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What happens when you do not fix the customer’s complaint and how does that happen? We will be discussing the problem of not fixing the customer’s complaint, the cause, and the solution so that you are able to be that shop that all the customers like to go to and that they refer their friends and family to.


The cause of not fixing the customer’s complaint is that you may not know what that complaint is because there was a breakdown in the communication or understanding between you and the customer during the customer interview.



The primary goal of the customer interview is to gather enough information to allow the technician to duplicate the customer’s complaint so that the customer knows you are offering great customer service. Asking open-ended questions is an effective method to accomplish this. Following the outline below will usually result in gathering the necessary information:

  1. Ask the customer what their primary complaint is. Log complaint on checklist.
  2. Ask the customer is the problem occurring now? If answer is no then get details of when it does occur
  3. Ask the customer how long has the vehicle had the problem
  4. Ask the customer is the problem getting worse over time
  5. Ask the customer how often they use the parking brake and whether they or anyone has added brake fluid recently
  6. Log any other related information in the comments section of the checklist

Once interview is complete customer should be informed of what is going to take place. Make sure to include the following information:

  • The vehicle will be taken for a test drive
  • We will do a 4 wheel brake inspection
  • How long it will be before we can look at the vehicle
  • How long the inspection process will take

Whenever possible, have the customer drop off the vehicle. This takes the pressure off of everyone involved. If not possible, make sure to add a “cushion” to the times given the customer. If you think it will be 10 minutes before you look at the vehicle, tell the customer 15. This gives you a little breathing room and will allow you to exceed the customer’s expectations more often than not. It is what sales people call “Under promise and over deliver” and most customers appreciate this. The opposite is to “over promise and under deliver” and this generally results in some very upset customers.

If for any reason there is a delay in either getting the vehicle in or during the inspection, make sure to notify the customer as soon as possible to prevent any problems. Apologize to the customer, explain what has happened, and give them the adjusted times. Always remember to perform a thorough customer interview and to under promise and over deliver.

Keep coming back for our Tech Trick Tuesdays and keep learning about tips and tricks that can change the way you do business and the way your customers see you. If you missed last week, you can read about our thoughts on Brake Service Philosophy.

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