Customer intake procedures can start the job off right

By David Bry

In a lot of ways, your business is like the cars we work on: There are many complex systems that work together in concert, but if the intake system isn’t operating correctly, it causes numerous difficulties. Without proper procedures, you shouldn’t guess at diagnosis or adjustments.

Likewise, when running the business side of your shop, “winging it” is not on the list of “10 Straightforward Ways to Improve Your Small Business.” Much like acquiring OEM specifications, you should have an intake procedure. If your customer intake goes well, everything else seems to operate smoothly. Do this poorly and the whole day can take a severe downturn.

For example, a car could come in for a coolant leak but the car was recommended to get new brakes (that it didn’t need right away). The customer’s original complaint was never recorded, the coolant leak was never addressed, and the customer relationship was soured. We want to get the information we need from the customer, and confirm their wants and needs, to serve those customers properly. …