A customer returns to your shop and is not happy. They tell you that you had replaced their alternator in the past, and it recently failed while they were out of town.
Most shop owners and service advisors will then ask the customer why they were not contacted before the customer authorized the repair. Asking that question first is a mistake because it will immediately put the customer on the defense and escalate their anger.
On the other hand, what some owners and service advisors will do, especially if the repair is still under warranty, is quickly offer the customer some form of refund. Unfortunately, that’s a mistake as well.
If you want to reduce the expenses that you’re going to incur in these situations, and save the customer too, use this technique that I used for decades: Always let the customer finish what they have to say, then ask them what they would like to see happen. You’ll be amazed at how often you discover what they’re looking for is far less than what you would have offered. In many cases all they’ll be looking for is reimbursement for a towing charge, a refund that is a percentage of the original repair, or nothing more than an apology.
In all cases, the first place to start is in learning what their expectations are. You then know what you need to do to meet or exceed their expectations, save money, and turn them into raving fans at the same time.
For additional help running a more profitable, successful auto repair business, learn more about Elite’s auto shop management solutions.