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Something Got Lost in the Telling

Did you lose something in the telling? Auto repair shops sometimes struggle with consistent communication.

Photo courtesy Ben White on Unsplash

Have you ever played the game “Telephone”? You start by lining up a group. Then, you whisper a sentence into the first person’s ear. That person then whispers the message to the next person. It continues until the message gets to the final person in line. They announce out loud what sentence they heard. It is often much different from the original sentence. Quite the exercise in communication!

At You Net Results, we think this game indicates what happens in business when messages, systems, and processes are undocumented. Just like in the game of “Telephone,” something can get lost in the telling. When you don’t write down instructions, client comments, or repair orders, this is inevitable.

Communication breakdown

In auto repair businesses, it happens like this:

The Customer tells the Service Advisor something. Time is short. The Service Advisor doesn’t write it down, but they repeat it verbally to the Technician. The Technician may also skip documenting it, so they present the Service Advisor with new information. The Service Advisor then reports to the Customer via phone. More back and forth happens, and then the Customer picks up their vehicle. Later, the Service Advisor is surprised to read the Customer’s one-star review. Why? Communication was not clear. They lost something in the telling.

How can you avoid losing something in the telling?

Do you see how simply repeating verbal information can lose accuracy? It is obvious how the customer felt wronged. How can your team reduce miscommunication? How can they improve clarity?

The answer? Use transparent systems and processes to document all communication. Enter repair issues through DVI reports, notes in your CRM, text messages, recorded phone calls, and other exchanges. When you do, you will reduce your chance of poor reviews.

Perfect your shop’s communication chain!

At You Net Results, we dedicate hours of training to communication. Our coaching sessions help prevent mistakes and lost details. To learn more, contact us for a free consultation. Brian Gillis will discuss your business strategies and ways to improve revenue and company culture.