Quantcast
Jump to content


Joe Marconi

When saving the customer money; backfires!

Recommended Posts

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 review again at time of car delivery.

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
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

  • Similar Forum Topics

    • Customer's buying their own parts

      Hey guys. I'm new to the forum and was looking for this subject but couldn't find it. Sorry If I'm posted something that's already been discussed. I own a brake shop in Austin, TX. We do anywhere from 10-20 brake jobs a day. We only do brakes so I don't know how much full service auto shops deal with this problem but... Customers are constantly calling in claiming they've bought the best parts or they want to provide their own parts because they've done research and know what is best. This drives me crazy. First of all they don't know whats best. Then after being told no they get offended and act like tons of shops allow this. What is the best way to handle these customers? Just send them away? I'll quote them a price using our parts and they act as though its a rip off. What shops are doing this for their customers? I feel like I'm letting jobs get away from me. Any experience with this?

      By Jonathan Ganther, in General Automotive Discussion

      • 78 replies
      • 3,769 views
    • Broken Parts

      Are you guys charging your techs for parts they break? In the past we have never made our techs pay for something they broke, the shop did and talked to the tech about what they need to do to prevent this in the future. It's getting old though. 2 weeks ago one young tech back a mirror into a pole so we bought a new mirror. This week, a different tech while removing a fuel tank, didn't discount the fuel lines on top first and ended up dropping the tank too fast and broke the fuel sending unit. On this truck that is a $300+ part that we are now eating on a $500 ticket. I want to tell the tech he is responsible, and will have to pay the shop back for the part. What say you? 

      By ADP, in General Automotive Discussion

      • 6 replies
      • 306 views
    • Is Your Marketing BROKEN?

      Do you struggle getting more new customers? Can't get more customers no matter how much you spend? It could be that your Marketing Engine is BROKEN!
       
      Don't forget to like, share and subscribe!
        Ever wonder if those Hi Tech Scanners and your Fancy LOGO really matters? Let me explain Enjoy! Please... let me know if you have any questions.  Hope these videos help!
      Matthew Lee
      "The Car Count Fixer"  
       

      By JustTheBest, in Shop Management Coaching, Business Training, Consulting

        
      • 0 replies
      • 199 views
    • Article: Defining Your Ideal Customer

      We all have our favorite customers. You know who there are. They’re the ones that throw their keys on the service counter in the morning and say, “Do what you need to do and I’ll see you at 5 p.m.” They never question your price, they trust you and they keep coming back. But does that person define your true profile customer? The answer is probably yes. But it’s not the only criteria. It’s a little more complicated than that. Defining your true profile customer starts with you. It starts with who you are, why you are in business and the culture of your company. By the way, determining your true profile customer has nothing to do with excluding certain people due to their income level. The young 23-year-old college graduate who sets aside part of her paycheck to shop at Whole Foods does so because she believes in the company and for what they stand. It’s not about what she “supposedly” can or cannot afford. She is Whole Foods’ profile customer because she aligns herself with that brand. And Whole Foods welcomes her with open arms. Many of my profile customers endured tough economic times during the Great Recession of 2008. They lost their ability to pay for some of the things they previously could afford. What they didn’t lose was their loyalty to my company. So, what did we do? We helped them through that difficult time. We helped them manage their car care needs better, offering services that would save on fuel, reduce repair costs, and reduce breakdowns. We showed them how to squeeze every mile out of their tires and brakes. We took care of them and we still do to this day. We consider them family and we don’t turn our backs on family. One thing we didn’t do, and will never do, is compromise on price to get a job. That would not be fair to all my customers, my employees or the company. With regard to pricing your services and repairs, it’s a delicate balance between being profitable and competitive. But I don’t know of any shop that prefers a customer walk away or sends someone to another shop because he or she cannot afford a particular price. A smart service advisor will give options, prioritize the work needed, and offer finance options. If you’re a startup company, your doors are wide open to everyone. You need customers and car counts, and you need them right away. But as your business matures, you begin to realize that not everyone is your customer. And there’s nothing wrong with this realization. As you build your customer base, you begin to see that there are customers that respect the work you do, align themselves with your culture and appreciate what you do for them and for the community. They become your profile customers. Let’s say you sponsor a youth baseball team in your area, help out at community events and involved with local fundraisers. You will become known as the business person that cares about the community and children. That’s making your business stand out among the rest. As you define who you are, you also attract those that want to do business with you and support your brand. While I do recommend treating everyone the same, I don’t recommend trying to be everything to everyone. That’s not a sound marketing strategy—that’s a recipe for failure. Defining your customer and targeting your market does not isolate consumers. It actually increases market share. Here’s an important fact: In your geographical area, automotive shops basically do the same thing; they repair and service automobiles. So, how is a consumer going to choose you over another? You need to stand out. You need to be different. You need to build a brand culture and establish a marketing position that will make people take notice. By the way, every successful company, large and small, understands its true profile customer and creates a marketing plan on attracting them. One last thing: When you build a business around your culture, you put the focus on your brand and the value you provide. This strategy is one of your pathways to success. When you combine value with culture, you will have an enduring and profitable company. If you want to build a great company, ask yourself these questions: Why are you in business? What’s your life’s purpose? Your culture? Build a marketing strategy and a brand message around the answers to these questions. Not all people will take notice, but your profile customers will.    This story was originally published by Joe Marconi in Ratchet+Wrench on August 3, 2018
      View full article

      By Joe Marconi, in AutoShopOwner Articles

        
      • 0 replies
      • 113 views
    • Customer Financing

      We want to start offering finance options to our customers. Can anyone recommend some companies that you use? I've heard good things about One Road Lending. GE Capital is now Synchrony and they have horrible reviews. Appreciate your help! Thanks, Pam

      By pam, in General Automotive Discussion

        
      • 17 replies
      • 1,143 views
  • AutoShopOwner Sponsors



×