Quantcast
Jump to content


How do you feel about customers whom come back after getting repairs elsewhere?


Recommended Posts

I'd like to see a fun discussion on what you guys do and how you feel after you had recommended repairs and services on a customer's vehicle and they leave without performing them at your shop. 6 months later they come back for something and you realize (or they tell you) they had YOUR previous recommendations performed else where. The situation isn't that the other shop messed anything up, they just decided due to price or convenience they wanted to go somewhere else.

 

How do you guys feel? How do you treat the customer?

 

 

Just curious to see what you guys do and how you feel.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

They're not cheating on us per say but why not encourage them to stay faithful?

 

I'd also tell them that we do these inspections as a courtesy however it doesn't make sense for us to continue services outside of what they pay for. If they walk you're only losing a liability then and we're in this for the assets#

 

Sent from my SM-N900P using Tapatalk

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Meh, doesn't happen often enough for us to worry about it or be a big deal. I'd keep on providing the same great customer service. The real question is why they had it done somewhere else, then you can know how to best handle the situation. At most, if the customer blatantly says they use us for our expert opinion then finds the cheapest price, I'd start charging that customer for any future inspections and any diag

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

We had one customer who did that on a regular basis. They had us do some things but most was done elsewhere. We simply told them we did not want to work on their car anymore.

Frank, think about how you would feel if you sat down in a restaurant and the manager came over and said you weren't welcome and that they refused to service you. Maybe next time you could try multiplying the labor time by 1.5 or more. Your tech would appreciate it, your wallet would appreciate it, and you might avoid alienating a customer. I've had a few customers who I don't get excited about seeing come through the door, so I do just that. Most of the time they stop coming in. A few keep coming back.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I will just ask them straight up:

"Hey Mrs. Jones, I see that you had our recommendations done elsewhere. Just so that I can improve my business, do you mind if I ask why you had them done somewhere else and not through us?"

 

Just about everyone I've asked doesn't mind giving me an answer. I've see answers ranging from "I couldn't afford it" (maybe I forgot to explain financing options) "You were too expensive" (maybe I forgot to bring up the value that we provide with our services) etc... Either way, it provides valuable insight.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I was just curious if this irked any of you guys. We don't have this happen often however when it does it gets me really annoyed. Not so much that they "cheated" on us but our "competition" if you can call them that in our area is generally sub par. The customers know they are sub par but price and sometimes convenience is a concern. We generally find all the mistakes and it goes over the customer's head. I suppose they don't want to look like morons for making a bad mistake.

 

What I find scary is we are turning people away at a record pace. Lots of phone callers we are disqualifying and also a lot of customers that are becoming less and less our profile client. The odd part is as we are doing this our profits are rising every month. I find this very off and quiet frankly alarming. We are getting super picky about who are dealing with and we are still winning. I am just not sure if this is sustainable LOL

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I will just ask them straight up:

"Hey Mrs. Jones, I see that you had our recommendations done elsewhere. Just so that I can improve my business, do you mind if I ask why you had them done somewhere else and not through us?"

 

Just about everyone I've asked doesn't mind giving me an answer. I've see answers ranging from "I couldn't afford it" (maybe I forgot to explain financing options) "You were too expensive" (maybe I forgot to bring up the value that we provide with our services) etc... Either way, it provides valuable insight.

This is the approach we recommend that works very well. And I agree.

The insight is super valuable!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Frank, think about how you would feel if you sat down in a restaurant and the manager came over and said you weren't welcome and that they refused to service you. Maybe next time you could try multiplying the labor time by 1.5 or more. Your tech would appreciate it, your wallet would appreciate it, and you might avoid alienating a customer. I've had a few customers who I don't get excited about seeing come through the door, so I do just that. Most of the time they stop coming in. A few keep coming back.

 

There would most certainly be a reason if this happened to anyone. I've known several restaurant/pub owners who have had to do this actually.

It's generally because a "customer" comes in, buys a cheap item (generally a drink with free refills such as coffee or soda pop) and then spends little or nothing else.

This takes up a table that could be generating income (same as a bay) and keeps a server busy and away from well paying customers (same as a non-producing tech).

 

One owner had several pool tables and hosted a weekly pool league night, bringing in 20+ pool players at prime dinner time for 3 hours (great idea right?)

