then when we finish the full complete inspection, we’ll send the other one. After you get the second one, please give me a call back and let’s go ahead and go over the results together. And again, as I’d like to point out repeatedly, because I’ve listened to too many phone calls, when that customer calls, don’t ask them if they looked at the inspection because you already know the answer to that because you can see the modus research time. Pick out one or two topics on the inspection sheet that’s a safety or breakdown item if possible. And ask the customer, ma, sir, when you looked at your inspection and you were looking at the tires, what do you think about the condition on that? Ask them some open-ended questions and get them talking. Don’t ask them if they looked at the inspection results.
Tom Dorsey (00:29:25):
Thanks for the question, Monica. It was, it’s great to have you in the audience till Charles. I said, hi, miss you guys, and thank you very much for your input.
Bill Connor (00:29:34):
And to answer your question more thoroughly, you cannot send them both at the same time. They would be two separate send items at this time. So you’ll send one and then the other. And like I said, I would choose the time wisely that I send them a lot of shops for this simple reason is they don’t like to send them twice. They’ll actually go ahead and build one larger inspection sheet and then use it that way. But that was a great question.
Tom Dorsey (00:30:00):
Yeah, yeah. And it all depends on what makes sense for your operation, your volume, whether you consolidate ’em together, but definitely information overload. Probably a really good way is to use one to set up the next. And that way it’s kind of like where you get the upsells from a sales experience and set it up that way because when you approach it, see that’s the thing. And back to earlier we had Charles Longo was talking about too many people intimidate. Well, and that’s the nice thing about the digital inspection is that you don’t approach it from a put you on the spot, make a decision, now I’m pointing at it, you should know what that is and you should know whether you need to fix it right now. And that just kind of, ah, now it’s so much more comfortable your guard’s down because it’s digital and you’re just presenting it as information.
You’re just giving them the info and it’s your info. There’s the picture to prove it. And when you do that, you let them work through. And really your job is to just tie it together with prioritization. Here are the things that are most critical. Here are things that we’ve got some time on. Here are things that are almost optional at this point. Here is what I’ll do though. I’m going to monitor it over time for you so that you understand the impact of this component on other systems in the vehicle and when’s the appropriate time to address these things. And that really does it from, I mean that puts that objection right out the window because the A, it’s hard not to trust you when you’re using pictures of my own stuff and the things that you’re saying make sense and give me options instead of just open up my wallet and dump it all out on the counter right now. And then that leads to a regular plan and you’ve really, what you’ve done is you’ve closed them on the exit schedule already. You just have to remember to follow through at pick up and get it confirmed. So it does a lot to set up the future interactions and transactions when you use the information that way.
Bill Connor (00:32:05):
So how about now that everybody’s kind of learned a little bit about what to look for or audit, how about we get them to warm up their keypad, their number key specifically? And if you’d like to go ahead and help us go ahead and audit an inspection live, hit your keyboard and just text in to number one. And if you don’t want to help us text in to number two and then we’ll go ahead and help you understand more about why you should be doing this.
Tom Dorsey (00:32:30):
What are you going to do with the number twos?
Bill Connor (00:32:32):
Well number twos, that’s where the little porcelain guy in the back of the shop is used
Tom Dorsey (00:32:40):
Number two.
Bill Connor (00:32:43):
Cool. So we got Go ahead
Tom Dorsey (00:32:45):
Real quick. Steven’s asking, many of your clients have been working on EVs. We are finding the sales opportunities pretty thin. And that’s a great point. A lot of people are, we had about two, maybe three weeks ago, we had a pretty good segment on digital shop talk radio, check it out in the archives where we were talking specifically about how to find some opportunities in electric vehicles, bill.
Bill Connor (00:33:11):
So what I’m going to do is I’m going to share my screen and then I’m going to ask these people that are in the outset there to go ahead and help us score some things. And what I’d like to do is go ahead and just have them help us go ahead and audit an inspection or two that are from a shop that has volunteered to go and expose themselves to the world digitally. Of course. So let’s go ahead and find this and find out what monitor I
Tom Dorsey (00:33:36):
Got it on to that shop for volunteering to be made an example of from Mr. Bill. And by the way, buddy, everybody put one in the chat. So I mean nobody’s going to put two,
Bill Connor (00:33:50):
Hey, but we got to make sure the keyboard’s working right.
