Communication is the Key
Automobile owners often feel vulnerable and intimidated when taking their vehicle to the repair facility for service. Some think if they use the right lingo or diagnose the problem themselves they will get better service. However, customers who use technical terms or jargon incorrectly, or misdiagnose the problem, actually can create a situation in which the repair takes longer and costs more than it should. Clear communication can make a big difference in the time, and therefore the cost, required to accurately diagnose and repair a vehicle.
Here are some basic tips to follow when explaining a problem to the Technician or Service Writer at the repair facility:
1. Before you take your car into the shop, jot down a few notes on its problems so you won't overlook any important information.
2. Describe symptoms rather than solutions. Tell the technician what you see, smell, hear and feel.
3. Let the repair shop know exactly when the problem started and when it occurs.
4. Be complete and precise in your description of the problem.
5. If your vehicle has been worked on recently, bring copies of previous work orders and/or the vehicle's maintenance log. If the problem started after you worked on the car, fess up!
6. Resist the temptation to use technical terms or jargon unless you are absolutely sure what you mean.
7. Refer to the driver or passenger side of the vehicle, not the right or left side.
8. After you finish describing the problems, read your repair order carefully before authorizing any work. If the repair order is vague, ask that it be rewritten to include your comments and concerns.
Good communication should continue when you pick up your car. Be sure to allow yourself enough time to review the work done with your service advisor and/or technician, then test drive the vehicle and bring it back immediately if the problem is unresolved.
Following these steps can help you save time and money that is also the goal of our service department.