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Tips for Explaining Repairs to Customers Who are Not Mechanically Inclined

car dealership explanations

If you’re trying to build a reputation of trust in your local community, it’s important that you treat your customers like they really matter. Unfortunately, when service techs explain issues in a way that the average consumer just doesn’t understand, consumers often feel as if they are being duped. Below are some tips for explaining issues of any kind to your customers in a way that makes sense and builds trust. 

Be Careful with Your Language

Many consumers won’t come right out and tell you that they don’t understand what you’re saying. They’ll simply pay for the service and move on – but leave you a bad review later because they have no idea what you did. If someone brings their car in for an oil change but you discover a leaky valve cover gasket that also needs to be replaced, simply telling them that you need to replace the gasket isn’t enough. Explain that the valve cover is important for protecting the valves inside, and there’s a gasket just under the valve cover that can become brittle with time. This is much better than just expecting your customer to take your word for it. 

Use Video Where Words Fail

Another excellent option that you have at your disposal is the ability to send videos to show customers what is happening. Using the same example as above, start the car and let it run for a few seconds, then record a video of the oil seepage around the valve cover. This video evidence is far more powerful than your word or even a still photo, and customers will undoubtedly feel grateful that you took the time to make sure they fully understood. This can be used in numerous situations, too. For example, you can use a video to show why a rotor must be replaced rather than turned, and you can even use video to explain that the knock the customer hears is a surefire sign of impending engine failure, then carefully explain why that knock is happening. 

Ask Them to Ask Questions

Too many service centers call up their customers and say, “We noticed a leaky valve cover gasket during your oil change, and we need to fix it. That will be an additional $80.00. May we have your permission to proceed?” They just ask the customer for their money immediately, and this can put people off. Rather than calling them abruptly, consider sending a text and asking your customer to call you back if they have any questions before asking them for permission to proceed. This is far less intrusive to your customers, and they will appreciate the opportunity to get their questions answered before agreeing to additional charges that they weren’t expecting. 

It’s easy for a service technician to forget that the average consumer probably doesn’t understand the purpose of a valve cover, even though it’s one of the simplest repairs to perform in the service center (for most vehicles). Explaining things carefully, using video where words might otherwise fail to get the message across, and giving your customers the opportunity to ask questions can all go a long way toward explaining issues in a way they can understand.