From the Editors

A little follow-up goes a long way in customer service

Last week I brought my engagement ring into my jewelry store for repair. Being an engagement ring, my fiancé spent a decent amount of money on it, as most of your customers do on their units. So when I brought it in for repairs, I thought I would receive the utmost customer service. Instead, I was slightly disappointed by the effort brought forth by the store.

The ring’s band had somehow suffered a bit of damage, and the metal had plateaued. Luckily for me, the store has a lifetime warranty on all of its pieces, so I was able to simply bring it in and have the repairs completed. Unfortunately because the process of re-rounding the ring was more complex than a quick fix, I had to leave it at the store from Saturday afternoon until it was set to be ready Thursday at noon.

One bonus point goes to the company for making its sales staff identify the ring with a drawing before I handed it over. This is something every dealer’s service department should be doing in order to ensure that a customer won’t find a misplaced scratch that later gets blamed on the tech. It’s important to note that the salesperson drew this out in front of me, so I could verify her findings.

However, after the ring went to the shop, the customer service stopped. Thursday came around, and I had heard nothing from the store. Though I had a receipt saying the work would be completed by noon that day, I had no intention of driving out there just to find out it had possibly gotten backlogged. Unfortunately the store didn’t make any effort to contact me, so I had to take the initiative to locate the store’s phone number and hours (so I knew when I could come in) and then call myself.

It turned out the ring was ready on time, but a note to verify that would have been beneficial to me as a customer and to the store in a customer service effort. This follow-up should be happening anywhere that work is being done on any merchandise, but especially at a dealership.

When a customer drops off a vehicle for service, ask how he or she would like to be contacted when the work is complete — by a phone call, an email or text message (if you have that capability). Then, when the job is done, make sure the tech relays that to the service writer or service manager, so the customer can be contacted (make sure tech labor hours aren’t wasted on this). The customer will appreciate the follow-up, and you might be able to clear more already-completed service projects out of your store more quickly.

The service department is a great place to find ongoing profits from customers. To see more tips on making a service department profitable, check out the PSB 123s in the April 30 issue of Powersports Business.

Liz Hochstedler is the associate editor of Powersports Business, a trade magazine for the powersports industry. She reports on the powersports industry through Powersports Business’ varied media, including in the magazine and online. She assembles the brand’s twice-a-week e-news and handles a variety of assignments for the magazine. Powersports Business is known for its exclusive national dealer surveys, in-depth industry analysis and dealership conference, Profit Xcelerator.


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One Comment

  1. After a few years of owning a power sports shop I have ran into a problem that I’m not sure how to handle. Sometimes you get a customer that will need a repair that exceeds the value of the vehicle. During this time I usually try to explain to the customer that in this case it may be best to consider, used or aftermarket parts. The problem with this is that I can’t warranty the work. Sometimes it doesn’t work out well with used or aftermarket parts and I end up fixing the vehicle the right way for free. This presents a few different problems. Do you think I’m better off just refusing this work, or quoting the outrageous price it would take to fix the vehicle? Most of the time when you refuse they take it somewhere else, which is fine with me. This however does not sound good in person to person advertising.

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