I used to get very frustrated when I would have to have a follow-up conversation with a service customer only to find myself without the necessary information to do so. By that, I mean service tickets would be incomplete, vital information was missing, time was suspect, and some were not even signed.
There should be a standing policy that customers sign off on all work performed. This in no way will affect whatever warranty policy you have in place. It simply means they understand what has been done and are agreeing to accept the work. The service technician should take whatever time is necessary to explain the work he or she has provided in such a way that the customer understands what it is they are paying for.
I have had instances where the customer was unsure of exactly what had been done. (What needs to be pointed out here is that we hope the quality of our work prompts our customer to refer us to their friends and neighbors. Guess what? During those same conversations, they may generate questions about the thoroughness of our service and the lack of attention to details may cost us the opportunity for referrals.)
In one instance, there was an issue of the system amperage. Our technician had indicated the system was operating at a certain level but he failed to indicate these readings on the service ticket. It made it extremely difficult for me to insist to the customer that this diagnosis had actually occurred when the information was not recorded on the service ticket. Now, I have a relatively high level of confidence that the service technician did in fact take the readings, but now I was relegated to telling the customer the amp draw was high, but I could give him no amperage draw when asked.
The customer thought a repair had been made that was not necessarily required. Unfortunately, I did not have the information needed to back up our diagnosis and recommended repairs. Ultimately, I feel as though the repair was needed, however, the customer was able to have a different repair (electrical) made, and that took care of the particular symptoms. In his mind, he questioned whether or not our repair was necessary, and because the information I needed to press our case was not available, I had to acquiesce and ended up refunding the customer’s money for that repair.
I could have probably ‘won the battle but lost the war’ if I had insisted on payment. As it turned out, the customer was not happy with the service call, and had also lost confidence in the service tech, and subsequently our service department. Now this may not have been a fair position for the customer to take, but it was certainly within his rights to do so.
If it isn’t on the ticket, then as far as the customer is concerned, it didn’t happen. And, when trying to make a case to address concerns and issues with the customer, it makes it extremely difficult for any service supervisor or service manager to take a position defending the actions taken.
Now, I am going to make a broad statement. What I have found is that the service technician is very careful to record anything that may adversely affect him, such as time associated with his compensation. Unfortunately, the same attention to detail is not always applied to other areas of the service ticket. Just remember techs, someone else may have to sit down with your service ticket and interpret what you did. Make sure they have the whole story.
All the best, Irishmist.