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By Joe Marconi
I recently made a call to my Internet provider to discuss and issue I was having. After multiple attempts at trying to explain my problem, the customer service rep on the other end of the phone had no clue how to solve my problem. She was nice, extremely polite, and had the voice of an angel. She was well-trained, but not in the art of problem solving.
Great customer service is not about being nice to people, it’s all about understanding the customer’s needs and coming up with solutions to their problems. Train your service personnel in the art of proper etiquette, but also in the art of problem solving. Empower your people to also make decisions. Set limits, but give them the authority to solve issues without every problem reaching your desk.
I know this article doesn't directly relate to how to dig ourselves out a slow period but it definitely reinforces the soul. I felt really good about the article because it was some of the exact same things I have and would have done for my clients. There are those out there and everyone knows them... the fellow shop owner that will do unscrupulous things in the name of profit. Sometimes we have to rely on our good work and reputation to see us through to better days. Anyways, check it out and I'd love to hear some other success stories!
This week has brought our shop more than our fair share of ups & downs. Some big jobs have gone on through completion without so much as a hiccup, while some small jobs have seemed to be nothing more than a painful distraction from "real" business. This one story, though...I really need some encouragement. Please tell me where we've gone wrong, or how we might boldly change our process to avoid these situations, because I've heard just about enough from whiny, underhanded customers.
A gentleman brought his vehicle in because he claimed he was hearing a squeaky noise. He couldn't tell us anymore except that he though it was brake-related. He made it sound as though it pierced his eardrums and woke the neighbors. Anyhow, we road tested the vehicle, only to find that we weren't in fact, hearing any squeaking. His brake inspection revealed 2 things. First, his front brakes had been recenlty serviced. There were new rotors & new pads (along with a fair share of dust). The rear brakes had LONG since been serviced, and the pads were at 2-3mm, with sever piutting/grooving on the surfaccr of the rotors.
We told him we didn't hear the squeaking, however, noted the new brake parts in the front, along with the excessive brake dust. He only acknowledged that he had the brakes serviced recently somewhere else. We told him that as a part of the brake inspection, we used our shop air to blow out the loose dust, and told him that if he was certain that the noise he was hearing was in his front brakes, to take it back to where he had them serviced, as there may be an eligible warranty service due him. As for his rear brakes, we shared the measurements, and he approved the installation of rear pads & rotors. We performed the service, and off he went.
We called him as a matter of protocol the following week. He acknowledged that the squeak seemed more persistant, and was unhappy that we didnt take care of it. We empathized with him, and encouraged him to come back for a free road test/reinspection, thinking that if it was more persistant, it would mke the noise while he rode with us. He seemed ok with that and schduled the appt for today.
He didn't show up. He didn't call. He didn't answer the phone when we called back. He hasn't responded to our voicemail message.
He posted a low review for us online indicating that he came to us because he told us his front brakes were making noise, and we sold him work that didn't take care of it, and that he "probably didn't need at all".
So....did we do something wrong? Should I have been adamant about the obviously cheap pads the other shop used? Should I have mentioned that we don't install "economy" brake parts? How about the response to his review? I've decided that I don't want him to come back, based on either a complete lack of respect for how hard we work, or out of genuine ignorance to the way things work.
Someone else gets to do the brake service, but WE get a low review because we can't hear the squeak?
Someone...please tell me if I'm crazy here, because I'm getting ready to put on my angry eyebrows and post a response to his review...