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Service writer mindset, savvy customers pushing psychological buttons.


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I was at one of the shops last week, where I noticed a customer come in and start telling the service writer how her car is giving her problems since we last serviced it.

 

This is a new service writer and the senior guy was out on a dental appointment. The customer kept telling him how unhappy she was, and how she was not going to pay for all the shoddy work.

 

My guy was taken aback, and somewhat stumped, but the shop manager knows his customers well. He stepped in and greeted the customer, acknowledged her complaint and put her at easy. He looked up the service history and found all the notes about this particular customer. The last thing that was done to the car was rear brakes, but now she came in complaining about her steering.

 

When the car was inspected, road impact damage was found to the front suspension (lower control arm, strut, etc.). When she was asked if she hit something, she replied that she didn't know, and no one else drives the car.

 

Anyhow, we gave her an estimate, without batting a eye lash, she said, "oh, no. That's too much money." The manager stayed silent for a minute watching her, then, said "Okay then, you have our estimate, let me know when you are ready to proceed." She argued that it wasn't her fault, that it wasn't the front end problem, that it had something to do with the rear brakes, etc. The manager listened to her attentively, then again, said to her "I hear you. You have our estimate, let me know if you want to fix it or want to take it as it is". She called her husband, then passed the phone to the manager. I hear the manager repeat the estimate amount, and an approximate time when the car would be ready. The manager got the ok to proceed from the husband.

 

A friend of the woman had arrived by the time the manager was talking on the phone with the husband, as the call ended, the manager gives her phone back to her. She acknowledges the estimate and walks out with her friend.

 

I took a look at her account, they are a very long time customer. When I asked the manager about the account, he said they are weird customers but very loyal. The new service write said that he was glad the manager was there because he really would not have known how to deal with the "lady".

 

The point? Customers are out there that are difficult and you can't take it personally, they are just savvy people that know how to take every opportunity to their advantage.

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