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running the bay?


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yimke 
Copper - Posts: 417
Copper spacespace
Joined: June 23, 2009
Location: Nebraska, United States
Posted: July 17, 2009 at 1:19 AM / IP Logged  
So here's a question for all the installers. What do you guys do if a customer decides to back out on an installation? Here's an example.
Had a customer a week back that wanted keyless/remote start done. It ended up being around 480ish with the bypass and labor. The sales guys told him he might be looking at charges if he had a factory alarm. He swore by the book he did not have such thing (Most people don't even have a clue).
Well today rolls around, we check the vehicle and it does have a factory alarm. So he's looking at an additional $55 because the fact alarm disarm is INSIDE the door. He is upset at the charges and lectures me for 30 minutes, while wasting my installation time. I keep telling him this is not part of a normal installation and in no way will i do this for free. So he leaves and I have a 3 hour spot open now even though i filled it quickly.
What would you do?
Also if you could not reach a customer in the same situation, and they did not respond within reasonable time, would you do the work and charge them afterwords without confirmation? If they refused to pay would you go snip the factory disarm wire? lol (wishing I could sometimes)
Just general remote start/keyless input would be appreciated since the season is soon upon us running the bay? -- posted image.
kassdog 
Copper - Posts: 257
Copper spacespace
Joined: March 09, 2007
Location: United States
Posted: July 17, 2009 at 1:26 AM / IP Logged  
I personally would have just of done it. Tried to go halfway first then just have given in for the simple fact that now you had three hours empty and a customer that is probably not going to come back. Now if you did it for free, you would have recieved the 480ish and a happy customer because he would feel like he's getting it for free. And in all honesty it takes what 20 minutes to run wires into doors.
yimke 
Copper - Posts: 417
Copper spacespace
Joined: June 23, 2009
Location: Nebraska, United States
Posted: July 17, 2009 at 12:25 PM / IP Logged  
Ya, I tried to meet them halfway, but it is the fact that the sales people told him a week before. And it was a molex, so it took about 45 minutes extra.
I feel like this industry is not appreciated enough. My other job is a flight instructor, and it is easy as hell but I get paid WAY more. But I work on cars for fun as a part time gig, but i feel it requires more studying/understanding.
howie ll 
Pot Metal - Posts: 16,466
Pot Metal spacespace
Joined: January 09, 2007
Location: United Kingdom
Posted: July 19, 2009 at 1:10 PM / IP Logged  
I've got the T shirt on this one. I do sub contract alarm etc. installs for a number of retail outlets in North west London and I've had to train the sales staff to say the following:- "Everything subject to our engineers checking the vehicle beforehand. We will confirm prices at that point". The vehicle's in your work-shop and you're half stripping it. Provided you come across as straight forward and honest, they are not going to back-off and will usually deal. My other method is to get to the customer before the sales staff  (i.e. Morons unless I've trained them to ask) quote.
tommy... 
Gold - Posts: 1,901
Gold spacespace
Joined: December 10, 2004
Location: United States
Posted: July 19, 2009 at 6:41 PM / IP Logged  
I had a similar situation ...Where i sold a r/s and informed the customer to bring 2 keys...One would be in stalled w/ the r/s...And would only get 1 key back...I think the whole NKR bypass(and his age) totally screwed him up...Long story short...He wanted both keys back...And the unit taken out...So i explained labor is non-refundable...He was so irratated by this point that he agrred...Refund was $79.00...I kept $180 and got the unit back...LOL...Anyway...I understand your point...He was well informed about the cost ...But at the $500 dollar mark... Going through door or using a bypass(car?) probably would have been your best bet...But you said you filled the appointment spot rather quickly...And maybe in some situations you dont need there business...Anyway...I love those guys who try to tell you how to run your business...As they go clock in at temp service...
M.E.C.P & First-Class
Go slow and drink lots of water...Procrastinators' Unite...Tomorrow!
t&t tech 
Platinum - Posts: 2,608
Platinum spacespace
Joined: October 05, 2008
Location: Trinidad and Tobago
Posted: July 20, 2009 at 4:54 PM / IP Logged  

I've been running my bay for quite a while now, what i've realized is people don't know half of the technology they have existing in their cars so they think we don't either.  In a case like yours mr Yimke, what i would have done is quoted the customer the total 530ish he might have had to pay, keep in mind he knows you're charging him to have the equipment installed and working, without knowing all the details off your job (factory alarm disarm for example), that way he would have been content that you were dealing with him in a fair manner and if there was no factory alarm present, you would have been able to tell him you're giving him 55 dollars of the install. And what a happy customer he would have been. Also before i dive into any job, i talk to the customer a little, by doing this i feel out the person, so i know how to carry out my task, the customers that are down right stubborn and ill-mannerd, i let them know exactly how much they are paying for the job, and exactly what is going to get done, any additions to the job comes with additional cost, this way they rarely can complain!

