It’s not easy or fun to fix another auto upholstery shop’s botched work. Not only must you find a way to redeem sloppy craftsmanship, but you also have to contend with an angry customer – someone else’s angry customer.
In his latest “Interior Insights” article for Hotrod & Restoration Magazine, Harry Weimann discusses how to deal with these sticky situations.
The job in question could be as simple as a poorly constructed seat or as complicated as a bad overall upholstery job. Customers can also be unhappy because they have to bring a new car to you for warranty work, which can be an inconvenience for them. Their unhappiness can also be as simple as the previous shop just didn’t do the work as the customer had requested. So, from my experience, it is very important to listen — the key word: listen — to the customer’s concerns. Find out why are they unhappy and come up with a reasonable solution to help them.
Of course, not every situation is that cut and dry. Sometimes you don’t really know how bad a job is until you take it apart. If it’s worse than you expected, it could wind up costing you more than your customer – especially if you already quoted a price.
To help keep your interests protected, Weimann outlines eight tips you should follow whenever fixing someone else’s work. Among them:
It is very important that you disclose to the customer your billing procedures. Remember, they are already unhappy with the previous work before they came to you. When I had to fix someone else’s work I made it a point to never give the customer an estimate, but charged the customer for time and materials. As I said previously, don’t paint yourself into a corner.
For more of Weimann’s tips, read: “Interior Insights: Fixing Someone Else’s Work“. If you’d like to add any tips to the list, please share them in the comments section below.