Back to Basics - Aftermarket
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Back to Basics

Written By: Ron Slee

Article Date: 04-03-2006
Copyright(C) 2008 Associated Equipment Distributors. All Rights Reserved.


The fundamentals of parts and service require consistent performance.

Customers keep telling us and I'm not sure how well we're listening. They tell us what they want and need. They tell us what they expect. They are very clear about it. In service, they want price, responsiveness, convenience and quality. In parts, they want availability and almost everything else pales in comparison. So why don't we give them what they want?

Some of you think you've already satisfied these needs, and perhaps that's true, but 44 percent of service customers choose a supplier other than the OEM dealer, and it's in the same range for parts customers.

Each day in service, you should:

  • Inspect every machine and component before starting any work
  • Contact the customer and provide a fixed price for labor with a completion date
  • Close and invoice all work orders completed today
  • Call each customer that had a job completed
    But there's a catch. You have to do this every day.
Each day in parts, you should:

  • Process all parts orders received, including shipping the order
  • Receive and ship emergency orders
  • Locate any part you didn't have available today
  • Receive and put in location all stock orders received
    But there's a catch. You have to do this every day.
Do you know how many days a week you succeed at these basics?

Do yourself and your customers a favor - find out. If there's a day that you can't find every part the customers and service mechanics want, let the boss know. Ask the boss to call the customer and let them know you're still working on it.

Imagine how the customer would respond if your boss called to say, "I understand that such and such a part number was short yesterday. Our team is working on it and I wanted you to know I'm aware of the problem. We will get back to you as soon as we find it."

What do you suppose the customer would think? The customer would think you cared. Imagine that.

From a service perspective, what if the customer received a completion date for all repair work before the job was started? And what if you actually met the completion date? What do you think the response would be?

Customer service is a constant challenge. Our customers tell us what they want; we don't have to guess. We have to deal with the perceptions the customer has about how we did.

In service, you can answer this question by calling the customer to ask:

  • Did we do what we said we were going to do?
  • Did we do it within the price and time frame we said we were going to do it?
  • Is the machine working properly? In parts, it's even easier to determine -
  • Did you find everything you were looking for today?
If we do our jobs, the customer will reward us with their business, and then it's simply a matter of saying thank you. If we don't do our jobs, we will continue down the slippery slope of declining market position.

The choice is ours.



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Article Categories:  Product Support