Posted to Shop Management Forum on 4/7/2016
I received an email from a client asking for my thoughts
regarding a negative online review. Following is a brief
account of the situation, followed by a draft of what I
thought would be a good reply to the review, as well as my
rationale for posting a reply. Curious as to your thoughts.
BACKGROUND… The first experience with this customer
involved a request to have his own parts installed. This is
not something this shop normally does, but for various
reasons as an act of kindness the shop owner decided to help
the guy out. In so doing he made it clear that he's going
against SOP and that this was a ONE TIME deal. The customer
reportedly left happy. A week later he came back wanting
more work done with his own parts. The owner declined. The
customer asked how much the shop would sell the parts for.
He apparently didn't like the price and left. A short time
later this review was posted online:
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Nice people, but unfair pricing. I get that any small
auto repair facility needs to "mark up" the parts they order
but these fools mark them up at more than double what they
paid. That's not a matk up it's highway robbery when you can
get the same exact part at gmpartsdirect for less than half
of what these scam artists pay
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My client asked my opinion regarding the following: Should I
contact the customer to see if he can be reasoned with and
convinced to pull the review? Should I post a reply to the
review? Should I just ignore it and chalk it up to knowing
that we can't please everyone every time?
HERE ARE MY THOUGHTS, which I shared with my client: First,
I didn't think contacting the customer and trying to reason
with him was prudent. By the customer not listening or
choosing to ignore what he was told originally about the
installation of his own parts being a one-time deal, he has
demonstrated that he only hears what he wants to hear. I put
this question to my client: How far are you willing to go in
pleading with him to remove the review?
Next, I stated that I thought there would be little to be
concerned about if he chose to ignore the review. I stated
that (to me) the guy sounds like one of those 'the world is
out to get me' types. I further stated that any time I see
name calling in a review ("fools" and "scam artists") it
loses credibility with me because name calling is emotional
and petty and is simply a way to make one's own self look
good by making the other person look bad.
However, I suggested that this review is actually an
opportunity to explain how it's in the best interest of all
motorists to allow the service facility provide the parts.
Here's the draft of what I suggested as a reply:
Everyone wants a good deal. No one wants to pay more
than they should. We certainly get that, after all we are
consumers too. But let's put things in proper perspective.
First, there are indeed sources where you can buy parts at
discount prices, and for those doing their own work, that
may be an okay option. HOWEVER, as a professional automotive
service and repair business, that option is not right for
us. Why? For starters, our customers tend to demand (and
rightfully so) that we provide a warranty - labor AND parts.
Therefore, it's important that we buy parts of high quality
from a vendor we can trust. Second, it's important to buy
parts from a vendor with whom we have a relationship, that
shares our values with respect to quality and customer
satisfaction, and will promptly provide us with replacements
parts, without jumping through hoops, should the need arise.
Does this mean sometimes paying a little more? Yes, but we
believe that in terms of the OVERALL VALUE it is well worth
it. Fortunately most of our customers understand and
I haven't heard yet what the shop has elected to do. Perhaps
others here have some thoughts.
Mark from Michigan
35 Replies Received
35 Replies Received