After presenting recommended automotive repairs and pricing to the customer the completion of the sale can be just as important as earning the sale. Once the repairs to be performed are agreed upon – the steps involving confirmation and authorization offer great value to the shop. Some of these final steps are required by law in many states and if not they simply make good business sense. Confirmation, a written agreement, signature authorization and recording of approvals protect the shop and exhibit care and professionalism to the customer:
- Confirm the Agreement – Before completing the sales transaction a review of what’s being agreed to will reduce the possibility of a misunderstanding or miscommunication. Reiterating the repairs to be performed as well as the pricing goes a long way toward establishing positive relationships.
- Present the Agreement in Writing – A person will remember more if the hear it, see it and read it. The written agreement for repairs should contain not only the pricing but the authorization to drive the vehicle for evaluation and test purposes. Whether the customer is a consumer or business with a fleet the written agreement should be treated as a contract.
- Obtain Signature Authorization – It’s good business to obtain a signature on the initial agreement for automotive repair work to be performed. More and more states are making this a requirement. If the agreement clearly states what work is to be performed and at what price along with authorization for use of the vehicle many potential problems can be avoided.
- Record the Approval – When approval is obtained the date and time, person who gave the authorization, the method of authorization (written, phone, etc.) and the dollar amount agreed to should be recorded. Most shop management software systems provide for this. If the information is stored electronically it can easily be recalled if necessary.