Many dealers underestimate the cost of a service comeback, regarding both time and money lost. In operating LEAN, dealers should come up with a solution for preventing service comebacks, along with a plan for reducing the costs when one occurs.
Cost and Prevention
Comebacks cost dealers time, money and customer satisfaction. Preventing the comeback with proper repairs or maintenance can help dealers escape this unnecessary cost.
“Service-related issues always cost the dealer,” says Jason Hicks, parts & service manager for West Chester Lawn & Garden in Liberty Township, OH. “We never charge a customer if the unit is coming in a second time for the same problem.”
Policies and procedures that create accountability can influence technicians to be more careful, ensuring repairs are done right the first time. “We have a double-check process that every unit goes through before the work order gets billed,” explains Hicks. “A team member, or myself, test drives the unit, and makes sure that we addressed all of the customer’s concerns.”
If there are any other obvious problems with the unit, they hand it back over to the technician for further repair.
Some dealers turn to incentive plans for ensuring quality repairs. “Techs are paid on a production-based scale,” says Hicks. “To keep them quality-conscious, we bill-back labor to them if something wasn’t fixed properly.”
Maintaining Customer Satisfaction
It is imperative that the dealer provides the customer with a suitable solution when repairing a mistake. “We typically don’t have a tech we can put on a comeback right away,” says Hicks. “If I can’t look at it and fix it quickly, we’ll check it into the shop, and get it looked at in one or two days. Most customers are satisfied with that.” Hicks assigns a different tech to the returned piece of equipment so a fresh set of eyes is on the project.
“We have a very well-versed customer service team that takes care of the situation,” explains Hicks. “We reassure the customer that we are doing everything we can to correct our mistake.”