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Cracking the Comeback Code: Hilarious and Effective Strategies to Handle Upset Clients in Your Auto Repair Shop


Three Steps to a Better "Comeback" Response

by Rick White, President 180BIZ                                                                (Estimated Read Time 5 minutes)

What I want to talk about today is comebacks, my friends. Oh yes, those lovely moments when clients come waltzing back into our lives, like a bad sitcom character who just can't take a hint.

We all want clients to come back, but let's be real here, not too soon, and definitely not for the same dang problem. But alas, life happens, and comebacks happen. So, let's dig into this topic, shall we?




Picture this: You're minding your own business, sipping your coffee, and in walks someone who was just here a day or two ago. And boy, oh boy, do they look pissed. You can practically see the steam coming out of their ears.

And what do we think, my fellow shop owners?

"Oh crap! Seriously, I don't need this right now. I don't have time for these shenanigans. What a fantastic way to kickstart my day!"

Now, sometimes these clients come back all smiles and rainbows, being all nice and understanding. They're like, "Hey, sorry to bother you, but there's still a teensy-weensy problem."  And just when you start feeling that glimmer of hope, reality slaps you across the face like a wet fish.

Most of the time, these clients come back hotter than a jalapeño on a summer day.

They're upset for a million reasons. Maybe they're furious because this inconvenience messes with their oh-so-precious schedule.

Or perhaps they feel like they've been bamboozled, taken for a ride.

They're all like, "Did I even bring my car to the right place? Did I miss some secret memo? What if I should've gone to that other place down the street?"

They're worried about their hard-earned moolah, thinking it might vanish faster than a magician's rabbit.

And, of course, there's always the classic fear that you, my friend, don't have a clue what you're doing.

Talk about a rollercoaster of emotions rumbling inside their heads. It's like a full-on emotional rodeo, and trust me, you don't want to get thrown off that bull.



It’s easy to react.


Now, here's the easy part: reacting. Oh yeah, reacting is a piece of cake.

You see them storming in, and you think, "Oh, crap" while your body language, tone, and emotions join the pity party. It's like you're wearing a sign that says, "Warning! Upset customer on the loose!"

But let me share a little secret with you, my shop-owner compadres. Your clients have a sixth sense for sniffing out your emotions. They can sense your unease faster than your dog detecting bacon. They're on high alert, my friends, ready to pounce on any sign of weakness.



Who are you focusing on?



Now, here's a question for you to ponder... when you react like that, who are you really focused on?  Think about it.

If your thoughts scream, "Not another comeback. I don't have time for this. I’m short-staffed today. How much will it cost me? What am I going to do?"

Well, butter my biscuits and call me a biscuit aficionado because you're focused on yourself!

But here's the deal, my folks: that's the wrong way to approach this situation.

Put on your empathy hat for a moment, folks.

Your client is upset, just like you've been in the past when you were the customer with a problem.

Trust me, I'm currently having a jolly good time dealing with Verizon Wireless. If I had a dollar for every time I wanted to strangle them, I'd be sipping cocktails on a beach right now.

It's time to slip into your clients' shoes, metaphorically speaking, of course.


1: Expect the Best.


Now, let's get down to business.

When you see that agitated client marching in, I want you to remember three golden rules.


Here we go.

Rule number one: EXPECT the BEST. Oh, it's as simple as that.

Prepare yourself mentally for the possibility that this client might be coming in to shower you with gratitude and praise. Maybe they want to proclaim how their car is running like a gazelle on steroids. Believe me, it happens!

I've had moments where I worked myself into a frenzy over a comeback, only to be pleasantly surprised by a client singing my praises. It's like a sweet victory dance for your soul, my friends.

So, expect the best, and don't be afraid to let your imagination run wild with possibilities.



2: Do not automatically assume responsibility.


But hold your horses, we're not done yet.


Let me break it down for you, my fellow auto repair wizards.

Imagine this scenario: a client had a check engine light on, their vehicle was running rough, and you found a faulty coil, so you fixed it up real nice.

Now fast forward six months, and they come marching back, complaining about the same old check engine light. Ah, the joy!

But here's the trick: the check engine light is just a symptom, my friend. You need to communicate with your client, educate them about the underlying issues, and document everything like a pro.

Don't jump to the conclusion that it's your fault. Stand tall and proud, knowing that you stand by your work 100%.

Mic drop. (plunk)


3: Prioritize them.



Now, onto the grand finale: Rule number three—PRIORITIZE them.

Let your clients know that you'll move mountains to make things right. ]

You'll push cars out of the way if you have to, just to give them the VIP treatment.

Assure them that you'll take care of them like your own kin, and they'll love every minute of it. You're their superhero, swooping in to save the day, cape and all.

So, fellow shop owners in arms, here's the key to mastering the art of comebacks: Expect the best, don't assume automatic responsibility, and prioritize your clients like they're the stars of your show.

Spread the word, my friends. Share this wisdom with your fellow comrades in the auto repair world (yep, other shop owners!).

God bless, stay safe, have fun, and go make that money rain down like confetti at a victory parade!"

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