Holding Back on Service Recommendations

A long-time customer approached me with a concern and asked, “Why is it that almost every time I come to see you, you recommend something? You are also more expensive than other shops. Why not just fix what I came in for?”

I replied, “Rick, we are an honest shop that believes taking good care of a car is the best way of avoiding the high cost of repairs. A long time ago I lost a lot of good customers because I just focused on repairing what the customer had asked for. I remember one customer in particular who owned an Acura we had been servicing since day one. She began having trouble with the ABS system, and since her car was still under warranty, she took it back to the dealer for repair. The dealer refused the warranty claim because the brake system had not been flushed according to factory recommendations. Her bill for the repair was nearly $3,000 and her car had only 50,000 miles on it. I felt horrible when she came back in and told me what had happened, and I felt as though I really let her down. I lost a great customer but was able to learn a very important lesson. Our goal is to help people, and the only way we can do that is by letting them know exactly what needs to be done at every visit. If we do, then they will have dependable transportation, and they will save money.”

After I explained this to the customer, he understood that our motives are to help him, not sell him unnecessary services. It also reminded me of my responsibility to my customers, so I was very glad that he asked.

This article was contributed by Servando Orozco, an award winning shop owner who was doing $36,000 a month in sales when he joined the Elite Coaching Program, and who now has 3 locations and does over $4,000,000 in annual sales.

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