When saving the customer money; backfires!
A few months back a customer came in with a broken seat frame on her Honda Pilot. The car has over 150,000 miles on it and the seat frame broke through use. Replacing the seat frame, with labor, would be well over $1100. My foreman recommended welding the frame, saving the customers hundreds and hundreds of dollars. Two months later the car returned. The seat frame broke in a different spot.
Explaining this to the customer is difficult. She paid for a repair and wants satisfaction. The service advisor informed her that the seat frame broke in a different spot and that we were looking to save her money by welding the frame, as opposed to replacing it. She asked why she was not given a choice.
After a few go-arounds with the customer, the service advisor told her we would credit what she paid on the weld repair toward the job of replacing the seat frame. She was ok with this.
The lesson here is to clearly explain to the customer all the options. Don’t let your first inclination to “save” the customer money influence you into not letting the customer decide what the repair should be. Present all the options, the pros and cons, and have the customer be part of the decision making process. You can certainly give your opinion, but there are times that you should not decide for the customer. Plus, we need to clearly state all the options on the invoice and reviewed at time of car delivery.