Quantcast
Jump to content


Service writer mindset, savvy customers pushing psychological buttons.


Recommended Posts

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.

  • Like 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Great Tire Deal

Wanna talk about the ridiculous, today a guy stops by the shop with a 2013 Escalade, tells the SW that he has a front tire that is losing air fast. "No problem", says the SW, we can patch it for $24.95. "No." says the guy, "I have my own air compressor, I just need to plug it in to get some air". You know, like the 110v outlet. Unbelievable!

  • Like 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Had one come in the other day for a battery but wouldn't buy the Interstate I had in stock. Why.... because it was the wrong color. Their battery was white and black not green and white. I was told I should find a new job because I obviously didn't know my job very well. chuckle...chuckle... I held the door open so they could leave.

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Before and after repairs and some customers will still try to blame you

For the ever since.

Usually it is six months down the road but they are just bringing it up now.

 

In this case I never accept

Responsibility for creating a problem I know I did not create.

Instead I urge them to let me take a look at it during the appointment and find out what may have arised.

 

Usually after more questioning they admit hitting something or taking it to another shop for related repairs.

 

It is offensive when they insinuate you

Messed their car up even when you know they're lying.....yes customers lie and it sucks but you Just have to stick to your guns and be adamant you will find the problem but also let them know it will cost some diagnosis time.

That one time that you forget to mention and note a noise or strange vibration during a test drive is the one that will most

Likely get blamed in you in the future.

 

Don't just discuss it with the customer, document it.

I had a guy blame me for a brake noise after we discussed it prior to repairs .

It was a fluid sloshing noise in the brake line that reverberated under the car

When you stepped on the brake pedal hard.

 

The customer and I discussed it prior to repairs but I did not document it and have him sign an affidavit...lol.

 

After I did the brake job the noise was still there and the customer blatantly denied our discussion about it, denied he told me it was doing it for quite some time and insisted I caused it.

I was mortified but I ended up getting his brake controller replaced under warranty at the dealership since it was covered for ten years due to an ungodly amount of customer

Complaints of this issue.

 

Needless to say I refused to do any further work for that guy and I told him so after everything was all said and done .

He never even thanked me for taking care of his problem that he blatantly lied to me about.

 

Wanna know the kicker?

He is a police officer, high up in rank too.

 

Nice guy huh?

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

There are a ton of weird people out there. Some do it to try and have their way, others do it because they are just jaded, and bitter individuals. They have lost all hope, and think everyone is out to get them. Others are just a mess and irresponsible, and others are just plain loonie:

 

I had a guy bring me an X5 with the rear suspension on the ground. After looking at the car I found all kinds of DIY disasters. I took pictures of everything, and noted it on the inspection sheet. Except the guy would not sign. I told him Sir, this is in both of our best interests. It is for insurance purposes. I am required to do this. He would not sign. Said I'm not signing anything, pulls out cash, and says here this is for checking it. I'm good, I got the cash. I went back and forth with him, explaining it is not about the money. It is for liability purposes, vehicles have to be inspected, and signed off on prior to any work performed. Florida law. Guy says, well take it down, I'm not signing anything. So I did. Parked it outside, and guy jacks it up in the parking lot, and commences to tinker with it in my lot! I just left him be, figured not worth to expend the energy. I probably should have called law enforcement when I think about it though. Eventually he left, but not without leaving bolts, trash, and wire ties all over my parking lot.

 

Another case I once had was with a customer who brought me a MINI Cooper. It arrives on the tow truck. Guy seemed really cool, really friendly. Tells me "I'm a bus mechanic at the county. This here has a bad oil pump. I don't want to get into it though, rather let someone else handle it. Too tight in there." I was already skeptical but w/e. Signed off on the quote, and got started. Once I opened up the engine, it was apparent the guy had never done an oil change to save his life. I mean it was sludge city in there. Car also had 158k miles. I contacted him about the findings. I tell him buddy, your problem is further than an oil pump, that engine is sludged really really bad. We need to pressure flush the entire lubrication system, and see where that takes us. My advice would be to remove the rod end caps and inspect all the rod bearings, before proceeding forward. No sense in trying to salvage a bad engine. Well, when I pulled the oil pan, I found a rod laying in all it's shattered glory, at the bottom of the pan. I got a bad feeling instantly, but I called the guy anyway. Told him about the bad news, but that I had a spare MINI engine with under 80k miles verified. Guy's response to me was "No I can't do that, how much to rebuild the one that is in there?" I tell him a lot more than just swapping engines. Plus the down time, and honestly, I just don't have the time right now to dedicate to such a large project. His response was that the car was a lease, and he could not swap the engine because they check that.

 

Car was over 5 years old, and had 158k miles. If it even was a lease, that would be the least of his worries.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
  • Available Subscriptions

  • Have you checked out Joe's Latest Blog?

         0 comments
      It always amazes me when I hear about a technician who quits one repair shop to go work at another shop for less money. I know you have heard of this too, and you’ve probably asked yourself, “Can this be true? And Why?” The answer rests within the culture of the company. More specifically, the boss, manager, or a toxic work environment literally pushed the technician out the door.
      While money and benefits tend to attract people to a company, it won’t keep them there. When a technician begins to look over the fence for greener grass, that is usually a sign that something is wrong within the workplace. It also means that his or her heart is probably already gone. If the issue is not resolved, no amount of money will keep that technician for the long term. The heart is always the first to leave. The last thing that leaves is the technician’s toolbox.
      Shop owners: Focus more on employee retention than acquisition. This is not to say that you should not be constantly recruiting. You should. What it does means is that once you hire someone, your job isn’t over, that’s when it begins. Get to know your technicians. Build strong relationships. Have frequent one-on-ones. Engage in meaningful conversation. Find what truly motivates your technicians. You may be surprised that while money is a motivator, it’s usually not the prime motivator.
      One last thing; the cost of technician turnover can be financially devastating. It also affects shop morale. Do all you can to create a workplace where technicians feel they are respected, recognized, and know that their work contributes to the overall success of the company. This will lead to improved morale and team spirit. Remember, when you see a technician’s toolbox rolling out of the bay on its way to another shop, the heart was most likely gone long before that.
  • Similar Topics

    • By Joe Marconi

      Premium Member Content 

      This content is hidden to guests, one of the benefits of a paid membership. Please login or register to view this content.

