Becoming Indispensable

Jan. 17, 2018

Make your position indispensable at your shop by finding ways to set yourself apart.

“If I could name her employee of the month every single month, I would,” says Taylor Olsen’s FenderBender Award nominator, Jake Aufenkamp.

Aufenkamp is the body shop manager of Woodhouse Auto Body Shop in Blair, Neb., and he’s quick to say that hiring Olsen was the best decision that he’s made in the two years that he’s managed the shop.

In January 2016, Olsen was hired into a brand new position at Woodhouse—customer service representative. Olsen quickly became a trailblazer for the position and took on the tasks that she wanted to learn more about.

“When I first started, they had no idea what I was going to do,” laughs Olsen.

Olsen has evolved the position from answering the phones when she first started into a position that does a little bit of everything, which as of a few months ago, includes writing estimates.

“I try to learn as much as I can,” Olsen says. “I love knowing everything I can about my job. The more I know, the more I can help and the more I help, the more the customer will refer others and the more work we get. It all starts with one person.”

Olsen shares how she’s been able to turn a brand new position at the shop into a role that nobody on the team wants to live without.

Take Every Opportunity

When Olsen was first hired, she came on board without any knowledge of the collision repair industry. She didn’t let that intimidate her and instead took every opportunity she could to learn.

“I caught on pretty quickly,” Olsen says. “I listened to what everyone else was saying or doing and I asked a lot of questions.”

Instead of being content with what she was told to do or what was expected of her (which, as she mentioned before, wasn’t clear to anyone at the beginning), Olsen took charge and decided what needed to be done and what she wanted to do. Because of this, she’s started writing estimates on smaller jobs like bumpers.

“I honestly just started doing it,” Olsen says. “Jake has always been really flexible with me. He’s never had an issue with me taking on new tasks. He understands that the more I learn, the better I am and how much easier things will go for everyone else.”

A Helping Hand

In Aufenkamp’s nomination, he said that Olsen’s attention to detail has given the estimators in the shop the ability to focus on the task at hand rather than having to worry about other items that would have otherwise been holding them up.

“I’m basically the go-to person,” Olsen says. “My position helps everything run a little smoother. Anything they need me to do, I’ll do it.”

Olsen will make calls to insurers so that the estimators don’t have to. She’ll track down all of the necessary paperwork that a job might need. She’ll keep customers updated. Anything she can do so that the repair receives the attention it deserves, she’s more than happy to do. Olsen does her best to lighten the workload of the rest of the staff and because of that, she’s helped the shop run smoother and become an integral part of the team.

“There’s not a lot that happens in the shop that Taylor hasn’t had a hand in,” Aufenkamp says.

Exude Positivity

“I greet every customer that walks in the door with a smile and a greeting, ‘Hi, how are you?’” Olsen says. A veteran in customer service, Olsen knows this is a very important aspect of her job.

Olsen says that in order to succeed, she needs to remember to always have a friendly smile on her face with customers and to stay calm at all times, even if the customer is frustrated.

“The customers should feel like they’re walking into a family,” Olsen says.

Speaking of family, Olsen’s positivity and general cheer doesn’t stop with customers. She takes her upbeat personality with her wherever she goes.

“Sometimes people are super stressed out trying to get everything done,” Olsen says. “I try to stay positive and find out what I can do to help out.”

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