When receiving a vehicle from a customer, it usually arrives one of three ways. The customer stops in unannounced, the vehicle has broken down and is towed in, or the customer has made an appointment. Once the vehicle has been checked in, regardless of the circumstance, it is then assigned to a technician.
The most underrated and overlooked element of taking possession of a vehicle is the failure to properly inspect it. We detested the idea of “selling” customers and performing vehicle inspections without verifiable data. It is the duty of the technician in charge of the vehicle to inspect the vehicle and log in through job card.
The most crucial element in the entire process. An accurate estimate will save everyone time and prepare the customer for what they may come to expect. As a rule of thumb, we recommend being as thorough as possible in job card preparation notes while building estimates. This allows some room for unforeseen problems that may arise.
Without verbal or written authorization (each state varies, check your local laws), you cannot and should not ever perform work on a customer’s vehicle. It is unethical to skip this step hence we get authorization from the client to go ahead after estimations.
Once authorized, the technician can now start the job as the estimate has been written. Under most circumstances, there are not many changes made to an estimate. Most changes usually revolve around unforeseen circumstances and/or hardships encountered. However, anything over 5 percent of the original estimate should be clearly communicated to limit misunderstandings.
Once a service is completed, the service adviser/ Segment owner should review with the technician that nothing was forgotten. In this instance they should also check that there are no grease marks left on any body panels, no debris from the repair and/or dirty and messy interiors from work done on/in the vehicle. Vehicles should always be returned in the cleanest manner feasible.