For those of you following our chicken saga, here is the update since my last article: The hens are laying beautiful brown eggs! The chicken coop is just about complete. And, Ronald the rooster has started crowing. Did you know that some roosters crow all day long? By happenstance, we got one of those roosters - even though we ordered all hens - and he is loud! My husband, Jeremy says "Ronald has found his voice and he's not afraid to use it."
Are you like Ronald? Have you found your voice and are not afraid to use it? In today's culture more people than ever are voicing their opinions for good and bad whether it be for restaurants, movies or vacation destinations. The auto repair industry also experiences it's share of voiced opinions. Sometimes these opinions are positive and refer to a job well done. While others voice their opinions for negative reasons. Let's explore a few reasons why costs may occasionally be higher than anticipated and why it may take longer for the repair to be completed.
Generally speaking, if you take your vehicle to a reputable independent auto repair shop, the cost of different services will most likely be comparable to other shops of the same quality. In many cases dealerships are on the higher end of the price continuum, while your neighbor who may fix vehicles out of his garage will most likely be the least expensive option.
If you are comparing prices, be sure you are comparing apples to apples. Are the shops of the same caliber? Do they employ knowledgeable technicians, offer great service, follow-up and shuttle services? Do they use the same quality parts and/or fluids? Do they have up-to-date equipment and scan tools? Is the warranty the same? These are all issues regarding the cost of quality service and things to keep in mind if you are ever dissatisfied with your auto bill.
What does "upselling" mean to you? Have you ever told others that your auto shop was upselling you? I suppose some shops do. But most trustworthy repair shops have your best interest in mind. Have you ever stopped to consider the auto-shop's perspective? If you bring your vehicle to a reputable auto repair facility and they do any form of vehicle inspection - even if it is conjunction with another service or repair - it is their responsibility to inform you of what your vehicle needs based on the manufacturer's recommendation and/or the state of your vehicle. When you live in extreme temperatures there are additional factors to consider. But the bottom line is, you are being educated based on the advice of experts who deal with vehicles on a daily basis. If you choose not to have a service performed after being educated on a problem that is certainly up to you.
Let's look at "upselling" a different way. If you went to the doctor to follow up with a health issue, or even if you are going in for a routine physical, wouldn't you expect that your doctor would tell you if they find something else wrong? How would you feel if they didn't inform you of an easily solvable problem? And how would you feel if they didn't tell you about the bigger problem because it's terrible news and costly to treat? The doctor is the messenger and the educator. Just like the service advisor is the messenger who was educated by the technician.
In this day and age many of us run around trying to get as much as possible packed into a busy day. Your time is valuable. Sometimes time is a tricky thing. Have you ever started a project that you thought would take you three hours and it ended up taking you 13 hours? It sure is frustrating, but it's a fact of life. Surprises pop up that delay us. The same can be true for an auto shop. They can give you an estimate on the time it should take, but there may be surprises along the way … rusty old parts, receiving the wrong part, technician becomes ill or even a power outage. We all hope for the best-case scenario. But when there are delays, think about how you've been off on your time estimates in the past and extend a little grace. It is certainly your auto shop's desire to get your vehicle done on time.
Leaving a positive review for any business is great as it encourages the owners and the entire team. But if you are tempted to leave a review that is unfavorable, I encourage you to heed the advice my pastor recently gave our congregation: T.H.I.N.K. before you speak. If your going to be like Ronald and be vocal about your auto shop, you should first ask yourself: Is it True? Is it Helpful? Is it Important? Is it Necessary? And is it Kind? If your answer is "no" to any of these, hold off on leaving the review and contact your auto-home to let them know of your dissatisfaction and give them an opportunity to take care of your concerns. Communication is key to building lasting, satisfying relationships.
By Jeana Babcock