With tons of auto repair shops available, how can you find a reliable one?
Choosing your go-to auto repair shop is like choosing a barber. If you’re lucky, you get to find one that suits your style and budget on the first try. If not, you may have to try a couple of shops before you find “the one.” It’s also nice to go by recommendations of your friends and family, but if you make a wrong choice, the consequences may be hard to reverse and you will have to deal with a bad repair and a bad haircut for a while before you get to start looking again.
Again, just like salons, auto repair shops are popping up like mushrooms on every corner of the street—but are they all reliable enough? Sadly and honestly, no. So, after years of trial and error, let me share with you some tips on finding your ideal auto repair shop.
Read reviews online—but don’t rely on them entirely
With the advent of technology and the rise of various digital platforms, you can now refer to customer reviews posted
on social media pages, so you can carefully weigh the pros and cons before deciding to avail of their services. However, always be vigilant about what you read online. Not everything we see online is legitimate.
There is no perfect business. It really boils down to how a company handles the situation. The reviews that we often see are subjective, based on the preferences and experiences of the customers. So, when you look at these reviews, you look both at the negative and positive. Some auto repair shops don’t have social media accounts or websites, but that doesn’t mean that they have poor service. Maybe they are not yet in the space of digital marketing.
Consider the facilities
Before availing of the services of an auto repair shop, check if they have sufficient equipment to service your vehicle. An auto repair shop should have clean, safe, well-ventilated service bays equipped with a lifter to make the mechanics’ work more efficient.
Look at the mechanic’s experience
A mechanic’s experience is very vital in an auto repair shop. In this modern age, vehicles are becoming more technologically advanced, and it’s getting more complex to check and repair these kinds of vehicles.
When selecting a shop, do not just look for a license or certification. You can ask the mechanic or the personnel’s years of experience, their background, and their previous work. Customer service is a significant part of auto repair, and if they are not confident enough to share with you their skills and expertise, then maybe you’re better off looking for someone you can trust fully.
Know and compare the prices of vehicle repairs
Before taking your vehicle to an auto repair shop, make sure that you have an idea of the price range of repairs your car will be needing. The price range may vary depending on the credibility of the shop and the equipment they will be using in servicing your car. So ask around and compare prices and services, before trusting one shop blindly without considering your options.
When making inquiries, lay out all your concerns about your car and their services, and ask for an estimate of the repair. Next, ask about your options or if they have original spare parts readily available in the shop. If the price sounds too-good-to-be-true, then it’s time to look for another auto repair shop.
Car maintenance and repair is a relationship; it’s important to converse and talk about options to establish trust and good relationship. This is crucial since Filipinos like to keep their vehicles for a long time, usually between 10 to 15 years, so it’s easier to have someone you can trust so you don’t have to keep changing shops every time.
Start with small repairs
When you finally find an auto repair shop that you think you can trust, allow them to start with simple car repairs at first. When you’re convinced with their professionalism and how they handle your road buddy with TLC, then you can start trusting them with more complex repairs.
Look for a repair shop that will ask you about your after-service experience
You know that a shop truly cares about the repair if they check up on you and ask if you encountered any problems on your way home. Some will even check up on you or ask you to update them a week or a month after your visit to ensure that the vehicle they serviced is running well. This is a sign of good after-service, and gives you confidence that they did not purposely do something wrong to keep you coming back (and paying!).
[Talyer Mentor is an automotive industry professional with two decades experience in the automotive after-sales business. His expertise includes business development and marketing, general management and franchising of automotive service center business. Also an alum of Ford Motors, Founder Institute, a Silicon Valley-based startup accelerator program, Asian Institute of Management - Dado Banatao Inc, Alibaba Global Initiatives, Val Baguios Strengths Coach and 180Biz Coaching. ]