Tom Dorsey (00:33:54):
I guess so. Well, you tricked me.
Bill Connor (00:33:57):
Alright, so here what we’re going to do, and I guess let me know if you can see my screen and my mouse moving. Okay,
Tom Dorsey (00:34:02):
Great. Yeah.
Bill Connor (00:34:04):
Alright. So what we’re going to do is we’re going to go to the hamburger menu without the bacon or cheese because Uwe won’t put it in there. And we’re going to go down to where it says inspection result audit.
And when I’m doing an audit, I prefer to go ahead and use the last seven day window to go and work with. And then I’m going to select the employee that I’m going to audit from. And so the volunteer or Guinea pig we have for today is going to be Brenner. And then I’m going to go ahead and hit search. And so the things that you can see here is these are the amount of inspections as a service writer he’s actually done for today or done for this particular time period that was chosen. And then you can see the different type of inspection sheets that were done. And then you can see the amount of topics that were filled out and the amount of topics on the inspection sheet. So we got a ton of information here already. And normally when I’m doing this in the shop environment, after they go ahead and decide understand what it is they’re going to be helping you look for, I’ll ask them to choose a number.
And in this case I’m going to ask you to choose a number between five and 10 if you’ll go and chat it in. And what I’d like to do is I’d like to use the randomness so that way nobody thinks they’re being picked on, especially if you’re doing this in a group environment. I’ve had some shops that actually bring in some consumers out in the marketplace for a lunch and they’ll actually go ahead and have them go through and give them some feedback on it. So they’ll bring in people from different areas, maybe realtors or whatever to say, Hey, I’d like to see if you guys could help me understand this. And so Tom, I don’t know if you see any numbers coming in there, but regardless. Great. And so 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8. So we’re going to use number eight here and we’re going to start here. And what I’d like to do is I’d like to go ahead and take a quick run through from top to bottom to go and see if there’s anything that you think that could have been done better. And then if you would please go ahead and chat it in so that way we can help this shop make better inspections.
And so I’m going to go ahead and open this up where I can actually see what’s going on. And so I see something right off the bat that I’d like to go ahead and actually get people to think about and I see that somebody else already got it. There is only one walk around picture. So in this particular case that really doesn’t do justice for if there’s any damages on the car and you’ve only got this one spot here. Really what do you have to go ahead and protect yourself from false claims? So I see some shops, they’ll take a picture from all four corners and I see some shops that they’ll say, you know what, if I take a video, there’s 20 pictures in every one second of video, so I’m just going to go and turn it on video and I’m going to walk a circle around the car. That way if there’s anything in there, I’ll catch it in the shadows or whatever else. And it’s a really quick way to do it. So in this case, and
Tom Dorsey (00:37:18):
Even the notes, the notes in there specifically say body and wheel damage and even take a picture of the wheel.
Bill Connor (00:37:25):
So if you had to go ahead and score this one particular picture that’s here, what would be a number valued assigned to it? So it looks like it’s well lit and it’s in focus, but there really is no area focus, there’s no notes on it that we know clearly should be there. So my inclination is I would probably score this a one because they did go ahead and press the camera button.
Tom Dorsey (00:37:47):
Yeah, for the customer it says, well that is my car.
Bill Connor (00:37:51):
But before we get into doing any other picture auditing, what I want to do is I want to scroll down through this list and what I’m looking for is are there images in the areas that we should go ahead and see where over time images with measurements, if we go over here into the notes area, are there any customer notes that got a red question mark here where they haven’t been approved? Is there any measurement notes that have a red question mark on it where they haven’t been approved, the customer? So I’m looking for all kinds of things in here. Here they claim that they did an engine control module courtesy scan, but there’s no picture. I would think that that doesn’t make a lot of sense. So what do you do in a case like that? You’ve got no picture to go ahead and actually add anything to. So what I do is I’ll come over here and I’ll go ahead and grab a little notepad and I’m going to go ahead and prepare some information here. So I’m going to come over here and I’m going to highlight the code scan and I’m going to copy it. I’m going to come over here and I’m going to paste it in a clipboard and I’m going to probably add a note here.
