September 27, 2007 at 1:13 pm #4291
We have run into a rash of people that do not want a inspection done with there oil change. Free or not.
Do you do the inspection and not go over it with the customer and use it as more of a information for your use or do not do it at all?
I have a huge problem with letting vehicles go and not doing even a basic safety check. It gives me an uneasy feeling almost like a huge unknown. Will I be reading about this vehicle in the paper later this week because of a part failure in the steering because the customer did not want a inspection.
Is what I as a proffesional feel is morally right correct or is the customer always right and they get what they ask for?September 27, 2007 at 3:37 pm #8515
David, why do they not want the inspection?
Are you charging for it? Maybe they don’t see the value.
Are they waiting? Maybe "they don’t have the time".
Are they new customers? Maybe they don’t trust you yet.
Are they all beater cars? Maybe they’re saving you time and $.
I think I’d ask what their objection is. Your answer might be right there.
.September 27, 2007 at 5:12 pm #8516
I think hit the nail on the head with they do not see the value in it. The response I get is that "I came in for an oil change and thats it." They do not want to know. If the vehicle is unsafe they do not want to know. If it need maintenace they do not want to know. I have ask customers if they have read their manuals on maintaning the vehicle. 98% say no they have not. Do I as a proffesion need to play along with their ignorance?September 28, 2007 at 10:48 am #8517
Then the short answer is stop offering the inspection, until you can create some way, a short one or two sentence sales pitch, or maybe a one page brochure explaining your intention, and the benefit to taking advantage of it. Most sales folks will tell you to present the benefits, not the features.
My personal thought is do a visual inpection anyway, without mentioning it. "While your vehicle was on our lift, our technician noticed that your xxxx is xxxx and should be looked at. We can do it right now while you’re waiting, or set an appt. tomorrow for you," then close the "sale". "Which would be better for you?" Asking an open ended question instead of a yes or no question will generate a brief conversation, and possibly lead to an appt. You could have a huge sign in front of your biz saying "we fix everything, on every car, and you’ll still have folks asking if you know how to do some simple task like tire rotations.
Lately, I’ve had a rash of people telling me how much they know about their vehicle since they’ve been on the internet. Almost immediately I have to muffle a laugh, which inevitably generates the "What?" look. Apparently if it’s not on TV or a Monitor, it’s not true anymore.
.September 28, 2007 at 3:32 pm #8518
"As a professional, part of my job is to inform you of any safety related items I spot while working on your vehicle (doing oil changes or whatever). We are not selling work so much as educating you on the condition of your car. Refusing to let us do our job puts any liability on us and we won’t be able to help you…"September 28, 2007 at 7:08 pm #8519
I was thinking more along the lines of:
"Mrs. Jones, thanks for bringing your Olds in for service today, we sure do appreciate your business. All of my technicians are trained and instructed to inspect the vehicles we’re servicing, in case any thing else needs attention. Mrs. Jones, everything looks pretty good this morning, but we did notice that your left rear tire is worn down to the steel cord, and there’s a leak from the transmission pan. Both of these problems can be solved this morning. If you’d like, I’d be happy to show you."
A shorter, more direct version:
"Mrs. Jones, while changing your oil, my technician noticed a badly worn left rear tire, and a transmission fluid leak. Would you like to have a look?"
When faced with evidence, the customer is going to have to work alot harder to say no to obvious problems. By the way, that would be my tactic. I’m in the transmission business now, but my first management job was a five year stint in a muffler franchise. I consistently averaged 35% "add-on" sales. Meaning items other than what the customer requested. And before you ask, I never sold a nickels worth that wasn’t needed.September 28, 2007 at 8:33 pm #8520
I know EXACTLY what you are talking about.
We have an inspection (it’s in the premium members area if you want it) which we do on almost every car. Takes .2 to .3
We do not mention that we did an "inspection". We do not have a formal inspection we print out (we just make brief notes on the RO)…we keep the form internal. We just mention in passing that the tech made some notes when he serviced the car….do you want us to note them on the RO or do you want me to go over them with you now?
