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mspecperformance

Had to disaqualify/turn away a customer, Thoughts?

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I've had a rough morning so far so maybe that may have factored into how I handled this customer...

 

 

Customer calls in asks us to bring the car it for an "estimate" for a steering issue. He told me it is not fluid level and it is not the pump. I explained to the customer that we do work by appointment as we are swamped most of the time and our next appointment would be Friday or next week. Secondly we do not give out free estimates. We diagnose and inspect vehicles and depending on the time and operation we have to put into them there would be a fee attached to that. Over the phone it sounded like both stipulations (appointment and no free estimates) kind of turned him off. His response was "I'll give you a call back if I don't find somewhere else to fix my problem I need to get this done soon." The tone and the explanation as to why he didn't want to set up an appointment pointed towards he was a bit put off that we could not accommodate him ASAP and that we do have a fee for diag.

 

I suppose I could have explained we do give free estimates however if the vehicle needs diagnostic work or tests to discover what the true problem is then we charge a fee. I could have also a been a bit nicer, I was a little shorter than I am normally. Something about this guy however made me think he was going to be somewhat of a problem (negotiate on prices, want to bring his own parts, annoying about completing repairs etc). The fact is is that we are very busy (thankfully) and if I take on more than I can handle then quality and completion times on all jobs will suffer. I also however remember the days of never wanting to turn away business and bending over backwards to do whatever my customers wanted because I was worried about not having the business. I do believe it is important for us as shop owners/manager to intake as much of our ideal target customer and to remove the ones that don't fit our target.

 

Do you guys think I should have tried harder to convert that caller or took a softer approach?

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