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Old 11-17-2010, 04:26 PM
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Default Your Attitude Matters

Last week we had two incidents regarding out of warranty vehicles that had very different endings.

The first was a customer with a Caravan that had over 90k miles on the clock (his coverage had long expired). The customer came in demanding that we diagnose his vehicle and bill him for it since he only had two dollars in his pocket. This is completely against company policy and the service advisor explaind to him that payment was due when serives were rendered and that the diagnostic charge would be applied to the needed repair. The customer got mad and demanded to see the service manager.

When the manager met with him, the customer said he had bought the van from our dealership when it was new and that he couldn't believe he was being treated this way. The manager explained to him the company policy. The customer then stated he had the money but it was at home and not on him. My manager then offered to have our shuttle driver take him home to get the money while the van was being diagnosed but he declined saying he had an appointment later in the day to get $700 worth of new tires put on. He then proceeded to mention he had bought the van from a wholesaler a number of years ago (caught in lie #1) and that he had much of his regular service performed here (lie #2 - he had no service history with us).

He stormed out for about 5 minutes and then came back in demanding the managers name and said he was going to call Chrysler. My boss gave him a business card with the Chrysler customer service number and his name on it and wished him a nice day.

Case number two which happened the same day. A customer with a '01 Ram came in for an oil change and his drain plug was leaking. Upon examanition of the plug and pan it was determined the threads in the pan were shot. At first he was a bit upset and told our manager he wanted a new pan since it must be our fault because we are the only ones ever to touch his vehicle. We pulled his service history and verified his story.

My manager explained that with over 170k miles on it and the oil being changed at 3k mile intervals, worn out threads aren't a great surprise. The manager then offered to install an oversize plug at no charge and if the leak was still present at the next oil change, he would sell him a new pan at cost and discount the labor to install it.

After thinking it over for a minute, the customer decided that he was ok with the proposed solution and thanked my manager and expressed his appreciation for the help. So far it seems the oversize plug cured the problem and the customer went away happy.

After examining both cases it's pretty easy to see that the customers attitude can make all the difference in the world. Being honest and straightforward paid off when lying and demanding didn't.
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