Satisfying your customers is all about trust. But since your customers are unlikely to have the knowledge about vehicle repair that you do, how do you help them understand why a complicated repair is necessary? Here are a few tips to help you break down complicated auto repair estimates.
Provide an overview. Start with the work that’s needed from a top-level perspective – diagnostic costs (if any), the parts and labor costs, and the time it will take to repair.
Show and tell. Dive deeper to explain what the repair will require in greater detail to avoid any confusion or misunderstandings down the road. If you can, show them exactly what needs to be repaired or replaced and explain why. Start with the part’s purpose on the vehicle (if necessary), and explain in layman’s terms how it’s behaving versus how it should be, as well as why the repairs should be done now, and the consequences of waiting.
Discuss parts options. Detail what the customer’s options may be regarding repairing versus replacing parts, and highlight the advantages and disadvantages of each. Also, explain their choices when it comes to the type of parts to be used in the repair, whether it’s reconditioned, aftermarket or OEM parts, etc. Explain pros and cons of each to help them make an informed decision.
Talk about maintenance. If a part is being repaired or replaced sooner than typically expected, explain why this may have occurred and (gently) suggest tips to prevent it from wearing out earlier in the future, whether it’s related to maintenance or how the vehicle is driven.
Be up front about the numbers. This applies both to the cost and the estimated time for the repair. There should be no hidden charges, and time estimates should allow sufficient time for your shop to complete the repair. And if problems or complications arise during the process, be proactive about communicating that information as well, even (and especially) if it means a delay in the job.
Be patient with their questions. Remembering that they don’t have your level of repair knowledge, make sure your customers feel comfortable asking all the questions they may have about their auto repair estimates – and that they understand and are satisfied with your answers. You may be in a hurry to complete the work and stay on schedule, but making someone who’s about to spend their hard-earned money on repairs feel rushed doesn’t help either of you in the end. Clear and honest communication (and a little empathy) goes a long way toward helping earn their trust and keeping them happy.
Make sure you follow up that great communication with great repairs. Our free Lift Buyer’s Guide can help you find the right equipment for your shop.