What is the purpose of the cone scan without any scan being done. And so if we’re going to go ahead and give them feedback, what I want to do is I want to make sure that I go ahead and do it in a way that they can fully understand what’s going on. So that’s something that puzzled me and I want to do it. So here we’ve got an air filter here, it says it’s clean, no issues. Well if it’s clean they obviously must have looked at it, so why not take a picture on that? So that might be something else you’d want to go and copy paste in that note and go and do it. So just because we’re only rating pictures doesn’t mean there’s not other things we’re looking for on this inspection, we’re looking for opportunities that were missed or things that don’t make sense that might confuse the customer.
And so we go down into here, we can see the check engine lights on, blah blah blah. So here’s your code scan information. Again, we’ve got no pictures of the instrument cluster and so on. We’ve got some customer notes here and then they weren’t even turned on for the customer to see. And it’s a really good note here. It tells the customer what it is, what needs to be done and the reason why, but there’s no picture to go and support that. So does that really tell the story for the customer? So I don’t think so.
Opportunity missed. There is lots of things as far as check engine lights on and no picture to support. So that would be another missed opportunity here. You can see that these actions are going to be pulled in for the jobs, but we’ve really got nothing to go and support the customer. We got the real wipers torn, we got good notes there, we got nothing in there in the red note area. We’ve got some measurements over here. And so if we’ve got these nice measurements, should we go and show them to the customer? In this case it really isn’t needed because they’re using a different tool that actually pulls the measurements in. So we definitely, that’s not a problem in this particular shop’s case. And then we’re going to go down through here, we’re looking for anything else. And as I’m going through here, if you guys see anything that I missed, let me know.
Then we get down on here. So we got not equipped, I’ll answer your question later there Eric. Monica said there’s no picture of the we on the transmission fluid. Excellent, good spot there. And same thing on the engine cooling. So we can see in a couple places here that they’ve actually checked it and they’re saying it’s based on the condition. So why in the world aren’t we showing the customer that? So these are some notes that you’d probably want to add there because there is no picture there to go ahead and audit. Good eye whoever looks like Monica, congratulations. And so we get down in here, not equipped, not equipped. So those are all fine, not equipped with differential. So these all make sense, but what I always like to cruise through here and look for is sometimes an inspection sheet isn’t configured the way it should be and you’ll see something here saying that needs to be done and it’s in the internal information area where there’s no, there’s no way the customers even going to see it.
It doesn’t make much sense. So now what we’re going to do is we’re going to go through and start looking at some of these pictures and I’m going to go in and just for time-wise, I’m going to go and do this just in this area here where we’ve got specific needs put out. And again on the picture what we talked about earlier, we’re looking for well lit and in focus. Is there something on it that draws the customer’s eyes to where it is? Is there a note that says what it is, what needs to be done and a reason to buy today? Those are the elements we’re looking for. And so what I’d like to do is try and get you guys to give me a score on this picture based on what you see. So it’s a little bit hard to tell, but I can see that the wiper is torn. I can see there’s an arrow pointing right to it and I can see the notes in there are actually telling the customer what it is, what needs to be done and the reason to buy today. So if you would go ahead and put in a number of one through five in there and let me know what you as the auditors of this shop, think that this picture is worth.
Tom Dorsey (00:43:43):
Monica gave it a two.
Bill Connor (00:43:45):
I agree. Monica’s tough. Okay, so let’s go ahead and do that. So being a little bit closer would be good. And Ken has got a soft heart, but that’s just Ken. That’s just Ken. So now let’s go to the other one and this time you guys tell me what you guys think could have been done better if anything. And so this is really a safety concern here. So basically they’ve got arrows pointing to both the rear brake lights and then they’ve got notes here telling what’s going on. So give me a score and tell me if there’s anything that could have done better. So I don’t think that we can go ahead and light the lights because they’re not working
Tom Dorsey (00:44:30):
But it say right brake, so the left one should at least be lit up.
