Customer Service Disaster in the Auto Shop


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Everyone has had experiences with customer service whether good or bad. Your experience all depends on the person, or people, you’re speaking with & how they handle the situation.

I was speaking with Jack, a fellow collegue at PhaseWare, and asked if he had any stories that stood out in his mind. It seemed like a light switched on and he was back in the auto shop waiting on his car’s inspection.

He went to a local auto shop informed the mechanic he may need new tires but wanted his inspection done first. Like all auto shop experiences, they found other things that needed to be fixed. It took over 24 hours for Jack’s “inspection” to be completed. Luckily, they gave him a rental car so he could be a little less inconvenienced. Jack came back, paid for his car and drove off. He quickly realized the inspection sticker was the same as it was the day he dropped the car off. He came to a screeching halt, immediately went back to the shop, furious–and rightfully so.

He stormed back in and demanded to know why his inspection sticker was the same and they said “Well, it didn’t pass inspection—you need new tires”.

Of course he needed new tires, he informed him of this possibility when he dropped his car off.

How Will They Fix This Now?

Finally, the service manager calmly presented himself behind the counter and asked what the matter was. Jack explained the situation in detail to him. The service manager then asked Jack a question he never thought he’d hear, “What would you like me to do?”

At first, Jack thought he was being sarcastic. It turns out the service manager wanted to know what would resolve this issue for Jack. He replied with, “new, free tires”. It seems like a lot to ask, but not with the inconvenience this shop put him through. The service manager politely said “okay”, gave him another rental car until his car was ready and didn’t charge him a single cent.

Although this experience was stressful, the service manager was kind enough and knew enough about good customer service to own up to the mistake made to resolve the issue. (Read more about owning up to your mistakes in our previous blog series).

What would you have done in this situation if you were Jack? If you were the service manager?

Irate customer bad customer service

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Jody Pellerin
Jody Pellerin is the Director of Marketing for PhaseWare, Inc. a provider of customer service and support software. PhaseWare helps companies optimize customer service and support with powerful, affordable solutions for incident management, knowledge management, SLA management, and more. Pellerin has authored several white papers and case studies about customer service and support practices including using live chat, optimizing multichannel support, and a guide for on-premise versus on-demand software.


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