I take customer service pretty seriously. I have heard mechanics dismiss customers as nuisances who bother them while they are working, or as idiots who don’t know anything. In reality, we have all been nuisances or idiots at some point  to someone,  but the customer is the person who ultimately puts the food on my table. I can work myself to death, have the best technical skills the world has ever seen, and own the fanciest tools in the shop, but without good customer service, I won’t reach my potential.    outstanding customer service

Customer service means more than a smile and chatting up the warehouse manager. It includes a professional presence, honesty in your work, consideration of what is important to the customer, and at the end of the day, a solution to the present problem.

Ten quick points on customer service are here, but if you actually have too much work(and money), feel free to do the opposite to get rid of customers. Yes, that was sarcastic. Don’t send hate mail!

1. Show up looking professional. Yes, I am a technician. No, I do not have to look like a pigpen. A decently clean service vehicle and personal appearance will affect your customers perception and experience.

2. Find out what the real concerns are.  Ask the manager, then ask the operators.  Determine the symptoms and problems they are dealing with.  Make sure you understand what they are wanting addressed.

3. Consider the customer’s unique needs. Maybe they have a particular day that is better for downtime. There might be a unusual requirement for their particular work environment. Special parts for special conditions perhaps. Keeps these in mind.

4. Communicate! You can frustrate a customer very quickly by leaving him out of the loop. If you have to leave the site to get additional parts, let him know why. All he knows is that his machine is down, and you are AWOL. If parts are on order, have the parts dept or customer service dept keep them posted on the ETA. Don’t leave the customer guessing.

5. Look for additional issues. While you replace that fan belt, don’t ignore the leaky waterpump.  Try to avoid potential downtime for your customer.

6. Be honest. We all mess up occasionally, but the technicians that stand out are the ones who own their mistakes and deal with them head-on.

7. Be realistic. Don’t try to candy-coat costs or wait times for parts. Don’t tell the customer  anything that you think is unlikely to happen.

8. Quality. This is obvious. If the work is shoddy, it WILL bite you later. If you do your job with excellence, there will be no regrets.

9.  Be personable. Yeah, my attitude DOES matter. I remember working with a tech years ago who was a genius at diagnostics, but unbearable to be with. It severely limited his career. Don’t kid yourself that the way you treat others is secondary to your mechanical skills.

10.  Go the extra mile. Yes, it is cliched, but it still makes a difference. Customers notice when you are really trying to solve a problem, not just collect a paycheck (your boss notices too!)Make sure that when the service report is signed, the customer is satisfied with the work and clear on what to expect.

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