Bill Connor (00:44:35):
That’s true. If that’s the case, if it was one brake light, they should have used the proper rod on it and then showed that. So that’s a good thought here. So they’re telling the story here but not the full story.
Tom Dorsey (00:44:46):
He’s got the proper Texas bumper stickers on there too.
Bill Connor (00:44:50):
Excellent. And so now my question is assign me a number score to this.
Tom Dorsey (00:44:57):
Monica said should have been a video showing the lights on and not working the application. That wouldn’t hurt. You got to get somebody to help you. But if you can get that done that’s that’s a great way to seal that.
Bill Connor (00:45:10):
Excellent. So somebody give me a number score.
Tom Dorsey (00:45:13):
Ken said
Bill Connor (00:45:14):
Three and Ken still be in generous, but I’m going to take Ken this time because this is a participation sport and now we’re going to go here to the oil level is telling ’em their engine oils level, they could see it on the stick. Is there anything you could think that could have made this better?
Tom Dorsey (00:45:33):
Well definitely, yeah. I mean there’s distraction stuff with the background and the feet. It’s out of focus, the feet are in focus but the oil, the dipstick is not.
Bill Connor (00:45:46):
And quite commonly when I see something like this is blur and crop. That’s good. How about we go ahead and put one arrow showing the full level and then another one showing where it’s actually at, showing the difference between the two points. So give me a number you’d like to put on this one and I see somebody’s got a one there.
Tom Dorsey (00:46:05):
Yeah, I can. So would you recommend just dropping it down over a sheet of paper even or something and just setting it there and then taking the picture so that you can get it to focus. It blocks out any of the,
Bill Connor (00:46:17):
So a lot of people though use a white piece of towel or something to put it on and they’ll do that for two reasons. One is to contrast is excellent. Number two is that they can get the oil to absorb into paper and then be able to see that level and condition a lot better. And we got lots of ones on this one, so cool. Well not cool, but this is going to be a learning experience for this particular shop and that’s what they asked for. And again, you’re wanting to be looking at this, you’re the average consumer at a sixth grade automotive level. Can they tell everything they need about this from the content that’s being sent to them?
Tom Dorsey (00:47:09):
Yeah, I’m with can right there. Where’s the damage? I mean I think it’s a great picture and the notes are solid but there’s no damage.
Bill Connor (00:47:19):
So let’s go ahead and give me a score for this picture and then we’ll see the picture they put next to it and see if we can see the damage there.
Tom Dorsey (00:47:27):
I have to say one, it’s misleading.
Bill Connor (00:47:31):
Everybody says one,
Tom Dorsey (00:47:33):
One. Monica gave one, Ken gave it three. Ken still stay in middle of the road future senator.
Bill Connor (00:47:40):
And now we’ve got this other picture to go with it to add a little bit more to it. And again, this is probably in the same condition is that it’s not really showing to wear. Maybe this would be more that the belt is glazed, but again, maybe that’s something that needs to be done.
Tom Dorsey (00:48:05):
So that would be then a spot where you would expect to see some additional annotations onto the image around one of those arrows, right? Glazing or something like that. Belt is glazed. What does glaze mean? I mean it’s obviously got the canned message down there that’s annotating right in the notes. But to add context, you don’t have to let that one do all the work for you. Add context where it’s appropriate by giving more information. Steven says statement that the car won’t run as false, you can drive the car until it overheats and cooks the engine until the battery dies
Bill Connor (00:48:40):
Being charge.
Tom Dorsey (00:48:41):
That is true.
Bill Connor (00:48:42):
Remember safe, comfortable and dependable. So I’m not sure where your statement fits into those three things. So alright, so we’ve got another picture here.
And so the whole idea of this exercise is to go ahead and get the feedback from your staff just like you’re doing here today. What could be done better to educate the consumer? And again, the beautiful thing is when you get this dialed in and done properly, you can go ahead and get that customer to go ahead and look over the inspection result and call you ready to engage about pricing and how long it’s going to take rather than having to answer a bunch of questions. And if the customer’s not going to be doing anything today, I would rather they spend their time exercising their right to look things over than having the service writer spending all their time going over it one thing at a time.