He ended up hating this decision because they all ate dinner at home first, and only spent a couple dollars on non-alcoholic drinks.

Some of them even complained that the waitresses didn't come often enough to "freshen up" their drinks, even though they weren't buying any food or alcoholic drinks.

The owner ended up cancelling the pool league night all together.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

 

There would most certainly be a reason if this happened to anyone. I've known several restaurant/pub owners who have had to do this actually.

It's generally because a "customer" comes in, buys a cheap item (generally a drink with free refills such as coffee or soda pop) and then spends little or nothing else.

This takes up a table that could be generating income (same as a bay) and keeps a server busy and away from well paying customers (same as a non-producing tech).

 

One owner had several pool tables and hosted a weekly pool league night, bringing in 20+ pool players at prime dinner time for 3 hours (great idea right?)

He ended up hating this decision because they all ate dinner at home first, and only spent a couple dollars on non-alcoholic drinks.

Some of them even complained that the waitresses didn't come often enough to "freshen up" their drinks, even though they weren't buying any food or alcoholic drinks.

The owner ended up cancelling the pool league night all together.

 

I grit my teeth every time I have to turn someone away but we are doing it and at a record number. Still making money. Doesn't mean I am not anxious about it though!

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

We offer a few inspections for free. Brakes, exhaust, suspension. But a good initial interview with the customer usually reveals whether or not we need to charge diagnostic labor to figure out the issue. Occasionally, we will not see/hear anything obvious with our inspection and will need to have the customer approve diag labor. And, on occasion, some customers will have the work done themselves, at their Uncle's shop, or go to a competitor. But the only way we know this is if they return and we're happy they returned. We ask if there was a reason they went somewhere else to have the work done and they tell us, we thank them for returning, and we hope for better next time. Now, if this happens a second time I flag their name and only allow them back in my shop for drop off appointments where we can work on the car on our schedule.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

This is one reason we charge for any diagnostic work period. As long as they pay our rate, the rest is up to them, of course we try and keep the work here but at least we're never out time/money.

 

 

We offer a few inspections for free. Brakes, exhaust, suspension. But a good initial interview with the customer usually reveals whether or not we need to charge diagnostic labor to figure out the issue. Occasionally, we will not see/hear anything obvious with our inspection and will need to have the customer approve diag labor. And, on occasion, some customers will have the work done themselves, at their Uncle's shop, or go to a competitor. But the only way we know this is if they return and we're happy they returned. We ask if there was a reason they went somewhere else to have the work done and they tell us, we thank them for returning, and we hope for better next time. Now, if this happens a second time I flag their name and only allow them back in my shop for drop off appointments where we can work on the car on our schedule.

 

 

yup we charge diag and inspection fees. We used to be more lax in the past but we have since implemented a very profitable diagnostic flow chart. I'd still rather not take in a customer that is going to jump around to other shops or perform work themselves as its still a waste of time overall.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

This is one reason I hate cheap oil changes, the tech finds things to up-sell just so the customer takes his business elsewhere to have the vehicle serviced.

 

I charge full price for LOF, and I have found out that customers that don't mind paying regular prices for oil changes, also do not have issues dropping the car off to have it serviced.

 

It takes Iron core discipline to choose to say no to unprofitable cheapskates, mostly because they seem to lead you to think they are customers.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I was just curious if this irked any of you guys. We don't have this happen often however when it does it gets me really annoyed. Not so much that they "cheated" on us but our "competition" if you can call them that in our area is generally sub par. The customers know they are sub par but price and sometimes convenience is a concern. We generally find all the mistakes and it goes over the customer's head. I suppose they don't want to look like morons for making a bad mistake.

 

What I find scary is we are turning people away at a record pace. Lots of phone callers we are disqualifying and also a lot of customers that are becoming less and less our profile client. The odd part is as we are doing this our profits are rising every month. I find this very off and quiet frankly alarming. We are getting super picky about who are dealing with and we are still winning. I am just not sure if this is sustainable LOL

I would rather have a few profitable cars (jobs) in the parking lot than to have the lot mostly full with low-profit non-profile jobs. I need to meet my profit margins, ARO, CSI, and sales goals, and it's hard to do with "broke-minded" and/or $broke vehicle owners.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 3 weeks later...

