Everyone wants to find a good, honest and reliable local garage which gives them value for money every time. So how do you go about finding one locally? The good news, it is possible if you just follow these 4 simple steps. This, in turn, eliminates the chances of you using the wrong ones that are going to charge you over the top. And the first step is to get personal recommendations especially from those that drive around in a similar model and make of car as yours.
Step 1 – How to get personal Auto Repairs recommendations
So you drive around in a model of car that not many own or drive. So how do go about getting personal recommendations? Well, it is now that much easier. Just email or text friends, relatives and work colleagues to ask them if they know of anyone who drives a similar model and make of car as yours locally. Give them your details as well as saying you are looking for a reliable garage to service or to do some auto repairs on your car in the local area. If they don’t know of anyone, get them to ask their friends. They, in turn, may know someone. As the saying goes, you are no more than 6 people away from the person you want to contact or speak to. Try it out. It works. You’ll be amazed at the results. Now on to the next step.
Step 2 – You now have a shortlist of potential garages to use for your auto repairs.
So what questions should you now ask those who have just recommended a particular garage for some auto repairs? Here are just some to get you started:
1. What do they like about the auto repairs in particular? Find out the reasons why.
2. How long have they been using the garage for servicing and for auto repairs?
3. What did they have done last on their car? Have they had any other auto repairs done using the same garage?
4. What was the service like? Any feedback? How was the car returned to them? Was it clean and tidy?
5. Was it repaired on the day and at the time it was booked in? Or do the auto repairs always over-run?
6. Were they informed of any other extra auto repairs that needed to be done before they were actually carried out? Did the auto repairs garage give them a quote at the time and more importantly did they keep it?
7. Was the invoice itemised with a detailed breakdown of the auto repairs done including parts replaced? Were there any hidden nasty surprises added to the bill they knew nothing about?
8. Did the auto garage stamp the service book and were they any other issues?
9. How did they book their car in? Was there a long waiting period of say over a week to book their car in etc?
10. The garage itself was it well run, tidy, clean and well maintained? What was the general attitude of the staff? Were they polite and helpful?
11. Have they had any reason to go back to the garage to have some of the auto repairs looked at again?
Step 3 – Now to check out those auto repairs/garages on your shortlist
You now have a shortlist of the potential garages to use for your urgently needed auto repairs. You now need to quickly vet all of these out. First phone the auto repairs up and ask them for a service quote for your make and model of car.
1. How long were you kept waiting on the phone before it was answered?
2. Were they specific and detailed as to what is included as part of the service and what isn’t?
In most cases, the way the reception staff operates and how they deal with the public ( i.e. customer care) is a reflection of how the auto repairs are being run. Yes, the person may be having a bad day. But even if they are, they should be professional and at their best when dealing with the public.
After a few days, you now need to do a quick visit to the auto repairs itself. It’s best not to go first thing in the morning as you want to see how the auto repairs are working properly at a busy time. Simply go to the reception desk and again ask them for a quote on the servicing of your car. Give them your card details etc. This is now your chance to ask any other questions you may still have:
If any work is undertaken on your car, how long is guaranteed for? It is always best to use an actual example to get all the details. This is so there can be no misunderstanding.
Ask them what is included in the service and what isn’t. You can now compare this to what was said on the phone earlier. Are they any differences? If there are, ask them why this is the case?
Find out where you collect the car once it has been serviced. You want your car to be parked and kept in a secure place. And not down a narrow side road where cars have difficulty parking and passing.
As part of the small talk, ask them how long they been working on the auto repairs? Lead them on and see how they react to your comment “It seems to be a very friendly place etc”. If they say yes it is, ask them how long most of the staff stay. Ask what training they have had most recently.
Once you have finished with the reception, look around generally:
1. Watch how the telephone messages are taken. Is it done systematically or just ad hoc on a piece of paper etc?
2. Is all the paperwork and documentation kept in an orderly way for each car?
3. Are the notice boards tidy and up-to-date?
Review everything including how you were generally treated.
Step 4 – Now for the final test.
Once you have done the same for all the other auto repairs on your shortlist you can now decide which auto repairs to go with:
1. Best to give your chosen garage a small auto repair job first if you can, to see how they do it. What many also do at the same time is to mention they were recommended by the such and such person with so and so car who also uses them.
2. If more than one person has given you a personal recommendation for that garage also mention their name. This way the auto garage knows that you are a serious customer. By doing this you ensure they will do an excellent job rather than risk you going back to their other existing customers and telling them otherwise. Play them at their own game.
Lastly, as soon as you have changed your car to a new one, especially to a different make and model of car, you may need to find another suitable auto repairs to do the servicing and repairs to your car in the future. However, you may be lucky in that the auto repairs you are presently using can also do all the servicing and any necessary repairs on your new car. Find out now if this is the case, and not when you need a garage in a hurry.