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Joe Marconi

Trust your ears; listen and write exactly what the customer says

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Trust your ears; listen and write exactly what the customer says

 

That’s the advice I preach to my service advisors. I remember a few years back I overheard a customer give a 5 minute explanation of a no start problem. When the customer was finished, the service advisor typed on the tech word order: “Check battery." Boy was I furious.

 

Customers give you clues to the problem. Do not translate or change in any way, the thoughts and words of the customer. Take the time to listen and write down exactly what the customer states.

 

About 10 years ago, a customer, Dave Bell, came in saying that every time he passes Mrs. Murphy’s driveway, the transmission would slip. I took the car out on a few road tests and found nothing wrong. I gave the car back to him and he returned 2 days later insisting that it had something to do with Mrs. Murphy’s driveway.

 

After a little detective work I learned that the problem only occurs in the morning. Each morning he would back the car down his driveway. Then he would put in drive and proceed down the block. Then he made a stop at the corner, turned right up a steep incline where he passed Mrs. Murphy’s driveway. There he felt the slip. It had nothing to do with poor Mrs. Murphy, but everything to do with the steep incline. Obviously he had a transmission issue.

 

I learned long ago not to discount what customers say. Your ears can be an important part of the diagnostic process.

 

 

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