Restyling & Truck Accessories - June '15

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48 Restyling & tRuck AccessoRies | June 2015 A u t h o r B i o : J o s h Poulson is the principal of Auto Additions in Columbus, Ohio, which was named Restyler of the Year, 2012- 2013. Auto Additions offers a complete line of product upgrades, including 12 Volt and appearance packages with a spe - cific focus on the dealership segment. Josh currently serves on the SEMA PRO council. I f you have been in the restyling busi- ness for any period of time you have inevitably received the phone call one evening from the dealership telling you that the customer is not happy with the look or installation of the product. The problem is compounded now because the dealership's management team is involved and the customer's survey is looming. The customer is upset, the dealership is upset and now you have a problem you must act on. All of us from time to time have dealt with similar situations. The question is, how do you respond? Many restylers have guidelines on how to handle these situations—do you? If not, sit down with your team and figure out the guidelines so that all employees are on the same page. The worst thing you can do is shoot from the hip. If the customer is told something they dislike or perceive as a lack of desire to help, the situation could quickly get blown out of proportion. Here are some simple guidelines to help your team react properly to these inevitable problems. FIrst: Try to get to the source; that is, whoever voiced the complaint. If this is the end customer, then offer to call the customer directly to resolve the problem. Many times this will allow you to work one-on-one with the customer instead of hoping to get the right information about what the complaints specifically are. Usu- ally this will be appreciated by the dealer- ship who ultimately wants to help their customer out without getting stuck fixing our problems, which costs them time and energy—and ultimately money. second: Listen to the customer's com- plaints and don't minimize what their per- ception of the problem is. After you under- stand the issue, apologize! Then assure all parties (customer and dealership) that you want to and will correct the issue. Before ending your conversation, outline your plan and timeline to correct the problem so that it is clearly understood that you are taking care of them. thIrd: Taking care of the problem is the priority. However, you may need to go above and beyond to make sure you turn this negative experience into a posi- tive one. That could entail picking up and delivering the vehicle from the customer so they aren't inconvenienced, washing or detailing the vehicle, putting some fuel in the tank, or perhaps even a gift card along with an apologetic card. Sometimes the way you handle the situation is more important than fixing the problem. Fourth: Once the problem is resolved follow up with the customer after an appropriate period of time. Also follow up with the dealership to let them know what you did to take care of their customer. Many times you will find all parties very thankful for what you have done and your relationships will only strengthen. the real World As an example, a few years back a customer who purchased an Expedition from one of our Ford dealers was sold a power sunroof and DVD player. Everything went fine except that when the car was returned, it was returned later than the customer expected, and it came Mistakes will happen, but how you respond to mistakes, including the creation of a definitive procedure when mistakes happen, will reap long-term benefits. Turning Mistakes into Opportunities By Josh Poulson " " Every company can install a job correctly without any issues. However, problems will take place, and when they do, the response to those mistakes is something that can set you apart. Smudges and scratches found on this Explorer upset the customer, who received accessory upgrades. Auto Additions worked quickly to rectify the situation for the customer and the dealership.

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