If a customer balks at a job and I think they are going to get it done cheaper I offer a cheaper alternative. "You know Mrs. jones if you prefer lesser quality parts we can put them in and save you money. There's a reason someone else can do the job cheaper...cheaper parts. I assumed you wanted the best for your vehicle " most times they just buy the good stuff anyway

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 months later...

Had a customer that comes to us for some oil changes and some service. Lifetime over last 24 months was about $1300. Found out he was taking our recommendations and going elsewhere to get the repairs done. We have turned off his contact opt ins and will politely decline to book him for further appointments. You might think I'm petty or maybe even a little crazy but in my eyes it ceased being a synergistic relationship when you are now using us for only oil changes or a second/third option. Its a waste of my tech's time and my service advisor when we have a lot of other great clients to serve. Bye Felicia!

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'd like to give my input as well....

 

When i first bought my shop 6 years ago, within 12 months, I gradually increased the LOF price from $16 to $40.... Then past 5 years, only increased it 3% a year. It eliminated most of the customers I didn't want pretty quickly. Car count decreased rapidly first 12 months.... Then slowly started to increase.... What i saw was, we had more time to spend with each car and customer, which resulted in a more close relationship, and ( the bomb!) MANY REFERRALS! But due to lower car count and higher averages, the revenue fluctuates alot....didn't foresee that at the time :)

 

On diag charges: the ones that use me exclusively, I never charge. The referrals: i tell them, i count the diag charge towards repairs. The others: they approve it before I start looking at it, and again, I count it towards repair labor.... So far, its been OK.

 

On customer supplied parts: honestly, i have no problem with that as long as I charge full pop on labor at my rate ($115 and above)... I tell them there is absolutely no warranty, and also, if its the wrong part, they need to get to correct one within an hour, otherwise pay extra hour for occupying the lift :)

 

The ones that want to get big jobs somewhere else: i have no problem as well... As long as I charge my diag and full price on LOF, I did my job.... What pisses me off is other shops doing $20 LOF and not even doing it right in my area! They also advertise " we beat all estimates"... That is whats damaging the industry, but guess they are having a war on price because they can't win in the quality battle :)

 

So far, I am happy with the route I took.... Wish I could buy out my nearest competitor though :)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'd like to give my input as well....

 

When i first bought my shop 6 years ago, within 12 months, I gradually increased the LOF price from $16 to $40.... Then past 5 years, only increased it 3% a year. It eliminated most of the customers I didn't want pretty quickly. Car count decreased rapidly first 12 months.... Then slowly started to increase.... What i saw was, we had more time to spend with each car and customer, which resulted in a more close relationship, and ( the bomb!) MANY REFERRALS! But due to lower car count and higher averages, the revenue fluctuates alot....didn't foresee that at the time :)

 

On diag charges: the ones that use me exclusively, I never charge. The referrals: i tell them, i count the diag charge towards repairs. The others: they approve it before I start looking at it, and again, I count it towards repair labor.... So far, its been OK.

 

On customer supplied parts: honestly, i have no problem with that as long as I charge full pop on labor at my rate ($115 and above)... I tell them there is absolutely no warranty, and also, if its the wrong part, they need to get to correct one within an hour, otherwise pay extra hour for occupying the lift :)

 

The ones that want to get big jobs somewhere else: i have no problem as well... As long as I charge my diag and full price on LOF, I did my job.... What pisses me off is other shops doing $20 LOF and not even doing it right in my area! They also advertise " we beat all estimates"... That is whats damaging the industry, but guess they are having a war on price because they can't win in the quality battle :)

 

So far, I am happy with the route I took.... Wish I could buy out my nearest competitor though :)

You might be able to buy out your competitor if you charged appropriately for diag and refused customer supplied parts. If I may, let me show you how.

 

Customer supplied parts: If you replace a water pump that pays 1 hour and the water pump would sell for $100, your revenue per hour would be $215 (according to your $115 labor rate)

If you allow the customer to supply their part, your revenue per hour drops to $115.