95% or more of the time they want to know what the tech noticed.
5355 Plainfield Ave. NE
Grand Rapids, MI 49525
Tom@AutoCentricRepair.comSeptember 29, 2007 at 1:05 am #8521
Now we have more than one way around this issue presented. Being nice and pointing out what was found is great when used with the customer not expecting it, but I think it will make someone mad that demanded to not inspect the vehicle. If someone shows an attitude that you’ll just upsell and they don’t want it, being upfront ‘before’ the work is done might help. If someone mentions to not bother to report problems for a lack of time, money, or whatever, the nice approach of still reporting will be a winner.October 2, 2007 at 12:03 am #8522
I believe that as professionals we have a duty and obligation to at least visually inspect each vehicle we service for potential service and repairs and to call them to our clients attention. I do inform each new client that we will be performing a courtesy check on the vehicle so any unknown items can be discussed. Exsisiting clients have come to expect the vehicle to be inspected. Then I prepare an estimate and present it to the client. Be careful what you check. By law in California we can’t remove wheels to check brakes with out the clients permission, if we charge for it or not, so check local statutes. If a large amount of clients are refusing the inspection, maybe that ad source should be examined. Also if we let a car leave with a saftey issue and do not inform the client we could be liable if an accident occurs. Remember, it is very hard to sell needed service and repairs if we don’t ask for the sale. Even if the client refuses, at least they are aware of the overall condition of the vehicle.October 2, 2007 at 4:43 am #8524
A lot of times, we think of an oil change as just an oil change. Having what is done in the oil change posted on menus and/or leader board, or better yet on the RO the customer signs. In this description of what is done, include the inspection. It is not then a matter of the customer making a decision to have it done. When the advisor goes over the repair order with the customer they give a quick list of what will be done. If the customer declines, make sure it is documented on the repair order.
Anything that is found should be documented too. I think verbally advising the customer on what was found is just the first step. Keeping good documentation on the repair order makes it easier for future sales. Customer may not buy that day depending on severity of concern, but they may call back and ask. If its in the computer you can easily know what to tell them without relying on memory, or having to ask ‘joe’ who is out today.
That documentation can be really helpful if something does happen. Motor vehicle will be looking at it real hard if something comes up, so implement guidelines on what is checked and how it is documented.
Tim ScullyOctober 3, 2007 at 1:04 am #8525
Here the solution I have come up with. Is it right or wrong time will tell.
I have changed my 3 oil change services.
1: Basic = lube chassis, change oil and filter, no inspection customer is asked if there is any issue they notice with there vehicle. IF yes would they like a inspection of the vehicle to see if there is saftey issues or issues that may cause a more expensive repair if left undone. (UP SELL TO STANDARD OR PREMIUM LOF)
2: Standard = Basic + multipoint inspection
3: Premium = Standard + Tire rotation with brake, steering and suspension inspection.
So far it seems to work. We do alot of basics but more are being upped to standard or premiums.October 3, 2007 at 5:16 pm #8526
Dave, We do a basic inspection on every car. When a new customer comes in, I start the conversation with let me tell you about us. We have been in business for 15 plus years and every car gets this inspection, I show them a inspection sheet. If i get resistance, I then tell them I want them to know what is wrong with there car and I also want to fix there problem. I also tell them I want there money. But if it’s not broke we are not going to tell them about it. You would be surprised at how many people can’t believe I just told them I want there money. But it would surprise you more how many people will say I don’t mind giving you my money as long as the car needs it.
Do yourself a favor come up with some kind of inspection. Use it on every car. Then don’t just tell the customer what you found show them, even if they say they wouldn’t understand.
If you have people who just want the lof. Do you really want them as a customer? Sometimes you have to lose a few customers to make money.October 3, 2007 at 6:47 pm #8527
Do you have a in-house made inspection sheet ,or a pre-fab one ?
maybe i could beg a copy from you
DownTown AutomotiveOctober 3, 2007 at 7:35 pm #8528
"As a professional, part of my job is to inform you of any safety
related items I spot while working on your vehicle (doing oil changes
or whatever). We are not selling work so much as educating you on the
condition of your car. Refusing to let us do our job puts any liability
on us and we won’t be able to help you…" ++ I really liked your statement — it gets at the heart of the issue and politely counters objections to performing an inspection. Larry Hecker – MAP-Motorist Assurance Program
LarryHeckerOctober 4, 2007 at 12:23 am #8529
Todd, We do have a inspection that we do, but the response we get from some of the customer (mostly new customers) ithat take up the Basic of the oil change service is that.
