It’s easy for a service provider to say they’re providing top-notch service. But the true measure of best in class service performance is looking at areas like downtime, estimate-invoice mismatches, comebacks, responsiveness to your requests and estimated repair time accuracy. Remember, actions speak louder than words.
Do your outside service providers tell you they’re doing the best they can? Talk is cheap, so even if you’re satisfied with their performance, it doesn’t hurt to ask them to prove just how good they are at providing top-notch service.
Obviously, you want to get the best value for your repair dollar, so beyond parts and labor pricing use the following factors to see if your outside service providers truly are best-in-class:
- What is your average downtime or days out of service? Best-in-class service providers get assets in and out of the shop as quickly as possible, and fix them right the first time. They use VMRS codes to provide clear information about the reason for the repair and what the technician did to fix the problem. This makes it easy for you to rate service provider performance on specific repairs to determine, for example, which shop is most proficient at cleaning DPF filters or fixing brakes.
- How often are there mismatches between estimates and invoices? In theory, if your service providers have the proper procedures in place, there should never be much discrepancy between what they say a repair will cost and the actual cost. If you’re seeing a variance between estimate amounts and invoice amounts, the service provider is deviating from the prescribed best practice procedure, which should include approval of all estimates, including changes made during the repair process. In addition, estimates should include VMRS-coded operations and standard repair times.
- Is your truck fixed right the first time (comebacks)? Paying for a repair more than once is expensive and frustrating. Being able to track parts warranty and recently done operations within a shop and across a network of shops is critical to make sure that you quickly identify comebacks as they occur. If your dealer or related locations can’t readily identify comebacks, they are definitely missing an important best practice.
- How responsive are they to requests for information? When you ask for a status update on a repair are you kept on hold for what seems like an eternity? Does someone promise to get back to you but then fails to call back with the information requested? Are repair updates provided in real time, and is there transparency and visibility into the repair from start to finish? Top-notch service providers make sure you know what’s happening at every step of the repair process.
- How often does the estimated repair time turn out to be the actual repair time? Each repair estimate should include an estimate of how long it will take to complete the repair. You should be given the estimated repair time at the start of process, not 30 minutes before the repair is completed. Estimated times shouldn’t change constantly during the duration of the repair unless additional repairs are approved – which should then be accompanied by a new estimate as well. Best-in-class service providers complete a large percentage of repairs within the estimated time promised.
- Take the Next Step: Learn to leverage VMRS best practices to boost fleet efficiency and profitability by watching this on-demand webinar.
Michael Riemer is the Vice President of Products and Channel Marketing for Decisiv and a recognized commercial fleet industry thought leader. Michael has authored dozens of articles covering fleet maintenance, regulatory compliance, utilization and availability. He’s also a frequently requested speaker and commentator in online and print interviews.