 

As for diag, it boggles my mind how shops give this away. I used to do the same thing you did until I realized that diag is the hardest thing we do, so why would we give it away?!? Anybody can change an ignition coil, replace a catalytic converter, or flush a fuel system. Diagnosing is the hard part. Think about it. You probably have more applications from technicians who have 3-4 ASE certs and are good at front end work, but even less who say they excel at diagnostic work, ASE master certified, and have their own scanner. If anything, you should be charging more for diagnostics since their are no parts associated with the work. Like the example above, if you diagnose the water pump for 1 hour, your revenue per hour is only $115 (since no parts are associated with diagnosing). Your revenue per hour shouldn't go down, especially when your doing one of the hardest things in your shop, which is diagnosing.

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
  • 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 carmcapriotto
      The Weekly Blitz is brought to you by our friends over at Shop Marketing Pros. If you want to take your shop to the next level, you need great marketing. Shop Marketing Pros does top-tier marketing for top-tier shops.
      Click here to learn more about Top Tier Marketing by Shop Marketing Pros and schedule a demo:https://shopmarketingpros.com/chris/
      Check out their podcast here: https://autorepairmarketing.captivate.fm/
      If you would like to join their private Facebook group go here: https://www.facebook.com/groups/autorepairmarketingmastermind
      In this podcast episode, Chris Cotton from Auto Fix Auto Shop Coaching underscores the significance of professional attire in the auto repair industry. He connects dressing well with increased confidence, employee morale, and customer trust. Cotton shares personal anecdotes and cites studies on "enclothed cognition," reinforcing the idea that appearance can influence performance. He offers practical advice for shop owners to elevate their business's professionalism through attire, leadership, and delegation. Cotton concludes by advocating for a standard of respect and dedication in the industry, supported by the episode's sponsor, Shop Marketing Pros.
      The importance of dressing professionally (00:01:15) Chris discusses the impact of dressing professionally on business perception, employee morale, and customer confidence.
      The psychological impact of dressing well (00:03:22) Chris explores the psychological connection between dressing well and feeling better, projecting confidence, and improving performance.
      Supporting data on the importance of dressing well (00:05:33) Chris presents data on perception and trust, employee morale, and customer confidence related to professional appearance.
      Setting a new standard (00:06:45) Chris provides practical tips for setting a standard of professionalism, including investing in quality uniforms and leading by example.
      The role of the owner in dressing professionally (00:07:49) Chris emphasizes the role of the owner in creating a culture of professionalism and setting boundaries through professional attire.
      The pledge to elevate industry standards (00:11:15) Chris encourages listeners to join him in pledging to dress professionally, reflecting respect for themselves, employees, and customers.
      Connect with Chris:
      [email protected]
      Phone: 940.400.1008
      www.autoshopcoaching.com
      Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/
      AutoFixAutoShopCoachingYoutube: https://bit.ly/3ClX0ae
       
      #autofixautoshopcoaching #autofixbeautofixing #autoshopprofits #autoshopprofit #autoshopprofitsfirst #autoshopleadership #autoshopmanagement #autorepairshopcoaching #autorepairshopconsulting #autorepairshoptraining #autorepairshop #autorepair #serviceadvisor #serviceadvisorefficiency #autorepairshopmarketing #theweeklyblitz #autofix #shopmarketingpros #autofixautoshopcoachingbook
      Click to go to the Podcast on Remarkable Results Radio
    • 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
      In this episode, Hunt tackles the pressing issues facing the housing market in 2024, discussing the impact of interest rates and the real affordability of homes.
      • Interest Rates Surge: Exploring how doubled interest rates are drastically affecting monthly payments.
      • Affordability Crisis: Delving into how rising home prices are outpacing income growth, making home ownership a distant dream for many.
      • Economic Insights: Analyzing the mismatch between the growth in home prices and stagnant wage increases.
      • Future Risks: Assessing potential market corrections and their consequences on homeowners and the economy.
      Thanks to our partners, NAPA TRACS and Promotive
      Did you know that NAPA TRACS has onsite training plus six days a week support?
      It all starts when a local representative meets with you to learn about your business and how you run it.  After all, it's your shop, so it's your choice.
      Let us prove to you that Tracs is the single best shop management system in the business.  Find NAPA TRACS on the Web at NAPATRACS.com
       
      It’s time to hire a superstar for your business; what a grind you have in front of you. Great news, you don’t have to go it alone. Introducing Promotive, a full-service staffing solution for your shop. Promotive has over 40 years of recruiting and automotive experience. If you need qualified technicians and service advisors and want to offload the heavy lifting, visit www.gopromotive.com.
       
