Auto Shop Management Forums

Find answers, ask questions, and connect with our community around the world.

  • I want to talk to the tech

    Posted by gcauto on December 6, 2012 at 2:39 pm

    We have a small shop, my husband is the tech, I run the office. Periodically a customer will stop in to schedule but insist on talking to Greg to explain to him what problems he/she is having with their vehicle. Since Greg is the only technician at our shop, it is often not possible for him to be interrupted to talk to a customer. Yesterday a customer stopped in, asked to speak to Greg. I explained he is working on a vehicle at the moment and isn’t available and asked what I can do to help him. He proceeded to explain to me the issue he was having with his vehicle, ending with, Greg will know what I’m talking about. As I’m taking all of the information down to put on the RO, I ask the customer what day he would like to bring it in and he responds, I don’t know because I don’t know if I should drive it or have it towed. Based on the information he provided to me I suggested the vehicle be towed in to avoid further damage at which point the customer asked again to talk to Greg to be sure it needed to be towed. Greg was working on another job in the shop involving heavy suspension repairs and was not available. The customer, upset because he couldn’t talk to “the tech” left without scheduling the appoitment.

    How can I approach customers differently to help them understand that they don’t necessarily need to talk to the tech when scheduling? How do I express that I need all of their issues on the repair order so when Greg does bring in the vehicle, he has all of the information in front of him and can properly test and recommend repairs?

    Any suggestions?

    gcauto replied 9 years, 4 months ago 5 Members · 6 Replies
  • 6 Replies
Advertiser / Sponsor
  • rhopp

    Member
    December 6, 2012 at 7:39 pm

    My first response blew-up or disappeared waiting for the site to load. I

    multitask a lot. Came back & poof it was gone.

    Anyway, our response is “Will this be Visa or MasterCard?” Is it not

    “fair” to charge for the Tech’s time?

    We explain that we’re saving them money by taking all these notes

    beforehand. If they truly NEED to talk to the tech, it’s billable at our

    diagnostic rate.

    Attached files


    Attachments:

  • Site Administrator

    Administrator
    December 7, 2012 at 12:09 pm

    Rob Hopp wrote:

    > My first response blew-up or disappeared waiting for the site to

    load.

    I

    > multitask a lot. Came back & poof it was gone.

    While it may sound like a canned reply…we are working on this along

    with a number of other things. We are determined to make significant

    improvements here. Please be patient. Thanks!

    Tom and Deb

    Admin

  • Tom Ham

    Member
    December 7, 2012 at 12:22 pm

    Cheryl:

    As shop owners we often spend too much effort on things that cannot be

    changed easily or at all in some cases.

    Your most efficient way to address this is to let him talk to the tech

    after you have tried and he still insists. That is…if we are talking

    about something that occurs once in while.

    If this happens constantly, then ask yourselves if you are growing

    enough to add an employee who can help both in the shop and up front

    in situations like this.

    In the long run the business will do the best by making almost all

    customers happy even when their demands are not what we may like. It

    is hard to accept that stopping and talking to a customer is more

    profitable (in the grand scheme of things) than to not stop and keep

    working on job.

  • gcauto

    Member
    December 14, 2012 at 8:15 pm

    This is an idea I will share with Greg. We are a small, Mom and Pop shop. Greg is the tech, I run the front office. So, I do approach the customer as the Service Writer. This customer has been here before and I believe is aware that I am the contact person for scheduling, repairs, authorization, etc. Sometimes I feel certain customers would just prefer talking to a man.

    Thank you for your idea though. I’m going to work on implementing that type of form/program for those that insist on talking to Greg.

  • shambree

    Member
    January 27, 2013 at 2:36 pm

    Hello just joined today and boy can I relate to

    this post ! Being a female in the service

    industry has its obstacles to say the least !

    My husband & I own a shop, 4 techs plus the two

    of us. Customers tend to feel females dont know

    a thing about auto repair I can say I have

    stunned many :) I have been around the industry

    for many years (grandfather, father, 2 brothers

    all mechanics then I married one) there are

    some customers that insist on speaking to a

    tech but you do in my opinion need to intercept

    as many as possible and gain the confidence of

    your customers as well as avoid interrupting

    the tech, there are many times stopping them to

    speak to a customer isnt possible . Although I

    have no definite solution not sure there will

    ever be a perfect solution gaining your

    customers confidence to me is the key.

  • gcauto

    Member
    February 11, 2013 at 1:57 pm

    Thanks for your response! There are times I have to refer to Greg (tech) but most times I’m able to answer the customer questions. I guess it’s all about “training” our customers and proving to them that I do know what I’m talking about and am quite capable of doing my job as the service writer/office manager.

    Thanks again! If you ever want to “chat” about daily shop stuff, please give me a shout at [email protected].