Auto Service World
News   April 26, 2023   by Adam Malik

From the Magazine: Service Note: How the jobber ruined a customer’s shop experience

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A friend recently had a fantastic experience with their local shop. That is, until the jobber made a mess of everything.

The day after the biggest snowstorm of the year, after an hour and a half of clearing snow, my friend — we’ll call him Jack — went to start his car. Nothing happend. No lights in the car. No response when pushing the start button.

The battery was dead. He called his dependable neighbour, knowing they had a portable charger. Of course, they weren’t home; the charger was in their car. They wouldn’t be home until the afternoon.

So Jack called his shop, seeing if they had time to squeeze him in later in the day; he certainly was going to need his car for work the next day.

The shop was more than helpful — they sent one of their guys to his house with their own portable charger to give the car a boost. He lived less than 2 km away, so they were not too put out with doing a little extra to help a customer.

Going the extra mile: Great experience, part one.

They saw him right away, assessed it was indeed the battery. It was under warranty, so no cost to replace. Relax for a half hour, maybe a little more given the weather and Jack would be on his way.

Quick, friendly, informative service: Great experience, part two.

But nothing is ever so simple. The battery arrived after 40 minutes — except it was the wrong one. The shop ordered the right battery but the wrong one was delivered.

Uh oh.

“Great,” Jack told me sarcastically. “I had to wait another 40 minutes.”

All in, that was two hours of lost time in the middle of the workday. It could have been half that if the jobber didn’t make a mistake. Jack was happy and excited with the wonderful service he got from his shop — only to have the jobber mess it all up.

It’s not the shop’s fault. But they’re the ones who were falling over themselves apologizing. Luckily, Jack is a reasonable person. Mistakes happen. He understood that.

But not every customer is so patient. Someone less forgiving would likely be giving the poor folks at the shop a hard time. All the nice gestures — coming out to his house to give a boost and throwing him to the front of the line — would have been wasted. All because the jobber made a mistake.

No one is perfect and perfection is impossible. But being careful and double-checking what you’re doing is a reasonable request. The battery picked was off by one model number — a 34 instead of the correct 35. Easy mistake, yes, but one that could have been avoided by taking an extra moment to verify.

The shop depends on its jobber to get things right the first time — just like the consumer depends on the shop to do the same.

This article originally appeared in the March issue of Jobber News.

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2 Comments » for From the Magazine: Service Note: How the jobber ruined a customer’s shop experience
  1. I read this article and wonder if we ever pause and look at the big picture.
    Mistakes happen, EVERYWHERE. No one is immune, we are human..but it sounds like every step was taken to fix an error by the business mentioned.

    I personally keyed in on the 40 Minute delivery. IMPRESSIVE. The Jobber probably had 4 staff touch points , and incurred the expense of delivery ( that I am confident they didn’t pass on delivery charges ) Sounds like there is some commitment there not being valued! What other trade would get that service… I’ve seen plumbers leave to go get parts, electricians stop their jobs to get parts, and long delays when parts were wrong.

    Outside of the industry, I’ve been a customer paying crazy fees for delivery – and I’ve been a customer waiting for windows of time for deliveries on items i’ve paid for “We’ll be there between 1:30- 6pm” . When I’ve received wrong items, i have waited days if not weeks to get it rectified.

    Unless you are dealing with an incompetent Jobber, I am assuming this is an under 5% occurrence.
    While you blame a Jobber for “Ruining” your customers experience, what credit did you give them for over servicing the business on the other 95 batteries you sold this winter? That business partner delivered a battery twice ( to fix their mistake ) on a WARRANTY item that they are not making any money on! Read that again. The Jobber offered FREE DELIVERY TWICE on a No-Charge item , the customer had car repaired within 2 hours… and yet there is complaints and negativity?

    There is division everywhere we look , I would hate to see it creep into our industry. I am happy that a majority of my clients see us as a helping partner, and go out of our way to help enhance THEIR customer’s experience. While I don’t dismiss that accuracy is vital in our industry , the tone of this article is very disappointing. Kuddos to the Jobber for having the investment and infrastructure to get the right part to the ASP, and allowing them to have a car repaired SAME DAY ( in fact within 2 hours ) Those are numbers other industries would be jealous of….

  2. Ryan says:

    Parts counter sales associate here. This sucks. Should not have happened. However, we are humans as well. My opinion, if you are servicing customers who would complain or otherwise be upset about the combined service supplied to them from your shop and your supplier, even with the oops, then either that is the type of customers you attract, or that was a one-off. Don’t misunderstand. It should not have happened. That part number should have been checked several times along the way of getting you that battery, but we are human. If your supplier charges you for delivery, then I would request a refund on that charge and pass that savings on to your customer to keep them smiling. But if your supplier, like ours, foots the bill on the free delivery, and you are unhappy with the delivery service, consider paying your own employee a wage, fuel, repairs, insurance and everything else that comes with a free delivery service to go get your own parts. Then, after a short period of time, look back at the situation and ask yourself if the free service provided by your supplier was in fact worth it.
    Or maybe you just had a bad day and needed to vent. If so, don’t fret. We have one or two just like you. We all have bad days.
    If you choose to go off on a tangent every time someone messes something up, that is fine. Just make sure to thank them and let them know how much you appreciate them and what they do EVERY TIME they get it right, which is the vast majority of the time.

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