"This place did what I asked of them too. I will be back because I feel they will do and advise me truthfully on what my vehicle needs."
This mybe alittle over the top statement but this week we have had a record new customer and referal count.October 4, 2007 at 12:45 pm #8530
David, what if anything are you doing differently this week than last? Sounds like you may have created your own solution. Congrats!October 4, 2007 at 5:24 pm #8531
Charles send me your fax number and I will send it to you, also along with a invoice holder that we give out. We feel it’s been successful.October 4, 2007 at 5:55 pm #8532
David, it’s great that customers tell you they will come back. But let me ask you this how much money do you make on your basic oil change? It’s a negative number unless you are charging $50.00 plus, You don’t want your customers to feel you are trying to rip them off but they need to be educated. If you and we all have them have the customer who only comes in for the oil change. They come in 4 times a year for your cheap oil change, even if you $9.00 hr kid does it. How much did you loose? Your $9.00 hr. kid cost just for him with taxes and w/c what $16.00-$17. hr. Plus let’s figure in what the .5 of overhead for that bay is. It doesn’t matter how you look at it. It’s at least .5 plus admin costs. You/we are loosing our shirts on low oil changes and nothing else. You don’t want the customer who is the bottom feeder. I would rather pay my techs to stand so I know how much I am losing instead of now losing money and possible another job by doing a no upgrade oil change. First don’t bullsh#t the customer or yourself or your techs. First tell your techs what you want, they don’t know unless you tell them. Then when they tell you go out and look for yourself, make sure you are a believer before you stumble the sale. Then show the customer, seeing is believing. If they don’t believe you, Tell them you are a professional and tell them to take there car anywhere and if that person has the knowledge they will them them the samething. Do your inspections and be honest best thing I can tell you. Dave one thing I do believe in is being honest, with yourself/techs and your customer. Blake Lunsford has a saying he attach’s to his posts read it. Try to live by it. Your customers can always go away saying you wanted more then joe blow, but they can’t go away saying you tried to rip them off if you didn’t. You want the right mix of customers but sometimes we have and still go thru bad ones before we get the good one’s. Also one other thing you might want to try is having Autonet t.v playing while they are having there car serviced. Also have brochures on your services in case they want to think about it. We also use the fluid sampler’s from b-g, seeing is believing.
Dave good luck.
October 7, 2007 at 5:30 pm #8533
If anyone uses BG products, they will make an inspection form for you. The ones they made for us come with a carbon copy so there is one for us and one for the customer. If anyone wants a copy of this form email me and i will send you a copy, Its set up pretty nice. firstname.lastname@example.orgOctober 8, 2007 at 1:05 pm #8538
It’s all about trust. If they don’t want you to inspect the vehicle, it’s because they don’t trust you … yet. Try this: Do the inspection … if they say anything while you’re doing it, just tell them that’s it’s part of your service (build some value into it). Then, tell them what’s RIGHT with their car – don’t go into what’s wrong until you can tell them what’s good, first. IE: "Well, Mr. Blow, we’ve taken the time to give your vehicle a quick safety inspection and at this time your brakes are fine, your belts are good and your air filter is clean." (Then offer service for whatever is wrong.) IE: "However, we did notice that you have a leaking left rear shock absorber that really needs to be renewed as it’s a safety concern. It appears that the water pump is seeping also – we probably need to keep an eye on that or perhaps you’d like to take care of that before it becomes a major problem. We can take care of these items today and have your car ready by _____ or would you prefer to schedule the repairs tomorrow?" If they balk after that, find out the reason for their objection (there’s really only 5) and handle them accordingly. HTH.
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