Tom Dorsey (00:49:42):
So a
Bill Connor (00:49:43):
Paper towel
Tom Dorsey (00:49:44):
Feedback, the shadows obscuring the gap and it needs a better background. Again, a sheet of paper or something to lay it on. But that’s fantastic, right? And I mean it sounds kind of awkward, but yeah, you want to do some training with the technicians on proper use of lighting when they’re taking these pictures and some kind of photography elements. It might not even be a bad idea to introduce a photography class as a kind of side event with the shop or something or bring in a photographer, a local photographer to just talk about some techniques that they use for one of your shop meetings for 10 minutes and give ’em a discount on some oil change or something.
Bill Connor (00:50:25):
I’ve got a couple shops that they go ahead, they’ll do this audit and because they’re picking the inspection random and then everybody in the shop is scoring it, they say whoever’s inspection is picked, if it scores a four or higher, gets a dinner certificate for that employee and their significant other to go out to dinner. So they’ve got a little bit of competition going on there also, or they use their NAPA swag or whatever else it is. So there’s always something in it, but it’s always random and it’s always participation by everybody. So here you guys got give me a lot of feedback on what could have been done better here. What score did we put on this picture?
Tom Dorsey (00:51:05):
Monica gave it a three. She’s coming over to Ken’s side there.
Bill Connor (00:51:10):
Tom Dorsey (00:51:10):
I mean that’s got to be a one. The gap is you can’t even see the gap or the carbon buildup and that was the sales point, that was the value proposition as it were.
Bill Connor (00:51:21):
And it looks like everybody’s picking up on this pretty good. So what I’d like to do is I’d like to go and just take one more if that’s okay. And even if it’s not, so it’d be nice to see some cracking in here or some rust dust for a movement or something. It’s definitely got an arrow pointing to the area of focus. I think the area probably if it was back a little bit further down in this area, you could probably see this crack that was underneath it. So maybe the placement’s not so good. Video showing movement would be good. That’s true.
Tom Dorsey (00:52:07):
Yeah. This is another one where I might’ve done two. I mean I know it’s hard, it’s in, it’s a difficult location, but one from this level with like you said, the arrow back a bit and then try to get it in closer, zoom in on it. Well,
Bill Connor (00:52:21):
Hard isn’t really what we’re looking at here. Basically we’re looking for is can we use processes to go ahead and make an installment payment for your shop and everybody’s wallet along there while we’re giving the customer a safer vehicle. So it’s not easy, but after you learn it and you learn how to properly communicate these things to the customer digitally, if this was in a shop environment, it’d be real easy. You just take your laser pointer and move it over a little bit or you’d push up and down in the car and get some movement or so on. And another thing is when you’re using video for suspension components, set that tablet on something so that way when you’re pushing up and down on it, the tablet isn’t moving up and down along with it. Monica’s tough today, she’s doing a one or two here also. That’s good.
So that’s pretty much how you would go ahead and actually score this. And again, your notes that you took here, what we want to do is we want to go and actually copy these notes and we want to go up to the top here and we want to paste them in here so that way on subsequent visits or in employee reviews or whatever the notes are here ready to use. And you can see now we’ve got an aggregated score for this particular inspection sheet up in this area. And if we go back now, we can go and choose another inspection sheet and do it. And now this score will be reported right to your business control panel. So that way if you’re doing this once a week and across your shop, they’re scoring an average of two today, well maybe a week from now, they’re a three, four and five. And again, four and a half or higher is what you really want to be three or higher is when you start noticing a really large amount of approvals. But again, the goal is to educate that customer without them being at your shop.
Tom Dorsey (00:54:13):
Yeah. Bill, and you had mentioned having the techs audit each other. Is that what you were recommending? Should folks be having kind of texts, looking at each other’s and giving
Bill Connor (00:54:29):
Stories? Anything you could do to gamify it and to go ahead and get them to tell you what they could have done better is all fair game to me. So I like to do it initially in a meeting with everybody there so they can all tell you. And then later on you might go ahead and say, look, we’re only going to do this every now and then, but what I’m going to do, we’re going to switch it up a little bit. I’m going to go ahead and assign a different person, somebody else’s inspection, and I want you to go through and audit it just like we taught you here today and kind of gamify a little bit, make it fun, but educational at the same time.
