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Repair Shop Advice

Thinking Like Your Customer

March 20, 2019

Have you ever gone into a store and been shocked at how disconnected from reality the people working there were?  If you ask the server at a pizza restaurant whether they sell by the slice, or you ask an employee at the grocery store where to find cleaning supplies, sometimes they’ll look at you like you have three eyes.

You think to yourself – How do you not know the answer to that?  Whether they’re doing it consciously or not, they look at you like you’re stupid, and it makes you want to leave and never shop there again.

These questions are rational to anyone who hasn’t spent half of their waking life inside of those businesses.  But to people who have spent so much time there, it’s impossible to imagine someone wouldn’t know the answers to those questions. They forget what it’s like to not know everything about how the business operates. (And, they are also not very good at customer service.)

Unfortunately, this can happen to everyone who takes the time to learn their industry.  If you spend most of your waking life thinking about the auto repair business, you probably get questions all the time that seem off-the-wall. 

I know the breaks are squealing, but can I wait for that grinding sound before I replace them?  Can I save money by not refilling the transmission fluid until next visit?  Can’t I just wait until the belt brakes to replace it?

These questions may seem to have obvious answers, but they may not; it’s difficult to know what you wouldn’t know if you weren’t an expert in the auto repair industry.  When you get questions like this, it’s possible that the person is trying to get a rock-bottom price, and they won’t be a good fit for your shop.  But it’s equally likely that they just don’t want to pay extra for “gold standard” auto repair and want to see if using a cheaper part or skipping a step will save them money.  They may have no idea at all what the consequences might be.

When this happens, it’s important to imagine yourself at that pizza counter or grocery store.  Don’t just tell them you won’t do what they’ve asked you to do because it’s unsafe, or will lead to terrible results.  Take the time to explain why you recommend doing things the way you do them, and what would happen if you didn’t. 

Often times, the customer will accept your explanation without any further complaint.  In some cases, they’ll appreciate that someone took the time to actually explain what goes into the job they’re paying hundreds (or thousands) of dollars for.  But no matter what goes through their head, the conversation will definitely go better than that unconscious look of shock that sometimes happens when you aren’t prepared for these questions.

To learn how Repair Shop Websites can help you increase your car count by getting your auto repair shop found online, call us at 866-665-1605 or email us at