The Auto Repairer stresses that building and maintaining a solid customer service reputation is very important to operators in the motor repairs industry; and, repairers should make every effort to implement these best practices.
He also maintains that customer service is more than just providing service with a smile; but it is a composition of operational standards that offer the customer a variety of services and confidence in the competence of the motor repairer.
“Standards are what keep your customers satisfied and coming back,” Mr. Ray underscores. “We let our customers understand that whatever goes wrong with your vehicle consult us because we are able to perform a wide range of services,” he says.
Ankara Limited is one of the auto shops that have been named a Jamaica Automobile Association (JAA) Approved Auto Repairer- a new programme, which aims to raise standards of service offered by auto shops. Under the programme the JAA works with the repairers to improve the competence of their technicians through training and certification, where necessary; and lift the look and feel of the facilities and its administration.
Ankara Limited offers a wide array of services to meet customers’ needs. “What we have is a one-stop facility which means you don’t have to come to us for body work and go to somebody else to fix your transmission,” he says, pointing out that the facility has technicians specialising in many areas including, body repairs, air conditioning, transmission and electrical problems. “Any detail of the car we will address it for you.”
The company employs five certified technicians, which includes Mr. Ray, and it hires consultants that are brought in on a ‘needs’ basis. In-house training is also provided by Mr. Ray, who is a licensed repairer, having qualified during his years in Canada. And, technicians are encouraged to seek certification from local and international training institutes.
“We have one young man, who is currently at the Jamaican German Automotive School; and, he only has one more year to go; and, another technician recently completed his training in England,” Mr. Ray explains, “and, our technicians, who are not yet certified, have about 12 to 13 years experience.”
“You have to be honest with your customers. If you made a mistake, let them know that you did not diagnose the problem correctly and if you are unable to identify the problem tell them.”
Mr. Ray urges repairers to be responsive to queries and complaints as there is no point to keeping customers guessing: “Address the customer right away and don’t allow the problem to lag on, it only leads to frustration.”
He expects the commencement of the JAA Approved Auto Repairer programme to assist with making some of these practices commonplace in the industry. And, he adds that the initiative will help to generate confidence in the approved auto shops.
“It gives confidence to customers and in particular to JAA members that these shops will look after you,” he says.
This programme will lead to further strengthening of umbrella groups that represent and bargain on behalf of the motor repairers, as it provides opportunities for these organisations to re-engage members.
“These organisations all have databases of repairers across the island, all they need to do is to see which shops are in need of improvement and identify those members to participate in the JAA programme,” Mr. Ray posits. “The process gives the organisations an opportunity to strengthen their representation and lobby; and, it opens up members’ access to training, as well as to receive assistance to raise operational standards.”