Getting a negative review or feedback is not a great feeling that’s for certain. I am sure you have heard that ‘the customer is always right’, which is not entirely true, especially in the mobile car detailing industry. What we have gathered in the past is that customers may be unsatisfied with a service due to ‘a failure to meet expectation’ and sometimes these expectations can be unrealistic. More importantly, they are unaware of what detailing can and can’t achieve.
We found that by educating our customers on what can and can’t be done, that we were able to alleviate some of the negative reviews. We understand that it can be quite tricky as customer standards and expectations can be subjective. In one instance, for our ceramic coating, also known as car paint protection, we show raw footage (videos and images) of vehicles with our ceramic coating on to give them an idea of what to expect; it’s always aligning expectations. Nonetheless, let’s take a dive into this and reveal to you ways in which you could tackle these situations in a healthy manner.
Firstly, don’t panic and plan accordingly – always stay professional
Second of all, gather as much information as possible as this will allow you to articulate your response back to the customer effectively. So, find out what happened from the customer and Detailer, what was done and missed and so on. Find out both sides of the story and find the discrepancy.
For example, we had a customer complain that the wheels were not shiny and were therefore under the impression that it was not done. In this case, our Detailer did clean the tyres but used non-silicone-based tyre shine as opposed to silicone based, which will make the tyres appear with a matte look vs shiny. The customer was not aware of there being such a differentiation between two products and withdrew their complaint. The same could be said about the dashboard and console, some customers prefer shiny over matte and vice versa, it comes down to personal preference. So sometimes, all it takes is a little educating.
Another similar scenario that is quite common is where a customer complains that there are still scratches on the vehicle and were not removed. Like the above, education is crucial, and you need to understand that cars will always come in different conditions and what you apply to one may not work well for another. For example, if a car has been neglected and parked underneath the sun vs a car that has been parked in a garage all the time, then, of course, the outdoor car would be susceptible to contamination, fading and so on. So when it comes to buffing, it would take a lot more product and effort to treat a car that is older, driven excessively and parked outside in comparison to a newer car parked indoors.
How to manage complaints?
- Set it in your terms and conditions that you don’t promise a standard up to the customer’s expectation.
- Ask your Detailers to take before and after photos
- Inspect the vehicle for scratches, dings and other blemishes
- Show the customer around the car and inform them of what can and can’t be removed/fixed. This provides them with a realistic level of expectation. Let them know why it can’t be done with the current package and perhaps offer them advice on how to best treat it or what extra services can be done to treat the issue.
- If you can, try to take photos before during the booking phase and offer a more relevant quote suitable to the condition of the car.
- If you are at fault where the quality wasn’t quite up to your standard, let the Detailer know and penalise them with a warning. In the meantime, arrange for a second Detailer to finish off the job at no charge to the customer.
Hope this helps!