Please Note: This post is not to be taken as legal advice. It is common sense strategies for you to consider in order to protect your shop assets and livelihood.
Not every customer who brings their truck in for repairs is going to accept your diagnosis or inspection report that certain repairs are needed. Who knows why people don’t want them done right away? Whatever the reason an owner has for refusing to have the vehicle repaired at that time, some just have no time or budget for what is recommended.
What about Safety Issues?
But if one or more of the repairs you call for happens to be a glaring safety issue and the truck leaves your shop without clearing it up, you and your shop, actually your livelihood could be at serious risk if the necessary repair you found was not completed by you and fails on the road causing a collision.
If that safety issue is traced back to your shop you are more than likely to be held at least partially responsible for the crash and resulting injury or death.
That is why you must protect yourself and your shop by getting the trucker to sign off the refusal to have the repair completed at that time. And you must keep a record of every similar situation where recommended repairs are not carried out. That way your assets are covered and you can prove it if necessary.
Explain the Impact
But try your best to get the customer to agree to the repair. Explain to the customer how his or her life could be impacted by not having you perform the repair immediately. Be calm and considerate when doing so, and never let it escalate to an argument.
You don’t want to lose a customer over it, unless the customer is always looking for cheap repairs. Some customers frequent small repair shops because they feel the large shops always try to sell them more than they need or want. Those cheap people will never make you money, especially if you give in to their requests. Let them go but always keep a signed record of the non-repair.
Let them know that performing the repairs can save them money in the long run by not exposing them to undue risks. Liability is a very large and powerful word nowadays. Emphasize the fact that they are likely to risk serious expense through unscheduled downtime on the road.
Make the point that it is in their best interest, not yours. And if a DOT inspection uncovers the safety issue, the out of service time and actual repair is likely to cost even more, and may even result in a poor safety record.
Learn to Employ Tact
Tact is an important trait needed for many small repair shop managers and it can be learned by actively practicing it in your discussions with customers. Many books have been written on learning how to implement tact in conversations. Free information is available online. The lack of tact can cost you business. Make an effort to embrace it in your shop and in all dealings with your people and customers.
Keep accurate and informative records signed by customers who decline repairs that you know are needed. A management system specially designed and built for small fleet maintenance and repair shops for heavy duty trucks and trailers records and digitally saves and stores explicit records for you. Records can then be accessed immediately whenever necessary with just a few clicks.
FleetSquared by BrightOrder Inc. is an ideal shop management system that will streamline your workflow by eliminating outdated methods of creating and storing documents and making them accessible instantly without searching through endless file cabinets.
FleetSquared comes with a stress-free setup to get your business up and running quickly and comfortably. It enables you to handle internal fleet repairs as well as customer work. And inventory is simplified as the system automatically provides recommended parts orders based on techs recent usage.
Try it out in your shop with our free 30 day trial. Sign up with your email to start your free trial today. You’ll find it an affordable asset for your shop that will serve you well for years to come.