ClearMechanic was founded on the premise that explaining repairs to average car owners is incredibly difficult, which is bad for customer retention and sales yield. What we have not seen in the dealer world is wild misquoting on big ticket items – although this is a more common problem at independent shops.
That’s why this piece by Ed Kovalchick, perhaps the most recognized fixed ops consultant in the dealer space, is surprising.
If misquoting is a big problem in the dealer space, then it’s easy to see why it is underreported:
1) most sales calls occur over the phone and are not recorded;
2) customers and service advisors have technical conversations where only one part understands the relevant terms;
3) as noted in the Kovalchick piece, the decision-maker is often not the person who brought in the vehicle or who answers the phone;
4) estimates for complex jobs often involve judgment calls by the technician and the advisor;
5) less than 5% of dealers provide written or electronic estimates before repairs are authorized (verbal estimates are the norm).