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Sympathy for the Car Customer March 3, 2008

Posted by ratemyrepairshop in Auto Shop Internal Process, Car shops.
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7 comments

I think it’s hard for a Service Advisor or manager to always act with sympathy.  When you see 30 customers or more per day you start to lose your care for each person’s car problem.  People want you to not only care but, to realize that it has disrupted their day.  We as car people start to see cars as all the same. 

Whenever you start to lose your care for each individual customer remember that it is more then just a “Car Problem.”  Here is what the customer thinks about.  1. How much is this going to cost? 2. What is the problem? 3. When can the shop look at it?  4. How am I going to get it to the shop?  5. How am I going to get around? The list goes on.

Put yourself in a customer’s position who has just purchased a new car.  It is incredibly frustrating when you purchase a new vehicle so that you don’t have to worry about it breaking down and then something breaks on it.

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The Difference between Great and Terrible Auto Techs January 15, 2008

Posted by ratemyrepairshop in Uncategorized.
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5 comments

I have seen the full spectrum of auto technicians. The techs that didn’t last were the ones that didn’t put any care into their work. You could tell right away that they had already decided being a car tech was not the right choice for them.  But, I had the priviledge of working with a technician that made it to the world finals for the manufacturer he worked for.  He ended up placing 2nd in Japan.  What set him apart?

The personality trait that I believe helped him achieve this was his methodical approach and attention to detail.  No matter how difficult or easy the issue was, he approached everything with the same care.  In auto repair you can’t miss a single detail.  If you think the tire vibration is just a balance problem and don’t take the time to drive the car once you are finished then, you are going to have a comeback.   You can’t assume anything.  Once a repair has been completed make sure you are 100% correct. 

In the end it is the auto tech who pays attention to detail that ends up with less comebacks and more hours at the end of the month.

Auto Shop Attitudes January 8, 2008

Posted by ratemyrepairshop in Uncategorized.
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3 comments

The most important part of any auto shop is ATTITUDE.  I have come to accept that my car will not always be fixed on the first visit to the shop.  But, that is not the part that affects how I view the shop.  For the most part, we all understand that problems arise whenever something is being repaired.  However, it is the ATTITUDE the shop portrays that affects our view. 

How do they treat you on the phone?  Do they listen and put themselves in your position when you explain your problem?  After a repair, when you call back, do they dismiss your concerns as being ridiculous?  Do they act impartial in terms of the quality of work they have completed?

You can gain a lot of information just from your first phone conversation with a repair shop.  If they treat you as if they are doing you a favor to look at your car, then find someone else.  This is the type of ATTITUDE that shows how they are going to treat you from there on out.  Remember, you are doing them a favor by bringing your car in, not the other way around. 

Listen to how they react to your car concerns. The ATTITUDE you should hear from them is empathy.  Words and sentences such as, “that is unfortunate” or, “I am sorry to hear that you’re in that situation” tell you a great deal on how they treat their customers.  You need to be treated as a person and one with a real issue.  You don’t want to be treated like just another customer with a problem.

When a repair has not been done properly a professional shop will take responsibility and have an open mind to your concerns.  You can tell right away the integrity and professionalism of a shop, based on their own opinion of their work.  A professional shop knows that it is impossible to repair every car perfectly.  However, all they need to do is take another look and remedy the situation.

I think everyone is aware that it is impossible to repair a car perfectly every time, but, it is possible to show the proper ATTITUDE.

Do all Auto Repair Shops try to Rip People Off? January 7, 2008

Posted by ratemyrepairshop in Automotive, Car shops.
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4 comments

Depends on who you talk to.  There are no shortages of negative reports and stories on the net about people who have been treated unfairly at a shop. But, there are countless amounts of outstanding shops in the industry. 

The difficulty in repairing cars is that the causes are not always clear cut.  Unfortunately, it can take time to correctly find a particular problem, and it can be more than just one part causing an issue.  For instance, most electrical problems are caused by many parts along the same wiring route.  You can’t find out for sure until you replace each part as you go along. 

The majority of time, a person who feels that they were ripped off was probably not contacted properly by the shop.  It comes down to a lack of communication, and this is where problems occur.  Most shops are now aware that word of mouth can either build their business or destroy it.

Overall this is why we have started www.Ratemyrepairshop.com. Here you are able to rate your auto shop. Now we will be able to screen out the good from the bad.  With your help, other people will be able to find out which shops are the best around.

Are you Getting the Best Service at Your Auto Shop? December 22, 2007

Posted by ratemyrepairshop in Car shops.
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5 comments

Here is a list of how you should be treated at an Auto Repair Shop. Listed in the full auto repair shop cycle:

  1. Do they make it easy to book an appointment?
  2. Are they courteous on the phone?
  3. Do they set up or offer alternative transportation? 
  4. Do they ask the appropriate questions in order to fully understand what the problem is?
  5. When you are providing answers, does the Service Advisor listen and write it down?
  6. Does the Service Advisor try to diagnose the issue before a technician looks at the problem? The answer should “NOT” be yes.
  7. A diagnose charge should be provided before you sign the Work Order.
  8. The Service Advisor contacts you before any charges exceed what you were told.
  9. A full cost estimate is provided before any repairs are done.
  10. Ideally you should be given parts pricing options. Eg.  The price for an OEM part compared to going with an aftermarket brand.
  11. Service Advisor underpromises never overpromises. 
  12. Cost of repair is exactly what you were told.
  13. Most important is that the vehicle is actually repaired properly the first time. 

This is a good way to find out if your shop is offering you their best.  Keep in mind this is an ideal situation.  Personally I look for the people that offer me the best attitude.

Does the Safety Rating affect Your Vehicle Purchase? December 16, 2007

Posted by ratemyrepairshop in cars.
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The media sells us speed, style, comfort, the sound system, wheels, etc, etc. on today’s car models.  But, what about the safety rating of the car itself?  The majority of us have had car accidents affect our lives in one way or another.  It happens so quickly and they are hard to avoid.  Perhaps many of us can count recent “close calls” that could have turned bad. 

I recently purchased a 2007 Nissan Sentra SE-R and I must admit it was the style and power that drew me to the car.  However it was the safety rating that made me want to buy the car.  I live in an area where the roads are icy throughout the winter.  When I am driving in winter conditions it feels good to know that I am protected by side and front airbags. There are safer cars on the market and I know the next vehicle purchase I make will be solely based on safety.

Maybe we should all be driving Audi’s and Subaru’s.