Tom Dorsey (00:55:03):
And that goes with friends and family even, right? Is if you can bring them into it to get their opinion. I mean, you don’t have to log ’em into the audit tool and have ’em fill it out like homework, but you can show ’em a couple.
Bill Connor (00:55:17):
My family is sometimes better to friends because friends have a tendency to be kind to you or family. They’re going to tell you how it is.
Tom Dorsey (00:55:24):
This sucks. Yeah, you’re right. That’s good. So
Bill Connor (00:55:29):
You’ve met them family before.
Tom Dorsey (00:55:30):
Oh yeah, yeah. Use your little sister. She’ll tell you just
Bill Connor (00:55:33):
Like, and so I want to go and give them a takeaway also. So what I’m going to do is I’m going to go and copy this preset and I’m going to paste it in the chat when I can find the chat so they can copy this and use it for their shop. This is a preset that has actually been built on the,
Tom Dorsey (00:55:50):
Oh, this is awesome.
Bill Connor (00:55:52):
On the other shop, on our test shop
Tom Dorsey (00:55:55):
Right here.
Bill Connor (00:55:59):
Now the price of admission, they’re going to go ahead and calculate as soon as they start using these tools in their shop because there’ll be deposit in their own bank account.
So if you use that one, what you’re going to do is you’re going to come in here and change this here to your own shop and then hit save as and then go and save it here. And you’ll see there’s a list of KPIs here that are important when it comes to auditing. So inspection rate number recommendation. Are the technicians spotting needs? Are the technician taking pictures that go with it? Are they editing them? Is the inspection been sent? What is the percentage inspections that have been sent versus the total number of repair orders that come through the shop?
Average motorist research time, that’s the number I was talking about earlier. Number of recommendations, times 60 seconds that are in the window. This particular shop here, if you think about this on average, 11 minutes per inspection is what the customers are looking over to results. Well, you might think it’s good or you might not think it’s good, but if you look at the number of recommended actions and then multiply it by 60 seconds, then are you in the window that you belong or not? Average build hours per repair order. Obviously we’re not anywhere we need to be, but this shop here might do a high combination of state inspections and oil changes. And again, we want to drive this number up over time. We can see the technicians are their efficiency, productivity, service advisor efficiency. So these are the average number of hours paid, poisoned in invoice per day, their sales to estimate rate, estimate to recommendation.
And other things I’d like to do here is when we talk about quick wins all the time is if the technician recommended it, did that canned job make it to the estimate? So here, 26% of the time, it made it there and then was it actually sold? So during this particular time period, not only was it recommended, but it was sold 39 times. So there’s a ton of information in the business control panel to use effective labor rate. This is your total labor sales divided by the hours built through the shop. You want to make sure your parts and labor combined is at least double what this is and photo ID rate. And now going forward, after you start auditing years, you’re going to start seeing numbers populated in here. And again, we’re looking for four and a half or higher, but again, everybody’s got to start somewhere. The journey didn’t start out in New York City, so to say,
Tom Dorsey (00:58:29):
New York City. So did you see Ken’s feedback? The link’s not working, he’s not authorized to use it.
Bill Connor (00:58:40):
That’s interesting because it’s built on a reference shop. So what we’ll do is when we paste this in the forum, I’ll go ahead and make sure that we got a link that’s in there. And again, let me go ahead and make sure that again, but that’s a reference shop. So it should go ahead and let you use that preset in any shop and it should just load.
Tom Dorsey (00:58:59):
Yeah, so check for it in the forum on the Facebook forum. We’ll get an updated link that’ll work through there. And then also Monica’s asking if you can show how to navigate over to the audit.
Bill Connor (00:59:11):
Absolutely. As soon as I figure out what monitor it’s on, it’s going to be on this one, this one here.
