The Fear of NO!

The Fear of NO!

Have you ever had a customer come back to you claiming that ”you just worked on that and it is still; leaking, CEL is on again, it’s still running bad….you name it”?  Come on, this has happened to you; I know it has because it has happened to everyone!

So, what do you think is the most common cause of any of the above mentioned statements?  The answer may be as simple as this; we repaired/replaced the failed component, and did not repair/replace the system that the component is related to.  The underlying cause for incomplete repair/replacement of the actual system may not be as simple to understand, the fear of rejection.

Let’s start with repair/replacement of components.  This most commonly occurs because we overlook the root cause of the component that failed.  For the best and easiest to understand example, let’s look at a leaking water pump (leaking from the vent hole).  OK, the tech has checked out the customer complaint of “green fluid on the garage floor” and he/she has determined that the coolant leak is from the vent hole of the water pump.  Does he/she then simply recommend replacing the water pump, OR, does he/she go to the next step and test the coolant for voltage?  Voltage is caused by electrolysis and that leads to the soft metals and gaskets being etched or eroded away, and yes, this may also include the water pump shaft seal.  Now there are long in depth explanations about how and why this occurs, and there may even be those out there who say that there is another reason.  For the purpose of this article let’s leave it at the above explanation.  So when we simply replace the water pump what do we have?  We have a component that will fail again or fail prematurely because we didn’t correct the root source as to why it failed.  The cooling system needed to have the coolant replaced through some type of an exchange process, thus eliminating the probable source cause of failure.  And what about the hoses that have been subjected to the same acidic coolant that took out the water pump shaft seal, are they most likely starting to deteriorate from the inside out (in contact with the same coolant) as well?  Again, short answer…YES!  So, in the case of the water pump failure, wouldn’t it make more sense to continue just a little further and check out the cooling system instead of giving them a ticking time bomb back, knowing that there was underlying reasons that pump seal failed?

Maybe we need to approach this slightly differently for the sake of Technicians understanding what we mean here; would you simply replace a spark plug if there was a misfire in a specific cylinder and let it go even if that fixed (temporarily) the customer complaint “the engine runs rough”?  Or would you check out the ignition system to make sure there was no underlying condition causing that issue.  Like, let’s say a weak coil in a coil on plug ignition system, a new plug is easier to fire than a worn plug and as such requires less coil output.  So would we send the customer on their way with just a spark plug?  The short answer; I hope not!  The examples here are almost endless, but the point is consistent, repair systems, NOT components!

So, what is “fear of NO” and how does it apply to whether or not we are repairing systems, and not simply components?  The most common cause of this “NO” fear is that, in the most basic sense, almost everyone wants to be liked, and we most often associate the term NO with rejection, and rejection must mean you don’t like me, right?  The short answer here is no that is NOT correct.  The long answer is based in psychology and far too long for this article, so let’s keep it simple.  We fear no (rejection) so we don’t present everything that we should when speaking with our customer about our findings.  However, does “NO”: really mean “NO” when it comes to sales?  What we have found over the 30+ years in this industry is that “NO” most often means that we haven’t educated the customer sufficiently for them to say “YES”.  We have not told them about the consequences or the benefits for the recommended repairs being done in a way that made sense to them, and as a result, they say no.  This information is also the VALUE.  Stop for a second and ask yourself; why would anyone say NO to a needed repair that could affect the reliability or dependability of their vehicle?  Once it has been explained so that they understand, the No’s will decrease substantially.  They will never be eliminated unless you become VERY proficient in qualifying your customers because there are people out there that simply do not have the money for the repairs even though they brought their vehicle to you!  Properly qualifying your customer can help eliminate these types of customers.  BTW—qualifying your customer is another article for another time!

The final thought here is that the job of the Service Advisor/Writer is to advise their customer/client on everything their vehicle needs and build value for our expertise and experience; it is the customer/clients job to tell the Advisor/Writer what they can afford and ASK for help in order to put an order of importance to the recommendations.  Failure to advise them of everything their vehicle needs not only does both you and your customer an injustice, it also adds moral, ethical and/or legal liability to your facility if you didn’t bring it to their attention!!


If you need help with your business and want to see and feel the successes you expected when you opened your doors, give us a call at:

 The ACT Group, 805-444-2598 or visit our website for more information