If you don’t already have one, one of the best things you can do for your business is to create a Technician’s Operating Procedure. By having such a procedure in place, every technician in your shop will approach, execute and close out every job, every time, in the same format.
One of the first things to do when a customer comes in with a complaint is to perform a test drive. Whenever possible, the technician should ride along while the customer drives. Often, the customer is more likely to reproduce the complaint than the technician can. Make sure during the test drive that the radio is off, as well as any other accessories and the blower fan; this will help in hearing any noises that may be part of the customer’s complaint.
However, even before the test drive, the technician should examine the vehicle for existing damage and/or items that are missing. Anything that is not the norm should be reported to the service writer before the test drive is performed.
After the road test, the technician should meet with the service writer to discuss what they learned from the customer’s complaint (i.e. what, where when, how often, etc.) If possible, the technician should enter the VIN and any other necessary information into the shop’s service information system for service bulletins, recalls and pattern failures related to the complaint.
Once this is has been done, it’s time to get the vehicle into the service bay to inspect and/or test in order to determine the cause of the customer’s complaint. After the actual problem is diagnosed, the technician should note the recommended repair along with any parts that will be needed, on the repair order. Also recommended is the performance of a safety inspection. This will determine if the vehicle needs other services that are not related to the complaint, such as an oil change, new tires, belts/hoses replaced, etc. The technician should note these observations on the repair order before giving the repair order to the service writer.
Once the service writer has received authorization to complete the repairs, the technician can get to work. At times, additional problems will arise during the initial repair. Make sure your technicians know that before repairing any other problems, authorization from the customer is needed.
After all repairs are completed, the technician should complete a road test and visual inspection to make sure the work performed was completed correctly. The technician should then note any additional work that is recommended on the work order. Also, it is important to indicate on the work order when a customer was notified of another problem and declined the service needed.
Once the vehicle is completed repaired, the technician should give the customers keys and the work order to the service writer. Also, if any parts were replaced, the old parts should be given to the customer for inspection.
Special Thanks to MACS Worldwide for allowing us to reprint this article.