    • By carmcapriotto
      Thanks to our Partners, AAPEX, NAPA TRACS, and Automotive Management Network Recorded Live at the TST Big Event, Michael Ingvardsen, Global Technical Training Manager from Nissens Automotive, discusses the evolving challenges and advancements in automotive air conditioning systems, including the potential warranty issues arising from using alternative refrigerants. This episode is a roadmap for staying informed, proactive, and environmentally conscious as we navigate the transition to new refrigerants. Michael Ingvardsen, Global Technical Training Manager, Nissens Automotive Show Notes
      Impacts of new refrigerants (00:03:07) Discussion on the impact of new refrigerants on the automotive aftermarket industry. Testing and approval of new refrigerants (00:04:44) Testing and approval process for new refrigerants, including warranty implications. Industry response and concerns (00:08:07) Concerns and responses from the industry regarding the use of replacement refrigerants. Challenges and best practices (00:09:23) Challenges and best practices for shops in dealing with new refrigerants and components. Warranty implications (00:09:49) Discussion on warranty implications related to the use of new refrigerants and components. Industry communication and training (00:10:37) Importance of industry-wide communication and training on the use of new refrigerants. System maintenance and practices (00:11:34) Impact of new refrigerants on system maintenance and best practices. Industry readiness and response (00:13:15) Discussion on industry readiness and response to the introduction of new refrigerants. Cost and environmental considerations (00:18:04) Considerations for choosing replacement refrigerants based on cost and environmental impact. The concern about heat pump systems (00:19:22) Discussion about the technical concerns and impact of heat pump systems on warranty situations. European focus on heat pump cars (00:20:15) Insights into heat pumps by European vehicle manufacturers. Training for diagnosing heat pump systems (00:21:21) The necessity of understanding heat transfer and the flow of refrigerant in a heat pump system for effective diagnosis. Life lessons and analogies with heat pumps (00:22:47) Humorous analogies and life lessons related to heat pump systems and relationships. Challenges and changes in refrigerants (00:26:15) Discussion about the re-evaluation of refrigerants in Europe and the challenges in adapting to new environmental regulations. Importance of staying updated and educated (00:27:09) Encouragement for professionals to stay updated, attend classes, and be experts in air conditioning systems. Thanks to our Partners, AAPEX, NAPA TRACS, and Automotive Management Network Set your sights on Las Vegas in 2024. Mark your calendar now … November 5th-7th, 2024. AAPEX - Now more than ever. And don’t miss the next free AAPEX webinar. Register now at http://AAPEXSHOW.COM/WEBINAR NAPA TRACS will move your shop into the SMS fast lane with onsite training and six days a week of support and local representation. Find NAPA TRACS on the Web at http://napatracs.com/ Get ready to grow your business with the Automotive Management Network: Find on the Web at http://AftermarketManagementNetwork.com for information that can help you move your business ahead and for the free and informative http://LaborRateTracker.com Connect with the Podcast: -Follow on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/RemarkableResultsRadioPodcast/ -Join Our Private Facebook Community: https://www.facebook.com/groups/1734687266778976 -Subscribe on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/carmcapriotto -Follow on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/carmcapriotto/ -Follow on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/remarkableresultsradiopodcast/ -Follow on Twitter: https://twitter.com/RResultsBiz -Visit the Website: https://remarkableresults.biz/ -Join our Insider List: https://remarkableresults.biz/insider -All books mentioned on our podcasts: https://remarkableresults.biz/books -Our Classroom page for personal or team learning: https://remarkableresults.biz/classroom -Buy Me a Coffee: https://www.buymeacoffee.com/carm -The Aftermarket Radio Network: https://aftermarketradionetwork.com -Special episode collections: https://remarkableresults.biz/collections                    
      Click to go to the Podcast on Remarkable Results Radio
    • By Changing The Industry
      The Biggest Reason Why Small Auto Repair Shops Fail
    • By carmcapriotto
      Thank you to our friends at RepairPal for providing you this episode. As shop owners we were part of RepairPal’s Certified network and you can learn more at RepairPal.com/shops.
      Show Notes
      My Facebook Ads are showing to people way outside of my service area (not set up right) My social media doesn’t seem to be providing a return on investment (Junk smm) I never see my Google Ads when I search for my business (low budget) I don’t show up in the Map Pack when I search for auto repair near me, and I’m searching while I’m in my business (connected to wifi) My website is too slow (pictures too big or cheap hosting) My website doesn’t come up when people search for mechanic near me (stock content) I get lots of leads but they don’t turn into customers (Your SA sucks) My marketing looks like every other shop’s marketing (are you talking to your marketers?) The shop is slow. It’s time to turn our marketing back on. (never stop marketing)  
      How To Get In Touch
       
      Group - Auto Repair Marketing Mastermind
      Website - shopmarketingpros.com 
      Facebook - facebook.com/shopmarketingpros 
      Get the Book - shopmarketingpros.com/book
      Instagram - @shopmarketingpros 
      Questions/Ideas - [email protected]
      Click to go to the Podcast on Remarkable Results Radio
    • By Changing The Industry
      Dealership Tries To Pull A Fast One


  • Our Sponsors



×
×
  • Create New...