This is the first of a weekly commentary on the operational, sales and customer service aspects of a service business in the equipment Industry.
The starting point for a service department is now, has been and will forever be an inspection. This is the most basic yet the most overlooked requirement for performing repairs and maintenance. How can you provide a quotation or even an estimate until you know what it is that needs to be done? Obviously you can’t.
Why don’t we perform inspections as a matter of course? I am sure by now I have heard most all of the reasons. We don’t have the time to do it – We don‘t have the space to do it – The customer won’t let me do it. I am sure you know the list of reasons as well as I do. But that doesn’t excuse our not performing inspections on most everything we do before we start the work. Imagine having your doctor, based on your diagnostics. go ahead and schedule for a bypass surgery without doing an inspection? Not going to happen.
If we perform inspections we can create quotations and time lines. These are two of the top four needs customers have from a service department according to surveys conducted by the AED – Price and Responsiveness. Yet also in those surveys customers say they want honesty from the service department. Doesn’t that tell you something?
On the inspections tthat I am discussed here there needs to be a specifically training inspector. This is not every mechanic. Not every mechanic has diagnostic skills. This is a one or two hour inspections that evaluates the machine not just the customer complaint. This will lead to a comprehensive quotation for the work to be done. This detail stays on the work order whether the customer gives you the go ahead to make the repair or not. That detail notes that the customer chose not to approve that segment of the work we found that should be done. It is inconvenient for the customer, in more ways than one, when that which we pointed out as needing to be repaired but they denied, actually failed or needed the work to be done.
How can anyone run a service department that deserves the customers’ loyalty that doesn’t do inspections? I know you agree with me on this so why not do it? The time is now.