Wait Appointment Guidelines (Sample Document from the Premium Members Area)
When asked how much time a wait oil change is expected to take, inform the customer to allow 45 minutes for us to perform a thorough oil change service. For services other than oil changes, multiply the expected time by one and one half (example: 1.2 hours X 1.5 = 1.8 hours) and inform the customer to allow for that much time. This will typically allow us to complete the job on time or sooner. Always inform the customer promptly if it appears that the job is going to take longer than they were told. Use a red marker to write the word “WAIT” in large letters on the front page of the
RO/worksheet that is going to the tech/shop for a wait service. When you receive inspection results from the techs for wait jobs, handle them immediately. Once each day, check all incoming wait appointments for any parts that should be here when the car arrives. Order all parts which are definitely or likely (90% chance) to be needed. Physically check any parts that our software shows to be here to confirm they are actually here.
Perform all inspections of any kind first and give the results to the service advisor before you proceed with an oil change or any other service. Use the abbreviated version of the “every car inspection form” for wait oil changes. Always check with the service advisor to make sure that he or she is ready for the customer with paperwork, information, etc. before you pull the car out of the shop.
Waiters and drop-ins are, and will continue to be, extremely critical to growing our business. They are not going to go away. Instead, they are more likely to increase. If there are things that you do not like about them, then make suggestions on how they can be handled better, more smoothly and more efficiently. Most of the “problems” with wait appointments are due to the lack of a good system for handling them well. While wait appointments have traditionally been for brief services like oil changes, make sure that customers know that they are welcome to wait for almost any service or repair. Some customers will have no problem waiting all morning or all afternoon or even all day in some cases. We can offer rides and loaner cars when appropriate, but if they prefer to wait, that’s fine, too. Make sure that we do not discourage them from waiting for longer services and end up
sending them to our competitors. It is important that we always have one bay that we can open up for some kind of drop-in customer within a relatively short time period. At least one car in the shop should be in running condition, or very close to running condition, so it can be pulled out quickly and another car can be pulled in. Being able to do this for customers makes us stand out when compared to other shops. Use bay 5 only for services or repairs that can be completed quickly (one hour or less). If no other bays are available, bay 5 can be used for services or repairs that take longer than one hour, but do not disable the vehicle. For repairs that do fit these guidelines, find a way to put the vehicle in a different bay as soon as one is available.
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