If you don’t set a customer’s expectations on your terms, you’re going to have to live up to their expectations on their terms, says a shop owner and coach.
A customer may have come in for an oil change and failed to mention that their air conditioner wasn’t working. They may have expected you to check that it, and other components, were in proper working order — and maybe even fix it.
So spend time with that customer to understand what they expect out of their visit to your shop, said Frank Scandura, owner of Frank’s European Service and coach with Transformers Institute.
This is one way of avoiding customer comebacks, he said during the Midwest Auto Care Alliance Vision Hi-Tech Training & Expo in Kansas City in March.
Scandura also urged lead technicians to play a pivotal role in tracking and managing customer comebacks. Have a written process in place so you know why a vehicle is coming back.
“If you don’t know what your processes are, you can’t handle a reject or comeback properly,” he said during the session Unleash the Power of Your Shop Foreman and Take Them to the Next Level. “The other thing is if you don’t have a process, you probably aren’t tracking properly.”
He presented alongside Matt Lachowitzer, coach and owner and founder of Matt’s Automotive Service Center. He, too, stressed the lead technician’s importance. “If they don’t know what’s going on and why they’re coming back, how are they going to help the other team members in the shop?” he asked. “They need to be involved in this process. They need to be part of it.”
Scandura gave an example of one technician who always has a comeback on a particular repair they perform.
“If you’re not tracking it … you don’t know [that there is an issue],” he said. “If you find that 18 brake jobs came back for squeaking and now the parts guy, all of a sudden they realize it’s [because of] an aftermarket brake pad … [now] I have an opportunity to address that.”
Because the worst comeback is the one that never happens, Scandura pointed out.
“Think about that for a minute. Because I’m the guy, when I’m disappointed with the hotel I’m staying … what do you think the chances of me complaining are? Zero. I don’t have time. I’m too busy. I’ve got too much going on. What do you think the chances of me going to another [brand of that hotel are]? Also zero,” he said. “I just can’t be bothered. Our customers are no different. Right? If you’re having that experience out there, they’re having that experience out there.”