Let’s Call It What It Is – Comebacks, Rechecks, Repeat Repairs, or Second Opportunities

mike-knapp-newsletterIt is inevitable, no matter how hard everyone in the shop tries, repeat repairs or comebacks happen. It is important to admit there is a concern, (not a problem) and offer to get it fixed. The worst thing you can do is to argue or deny that there is a concern. Comebacks should be taken care of in a timely fashion; continued updates help and so does an apology for any inconvenience.

Finally, after all objections and concerns have been addressed, be sure to thank the customer for their business. If you have done your job well, they will be back to see you the next time they need work on their vehicle. Here are a few things to remember:

  • Never take it personal
  • Allow customer to vent, they are mad at the situation not at you
  • Remain calm and professional at all times
  • Try to defuse situation as soon as possible
  • Manager should be contacted to help with the “situation”
  • Keep Repeat Repair Log
  • Follow Repeat Repair Procedures in place at your store – (See example below)

“Customer Perceived” Repeat Repair Process

  1. “Repeat Repair” is identified by customer and / or advisor
  2. Advisor and / or technician reviews and prints vehicle history and vehicle information report for recalls, TSBs (Technical Service Bulletins), SSMs (Special Service Messages), etc. and attaches to the repair order
  3. Advisor or management attempt to verify concern with the customer
  4. If concern IS duplicated then:
    1. Management records RO on the log and assigns job to specific technician
    2. Technician diagnosis concern and notifies management of his findings
    3. Management decides who is responsible for repair (Service Parts Warranty, Customer, Internal, Misdiagnosis, or Different Concern)
    4. Technician repairs vehicle – details repairs on the repair order, completes “Repeat Repair Form” and contacts the manager for quality check
    5. Manager verifies proper repair and signs off on the repair order and “Repeat Repair Form”
    6. Advisor is notified and contacts customer to explain repairs
  5. If concern IS NOT duplicated then:
    1. Repair Order is documented with related comments and held until customer returns
    2. Customer is advised to return when condition is present

General Tips

  • Repeat Repair: A 2nd or subsequent attempt to correct the same customer concern within 12 months or 12,000 miles of previous related repair.
  • Repeat repairs are dispatched back to original technician. (Exceptions: technician not available, not qualified or 3rd repair attempt)
  • Technicians are paid no time for misdiagnosed or mis-repaired vehicles.
  • Warranty Administrator will not pay claims missing any required documentation or authorizations.
  • Management will perform post-repair road test with customers as needed to confirm resolution of concern.
  • Management reviews weekly Repeat Repair Log for coaching or counseling.
  • Parts department to be sensitive to pricing considerations when charging out parts to be absorbed by service department for repeat repair conditions.
  • Remain cool and professional at all times.
  • Make customer feel at ease and ensure them that they will be taken care of.
  • Apologize for the inconvenience and the situation, not the fact that “we screwed up”.
  • Ask what you can do
  • Follow Up

When a customer is upset, and they will be at times, it is helpful to use the “R.A.L.L.Y. Method”

  1. Relax: When you encounter a customer who is upset, the first thing to do is take a deep breath. Let them vent before responding. Relax, and prepare to respond to the customer and find a way to assist them.
  2. Acknowledge: Next, Acknowledge the customer is upset. Apologize for the situation, without assigning or accepting blame.
  3. For example: “I’m sorry you’re upset Mr. Smith. I can understand that would be very frustrating for you.”
  4. Listen: Listen to understand the customer’s specific concern. Pay careful attention; take notes if appropriate. Paraphrase and ask questions to confirm that you understand the concern from the customer’s perspective. You may also need to investigate the concern by reviewing paperwork or talking to other associates about what happened.
  5. List: Once you have clear understanding of the customer’s concern, list the ways you can assist the customer. Be clear about what you can do and what is not possible. Give the customer options they can choose to resolve the concern.
  6. Yield: If you and the customer can’t reach a clear understanding to resolve the concern, be prepared to YIELD to your manager or someone else in the organization who may be able to address the concern from a different perspective. Ask the customer if you can put him or her in touch with your superiors.

If handled properly, a comeback or repeat repair can give the service consultant the opportunity to regain trust, build loyalty and increase customer satisfaction. Always remember that the customer did not show up at your door to have you sell them something, they showed up at your door to have you fix something. Sometimes we have to fix the car and other times we have to fix the customer. Remember, people don’t care about how much you know, until they know how much you care.

About the Author