      Paar Melis and Associates – Accountants Specializing in Automotive Repair
      Visit us Online: www.paarmelis.com
      Email Hunt: [email protected]
      Get a copy of my Book: Download Here
      Aftermarket Radio Network
      Click to go to the Podcast on Remarkable Results Radio
    • By carmcapriotto
      Thanks to our Partners, NAPA TRACS, AutoFix Auto Shop Coaching, and Today's Class In this groundbreaking episode, shop owner Brin Kline undergoes a first-of-its-kind 360-degree review by his team. The session unveils insights into leadership, stress management, communication, team dynamics, and the importance of training. Through candid discussions, Brin and his team explore opportunities for growth and improvement, highlighting the value of feedback in enhancing leadership skills and business operations. Brin Kline, Shop Owner, Assured Auto Works, Melbourne, FL Carlos Mercado, Lead Technician Matt Cusick, Technician JD Winkler, Service Advisor Jeremy Good, CSR
      Brin's Review Plan (00:02:12) Brin discusses his long-standing plan for a 360-degree review, expressing excitement and nervousness about the process. Initial Employee Feedback (00:05:17) Employees introduce themselves, discuss their roles, and provide initial feedback on Bryn's leadership and communication style. Brin's Leadership and Recognition (00:06:42) Employees share their experiences with Brin's recognition and feedback style, highlighting his quiet but supportive approach. Brin's Problem-Solving and Approachability (00:08:53) Employees discuss Brin's willingness to solve problems and his approachability in addressing their needs. Innovation and Motivation (00:11:01) Employees acknowledge Brin's encouragement of innovation and positive influence on their professional growth and motivation. Direction and Advice (00:12:27) Employees affirm Brin's clear communication about the company's direction and his availability for advice and guidance. Conflict Management (00:14:50) Employees discuss Brin's role in managing conflicts and providing support for resolving issues within the team. Celebration of Wins (00:17:16) Employees share their experiences of celebrating wins as a team, highlighting Bryn's support for acknowledging successes. The small wins (00:18:04) Brin and the team discuss the importance of celebrating small victories in the shop and recognizing the challenges in the automotive industry. Celebrating achievements (00:21:20) The team emphasizes the significance of acknowledging and celebrating achievements, even small ones, in the shop to boost morale. Trust and company culture (00:22:06) The discussion revolves around the high degree of trust within the company and the value of the company's culture. Access to training (00:23:58) Brin's commitment to providing access to training for the team, including support for attending conferences and joining training programs like Toastmasters. Stress management (00:28:26) The team discusses how Brin proactively manages stress within the company and encourages employees to take time for themselves. Opportunities for collaboration (00:34:25) The team shares experiences of collaborating with Bryn to improve customer experience, policies, and procedures, highlighting Brin's encouragement for collaboration in problem-solving and diagnostics. Brin's Reflection on Feedback (00:36:20) Brin reflects on feedback and the importance of long-term thinking and motivation for his team. Brin's Training Approach (00:37:17) Brin discusses his approach to training and empowering his team to make decisions, emphasizing the importance of open communication. Brin's Leadership Improvement (00:38:17) Employees provide feedback on areas where Bryn can improve as a leader, including stress management, setting deadlines, and communication. Brin's Reflection on Employee Feedback (00:44:55) Brin reflects on the feedback received from employees, acknowledging the areas for improvement and expressing gratitude for their input. Brin's Acknowledgment and Praise for Employees (00:49:12) Brin acknowledges and praises his employees for their work, expressing gratitude and trust in their abilities. Thanks to our Partner, NAPA TRACS 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/ Thanks to our Partner, Auto-Fix Auto Shop Coaching Proven Auto Shop Coaching with Results. Over 61 Million in ROI with an Average ROI of 9x. Find Coach Chris Cotton at AutoFix Auto Shop Coaching on the Web at https://autoshopcoaching.com/ Thanks to our Partner, Today's Class Optimize training with Today's Class: In just 5 minutes daily, boost knowledge retention and improve team performance. Find Today's Class on the web at https://www.todaysclass.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 X (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 Basics of Owning An Auto Repair Shop - Advocacy Over Sales in Auto Repair


  • Our Sponsors



×
×
  • Create New...