Your Car Is In The Shop

February 26, 2009

This is the latest in a series of blog posts that our Honda expert, Robert Isbell, is writing for RepairPal. Robert has worked at Honda dealerships for over 22 years as a technician, shop foreman and service manager. He has developed and led new owner clinics that educate new owners about their cars and he will be contributing to  our blog to educate our visitors about the methods for getting the most out of your service experience.

Missed the preceding post? Click here.




                  Understanding what happens when your car is in the shop

So you made an appointment, brought your car in when the shop first opened and when you call later that afternoon they still haven’t touched you car? What’s going on?

There is a method to the madness of dispatching and the order of which the cars get worked on. This will vary from shop to shop, but this is how our shop determines the dispatch order or when your vehicle will get worked on.

At the shop we try to get as much work in as possible. This means taking in any and all cars that pull into the service drive.

We determine what vehicles get worked on in this order:
1.    By completion time (when you need to pick up the car)
2.    Appointment (If you made one or not)
3.    What time you brought the car in

So the first thing we look at is when the customer needs the car. Repair orders are put in order of which car needs to be done first. Then all of the appointments go ahead of the non appointments. The last thing is when you brought your vehicle in.

So if you brought your car in for a service first thing in the morning and don’t need it until the end of the day, the dispatcher can wait until later to dispatch the job to get the service done. It’s also possible to have a customer wait for their vehicle with no appointment and have it done before the first car in the service drive is touched. It becomes a juggling act to get every vehicle done by the time the customer needs it. It’s a matter of trying to meet the customer’s needs and keep them satisfied so they will come back over and over again.

Next: Additional work needed on your vehicle (upsells)

About the Author

Robert Isbell is an automotive expert at RepairPal, the leading online source of auto repair resources and estimates. With many ASE Master certified mechanics on staff who have decades of experience, RepairPal knows all the fine points of car repair.

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