Prudently plan to prevent strange, possibly offensive odors inside customers’ vehicles or chance their wrath.
Returning a smelly vehicle to a motorist is no way to meet — let alone exceed — customer expectations of your business.
When it comes to protecting customers’ vehicles, an ounce of prevention is always worth pounds of cure. Namely, it’s considerably cheaper to prevent odors than it may be to remove them. Experience shows that some smells may be more enduring and stubborn than anyone anticipated. Consequently, watch out for these potential issues.
First, the vast majority of people purchasing automotive maintenance and repairs are women, and they seem to notice strange new smells more readily than men do. This tendency alone is reason enough to be cautious with customers’ vehicles.
I’ve worked in and around automotive service facilities since I was a teenager. That experience spawned two indelible impressions. Typically, a vehicle’s interior should smell no worse when the car leaves the shop than it did when it arrived there. If the car owner doesn’t smell something different and offensive, then there’s no foul.
Rather, headaches begin when the driver notices something new and noxious. Sometimes, service personnel disagree with the complaint. The challenge here may be that shop workers became so accustomed to these offensive odors that they don’t necessarily notice them. We’re all creatures of habit — including the habit of adjusting to the conditions of our workplace.
Never underestimate a customer’s ability to notice odors. I have seen some car interiors that most readers would call disgusting. Despite an existing stench, a car owner may whine about some new, noxious odor when he or she retrieves the vehicle. I’ve seen shops take a big hit for professional cleaning just to quell that customer’s anger.
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