Auto Service World
News   May 10, 2022   by Adam Malik

How one mistake can ruin the customer relationship

Disney World is supposed to be the most magical place in the world. Imagine going there and having a great day. But as you walk out, Mickey Mouse punches you in the head. All the good feelings are gone because you got sucker-punched by a mascot on the way out.

That’s how some customers feel after doing business in your shop if you make a mistake at the end of the process, explained Clint White, service advisor coach & shop consultant with CWI.

For example, how often does a customer return to your shop because a new problem came up after they walked out the door? And is that customer generally in a pleasant mood when they speak to you? Of course not, he said.

Oftentimes, the issue could have been resolved at the start, For example, the customer may come back because their check engine light came on — again. And the technician working on the vehicle knew this would be a possibility based on the job performed.

White urged shops to speak to customers on the way out that something else may pop up, a light may go off or another service may be needed soon. There may be a test that you couldn’t do because of the current issue. But also tell them not to worry and that you’ll take of it if it happens.

To not do so, the customer feels that “Mickey slap,” as White called it when a new problem arises after the fact.

“We do this in our industry,” White observed during the Midwest Auto Care Alliance’s Vision Hi-Tech Training & Expo in March. “Make sure we speak clearly when it comes to potentials for comebacks.”

He urged service advisors to ask technicians and for technicians to clarify potential issues with service advisors. “Because this is a team effort,” he said.

Tied to this is buyer’s remorse or repair regret. This happens when the customer regrets the repair because of the service they received — or didn’t receive, White pointed out. The goal of every shop should be to have the customer leave with no regrets and not even thinking about how much they just paid for service.

“I would like to see every service advisor, every shop owner, every technician wholeheartedly believe in leaving the customer in awe — think raving fans — to the point where price is irrelevant. I think that’s a key component in what we do,” he said.


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