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How to be a Good Customer

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  • #477235
    EricTheCarGuy 1EricTheCarGuy
    Keymaster

      I spend so much time talking about what it is to be a technician I thought it might be time to talk a little bit about what it is to be a good customer. I look forward to your thoughts.

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    • #477504
      NickNick
      Participant

        Well, my relationship with my local garage over the years has gone from, oh crap my cars broken to, I go there to get same day parts or I pretty much tell them exactly what’s wrong and what I want investigated / fixing.

        They call me big head now.

        I always buy second hand cars, they always work better after I’ve had them a while. Now I know my cars better now. I’m finding I spend more money at the garage even though I do alot of the servicing and work myself. Especially when I know exactly what needs doing but I know, I lack certain expensive tools or or really don’t fancy the job ( or under my nasty breakable air intake manifold) . The only downside with them is they charge time for labour, but I really don’t begrudge that because they have never given me any bullcrap about what needs doing to my cars. nor do they overcharge and they warn me if something is likely to go wrong like ceased up bolt’s nuts and the like.

        The only time I’ve gone anywhere else is when I had a CV boot leak and my local tyre places was dumb enough to give me a fixed price quote for the job( and I knew my axel bolts where likely ceased up good and proper )2 expected hours labour became 4, I really didn’t fancy this job myself and unfortunately a leaking CV boot is an MOT Test failure here else I might have gone with Eric’s plan of waiting until I need a new Axel.

        I haven’t had an Issue on the yearly MOT test in years I haven’t been aware off. I haven’t had a break down yet since I’ve been driving.

        The Video is great, I totally agree as a customer I respond much better to be given a choice or recommendations, people usually respond much better to that in my experience as an IT tech. In IT and electronics repair people still sometimes surprise me. Sometimes when I lay out the situation a few ways to sort it in English as much as possible and my recommendation, sometimes I give the customer enough info to make a totally different decision that’s clearly better for them.

        #477684
        EricTheCarGuy 1EricTheCarGuy
        Keymaster

          You sound like a good customer so I’ll give you a tip. Around the holidays try bringing baked goods or equivalent into the shop as a gift for the people that do the work for you. It will go a long way trust me.

          That said I would agree that communication and a working relationship with your shop of choice is the way to go and can actually reduce the cost of vehicle operation in the long run. You really loose your butt on a new car purchase so having a well maintained second hand vehicle is a good economical choice for transportation.

          Thanks for your post.

          #488791
          MatthewMatthew
          Participant

            what if there is a problem that isnt always there and doesnt happen much but does happen? how can you take it in to get it looked at and fixed if the problem that isnt all the time happens to not happen while at the shop for example: My impala on occasions the blinkers will not work to make them work i have to turn on the hazard switch between 1-7 times then the blinkers work normal and they can work normal for 5 minutes or they can work normal for months.

            #488837
            Nick WarnerNick Warner
            Participant

              Intermittent faults are the nemesis of both owners and techs alike. You can’t trust your car to leave town. You are pulling your hair out and when you seek out expert help if suddenly behaves. Its like that possessed kid in the horror movie that acts like a little angel in front of everyone else. Here’s the problem, we can’t fix a perfectly working system. It sucks for us because we look like idiots plus we lost the time trying to get it to act up that we could’ve made money with on a straightforward repair job. I had a customer with a Grand Marquis that was having intermittent low power and misfiring. The car was an older one, so no scanner info to be of service trying to pin it down. Checked it more times than I could count. Problem is, every single time it was at my shop it purred like a kitten with all the power in the world. He would call ahead so he wouldn’t have to shut the car off and I would jump in and going for a run. It would act up all the way to me. The moment I was in it no problems. He dropped me off and went 2 blocks and called again. As soon as I got out of it and he left it was missing again. Came right back for me, ran perfect. This continued for 3 months. Absolutely maddening for both of us. He was at the shop several times a week for 3 weeks and it refused to act up for me. He made a comment about needing to leave town and that he might have to lock me in the trunk for it since the car was afraid to act up in front of me.

              He lost his job in that time and I felt so bad for not being able to repair it (even though there was no way I possibly could when it was testing perfect) that I gave him my car to use and told him I would fix it for the cost of parts once I could pin down the issue. Drove it for almost a week with fuel pressure gauges and meters and such hooked up at all times. At the end of that week it FINALLY did it and I could see a drop in fuel pressure that ended up being a fuel pump. I fixed it and gave it back to him and he was very gracious about how long it took and that I went that far out for him like that. Point is, he was a good customer and I was willing to try hard for him. Had he been full of attitude and tried to act like I was conning him I wouldn’t have lifted a finger to help him at all.

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