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  • Service Writer advice (New comments from Mark Hambaum)

    Posted by gcauto on December 14, 2012 at 7:51 pm

    If a customer schedules for a noise or a leak, how much time do you set aside for your tech to check out the complaint? If the customer needs over 2 hours of repairs, how do you plan your schedule for these unexpected repairs?

    Do you upsell to a new customer during the first appointment? Or just mention maintenance the vehicle needs when the customer picks up?

    sutton32-aol-com replied 8 years, 8 months ago 4 Members · 3 Replies
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  • Tom Ham

    Member
    December 16, 2012 at 1:41 pm

    Cheryl Lindbeck wrote:

    > If a customer schedules for a noise or a leak, how much time do you set aside for your tech to check out the complaint? If the customer needs over 2 hours of repairs, how do you plan your schedule for these unexpected repairs?

    >

    > Do you upsell to a new customer during the first appointment? Or just mention maintenance the vehicle needs when the customer picks up?

    Scheduling (quick guidelines): When a car is coming in for test/inspect/repair, reserve your current average hours per RO for that appointment. It should usually balance out pretty close when several cars are figured in.

    First timers: Some where in between. Always inform everyone of what you find, make it clear that you take care of those things and that you would be happy to do them. Then listen and watch for cues on where to go from there.

  • mhambaum

    Member
    July 23, 2013 at 12:50 pm

    If a customer schedules for a noise or a leak, how much time do you set aside for your tech to check out the complaint? If the customer needs over 2 hours of repairs, how do you plan your schedule for these unexpected repairs?

    Do you upsell to a new customer during the first appointment? Or just mention maintenance the vehicle needs when the customer picks up?

    Greetings,

    It has been quite sometime since I’ve visited this forum, so I may be a bit rusty on how things flow here.

    Tom’s idea about using your avg. hours per RO as a general guide for scheduling purposes can work well, but be more specific when you can. You do this by qualifying the concern as best you can – Where’s the noise coming from? What sound does it make? Under what circumstances? The answers to these may give you some clues as to what’s going on (the same would hold for leaks).

    Next, I think any NVH (Noise, Vibration, Harshness) complaint should be road tested WITH the customer. It’s imperative that you confirm the customer’s concern EXACTLY. No one is as “tuned” to the car as the person who drives it every day. I’ve seen many instances where the repair shop either didn’t hear/feel the customer’s concern, or they heard/felt something totally different.

    I’m not suggesting that it’s necessary to pull a tech for this initial confirmation, this is an administrative/management function – the SA can go for a ride with the customer. I realize that this may pose a challenge for some shops, but so is NOT fixing it right the first time, which is what happens if you don’t hear/feel the concern or “fix” the wrong concern.

    Back to the issue of scheduling, your confirmation road test may provide you some insight as to how to schedule.

    Regarding your next question of up-selling maintenance on the first appointment… It’s crucial to establish yourself with a new customer right-off-the-bat. I don’t know you or your philosophy (if you will) as it relates to maintenance. However, IF your mindset is one of: Our mission is keeping you on the road and never stranded along side of it. If you believe that a long-term vehicle ownership goal is, economically speaking, in the best interest of most people – THEN you will want to be proactive with them regarding maintenance. The question is, HOW?

    When I first worked as an SA (many years ago, don’t ask how many :o) I was trained to present the maintenance needs, whether the customer asked for them or not. That strategy is HOGWASH in my opinion.

    Here’s my advice…. When scheduling that customer for the first time, make sure the customer is prepared to spend up to 15 minutes for write-up. Why? In addition to gathering the basic needed info, you should ask your customer questions that will help you understand his/her vehicle ownership goals and maintenance tendencies. The reason you do this, of course, is because you’re about more than just fixing broken cars. What this should lead you to is not a sales pitch for maintenance services, but rather permission for you to inspect and evaluate the vehicle in one of two or three ways.

    I’ll leave it at that for now. I’d be happy to elaborate on this more if you’re interested.

    Regards,

  • sutton32-aol-com

    Member
    October 16, 2013 at 11:41 am

    Pleas elaborate ?