Tom Dorsey (00:59:23):
So while Bill’s doing that, what’d you think about this show? Do you like to see more of this type of show where we’re going through step by step how to interacting with you to learn or do you like more of the success story type operator interviews or an equal dispersion of both?
Bill Connor (00:59:44):
That’s a great question. So while they’re doing that, I’m going to go and encourage you to hit the hamburger menu, the one without any bacon or cheese. And I’m going to continue to complain about that. Go down here to where it says inspections and expand that. And they’ll go down here to where it says inspection result and audit tool. You’ll have it here. You can choose a timeframe you want to work with or even a custom timeframe. And then you can choose the employee, either a service writer or technician you want to audit. And again, we were using Brenner and we’ll choose here. And then if you’re doing the last seven days, including today, I don’t want to audit an inspection here because they might not even send it to the customer yet. So I’m going to start down on the lower end of the scale here and let me know if that got the question answered. Okay,
Tom Dorsey (01:00:33):
Yeah. Yeah, Monica said thanks. Thanks Kevin. Thanks Ken. Appreciate your feedback. Thank you Monica. Appreciate your feedback. And in the Facebook forum, if there’s any type of any topics that you want to have us cover in this type of format, please don’t be shy. We’re always looking for both topics that are going to be helpful because that’s the whole point of the show is to help you be better operators and get better results. And then also we’re looking for folks to come on the show and share their results. So either or both would be fabulous. Appreciate that, Steven. Sam, perhaps the session dedicated to photo taking lesson for shop owners and techs. That’s fantastic. Great. Thank you very much.
Bill Connor (01:01:17):
And he said the link went through that time, so that’s good. And one of the things I really, really like to do is I would really like to find some volunteers to go ahead and maybe do a one-on-one call with me on specific topics. What do you do in a drop off? What are you doing at pickup? The call that comes in from the customer when they go to review the inspection results. So a specific topic type call, maybe 10, 15 minutes that we can go ahead and use to repurpose to help other people over that hump. And I know there’s a lot of people here on the call right now that are doing a lot of things well. So if they volunteer, that’s good. I see Eric’s got his hand up. I’m not quite sure why, but I think I owe him an explanation. Oh, that’s right. The tire results that you were seeing there were actually by a tool called the Groove Glove, and it’s not ready to go and be released on production for all our shops yet, but the pilot shops have been using it with good success. So I’m going to just ask you to stay tuned on that.
Tom Dorsey (01:02:19):
Yeah, yeah, definitely. Actually, it’s amazing the work that Bill and Uwe have been doing with Google Glove has actually improved their product to make it more accurate for our inspections. So that’s fabulous. But yeah, check that out when it comes out. Oh, and Monica would like to see more detail on business control panels, so that’s awesome. Really appreciate that feedback. Tune in next Wednesday. We’re going to have Greg Bunch from Transformers Institute and JR Luna, a multi shop owner right out of our backyard, right out of Ventura, California coming on, who’s a client of Transformers Institute. And it doesn’t matter if you’re not a multis shop owner. Transformers is an organization that helps to coach multis. If you’re looking at thinking about potentially going to expand your operation, become a multis shop owner, you want to check that out next Wednesday, same time, same place. Going to be a really good show. I mean, those guys are doing some great things and Greg’s a brilliant operator. So when you talk about success stories and things like that as inspiration, this is when you don’t want to miss whether you’re a multi or not. So we’ll see you next Wednesday, Bill. Appreciate you, buddy. That was a fantastic show, man. Helped a lot of people. I think we got a lot of good
Bill Connor (01:03:38):
Information. My question to them is if they’ll chat into one right quick, I want to know where the number one in there, who’s going to go back and audit some inspections
Tom Dorsey (01:03:49):
Like everybody is, why you ask questions that you know the answer to. You’re like a lawyer. Monica, appreciate you, Ken. Yeah, thank you, Troy. Thank you Jeff. Thank you. Awesome, awesome stuff. Thank you enough, Billy. You’re awesome as always, buddy. You are a man, a giant among men.
Bill Connor (01:04:11):
You saying I’m fat.
Tom Dorsey (01:04:15):
I’ll see you later.
Bill Connor (01:04:16):

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