P.S. i love the customers that say, "just install,and give me the bill",running the bay? -- posted image.. Cheers.

commit your way to jehovah and he will act in your behalf. psalms 37:5
tommy... 
Gold - Posts: 1,901
Gold spacespace
Joined: December 10, 2004
Location: United States
Posted: July 20, 2009 at 5:07 PM / IP Logged  
t&t tech wrote:

I've been running my bay for quite a while now, what i've realized is people don't know half of the technology they have existing in their cars so they think we don't either.  In a case like yours mr Yimke, what i would have done is quoted the customer the total 530ish he might have had to pay, keep in mind he knows you're charging him to have the equipment installed and working, without knowing all the details off your job (factory alarm disarm for example), that way he would have been content that you were dealing with him in a fair manner and if there was no factory alarm present, you would have been able to tell him you're giving him 55 dollars of the install. And what a happy customer he would have been. Also before i dive into any job, i talk to the customer a little, by doing this i feel out the person, so i know how to carry out my task, the customers that are down right stubborn and ill-mannerd, i let them know exactly how much they are paying for the job, and exactly what is going to get done, any additions to the job comes with additional cost, this way they rarely can complain!

P.S. i love the customers that say, "just install,and give me the bill",running the bay? -- posted image.. Cheers.

Good point there...Have used that a few times...Only problem there is price shoppers(phone)...But for the most part like t&t stated half of the battle is feeling out who/what type of customer your talking to as fast as possible...Amen to the "Just install,and give me bill"...Some of the reason we are still in business is our repeat customers...!

M.E.C.P & First-Class
Go slow and drink lots of water...Procrastinators' Unite...Tomorrow!
t&t tech 
Platinum - Posts: 2,608
Platinum spacespace
Joined: October 05, 2008
Location: Trinidad and Tobago
Posted: July 20, 2009 at 8:46 PM / IP Logged  

Price shoppers, i don't care much to have them as customers anyway, i believe in paying for having things done right and remaining that way, whenever a customer makes a mention of "i could get this done cheaper elsewhere", i let them know that we charge that price because we are trained pros who know what we are doing, that our standard of work is of the highest quality, and that we have after sales service to back it up, if they still choose to go elsewhere, well, that's their right, i did my part, here's a perfect example.

Customer comes by the shop today and says "what's the price of an actuator"? i said "over the counter, or installed"? customer-"what's the difference"?. me- "over the counter it's 100$, installed it's 200$", he then says"100$ just to hook up two wires", i then informed him of what was involved and that he would have gotten warranty on the part had we done it, and he still insisted he would get it done cheaper elsewhere, i say ok, tested it and sold him it over the counter, closing time he pulls into the bay, informs me he paid sixty dollars to have it done, but says he has a problem, it's working in reverse, on arming the alarm the doors open and disarm they lock, me knowing it was simply switching the wires around at the actuator, i grinned slyly and said "there is a service charge of forty dollars",

commit your way to jehovah and he will act in your behalf. psalms 37:5
howie ll 
Pot Metal - Posts: 16,466
Pot Metal spacespace
Joined: January 09, 2007
Location: United Kingdom
Posted: July 21, 2009 at 1:56 AM / IP Logged  
Are we talking $US Darren?  At those labour rates I'm joining you!  Problem in the UK is EVERYONE's a price shopper, the companies that have only been going a few years panic and cut their prices inc. labour charges to the bone to  "get the deal". I've never agreed with that and as I said before, if I'm in the loop I'll use your last comments and get the deal at my price. It's a lovely warm feeling in your gut when they come back with their tails between their legs and ask you to rectify it.
yimke 
Copper - Posts: 417
Copper spacespace
Joined: June 23, 2009
Location: Nebraska, United States
Posted: July 21, 2009 at 10:26 AM / IP Logged  
Ya I pretty much agree with everyone's comments and input. And yes I absolutely love the customers that don't care about the bill because they know I will do it right and not overcharge them.
But going back to T&T's comment about quoting them for the disarm, but refunding them. Do you quote them for everything, such as disarm, immobilizer bypass, etc.? Because during Christmas time for remote starts it gets crazy. I think I spend more time on calls for quotes than actually installing remote starts. And we all know how picky the market is for bargain shoppers. Let's say if I quote a Chevy aveo for immobilizer which is about $100 extra, and some other shop doesn't because their model does not have it, by it being an option on that car. I almost guarantee they will go with the other shop.
Also what do you guys think about setting up an answering machine during Christmas time for people to leave their year/make/model and contact number for price quotes? That way I can blow through an install and give them a call back when I am finished with that vehicle. Instead of getting up every 10 minutes and wondering where I was at.
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