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UNAUTHORIZED REPAIRS VS UNAVAILABLE CUSTOMERS

So, here goes.  A customer drops of a car for a repair that he/she has 'diagnosed' themselves, gets a quote on the 'prescribed' repair, and leaves you a cell phone number that does not have a voicemail set up, or has a full mailbox, or the customer is out of service area.  It's on your rack, tying up a bay, and the actual repair it needs is just a few dollars more.  What do you do?  This is a discussion I have had with many, many other shop owners and there seems to be no clear concise answer, but there is a general rule of thought.  The customer brought it to you to be fixed, but how you handle the customer  is the key to keeping the customer from being upset.  Granted, there is no 100% accurate way to do this, ever.

Step 1 - document everything.  That the expected repair was the customers diagnosis, not yours.  Document how many times you have called the customers phone numbers and the time.  Document any trouble you had leaving them a message, and what the trouble was.

Step 2 - ask your customers up-front if the repair is more that the original estimate, do they need you to call and get authorization for any amount over the original estimate, or if it's over by a certain percentage, and be sure to ask for alternate phone numbers.  Explain to them that in the event that we cannot reach them and your new estimate falls outside of the range of their specs, the car will not be repaired or at the very least not repaired on time.

Step 3 - When the customer calls to authorize the repair difference(s), have your ducks in a row.  Have the new estimate ready and waiting to be able to explain to your customer why it is different.  In this circumstance, it's keen to imply that you are aware that you have been waiting for someone to ok the job and that you will try to complete it asap. 

Step 4 - If you are trying to clear the rack, guess what your customer wants or will apporve, and keep all things running effiicient you stand about a 50% chance of making your customer mad, a 25% chance of having your customer talk bad about your shop, and 100% chance of having mass confusion when your customer picks up their car.

I'm sure this has happened to a few (all) of you reading this, so share if you like. 

Comments




  • Excellent advice.  You cannot "over-document."  When you get into court, that's all you have, so randomly spot-check the service writers and their doucmentation.  It is just as important as doing a proper repair.

    jeffzx9, 3 years ago | Flag

Uploaded By: WAP
3 years ago
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