Principles of Repair Estimating
When it comes to the inspection and repair of damaged vehicles – whether it’s through constant wear and tear or a particularly nasty collision – there are few things more integral to the process than the estimation of the repair. Poor repair estimating is not just costly to the customer, but the collision specialist as well. Not only can it result in additional work and estimations being done after the first round, but it can result in up to double the repair time, dissatisfied customers and just a general sense of unprofessionalism.
Getting the repair estimation right the first time is essential. Don’t fret, however, as many of the fine trades training B.C. offers in the automotive sector will expertly prepare you for flawless repair estimations. Estimations are extremely important for three key reasons: as a sales tool, as a plan for how to approach the repair, and as a negotiation tool.
A Sales Tool
As an auto mechanic, estimations have great leverage as a sales tool, because the initial revelation to the customer about what will be involved in the repair and how much it’s going to cost is the first step in getting their business. This is why knowing how to expertly craft an accurate and realistic repair estimation is so important. If your original quote ends up being off by hundreds of dollars, you’re going to make a customer pretty angry, and you’ll definitely end up losing out on future sales, and maybe even the work in progress.
Being as accurate as possible from the get-go is essential for leveraging a sale. While you can’t nail it perfectly every time, being as accurate as possible and being transparent with the customer is extremely important.
Check out this video for more information on what’s involved in repair estimation:
A Repair Plan
Your estimate is also a plan for the repair of the vehicle, as it’s meant to show all of the parties involved just what needs to be repaired on the vehicle – what’s a priority, what should be repaired, and what isn’t exactly imminently threatening but should be looked at. Not only does this put the customer at ease by laying out just what’s wrong with the car and the timeframe of repair, but helps to make it easier for the different departments in the repair shop to schedule their work and ensure everything works harmoniously.
Lastly, the third key role that a solid repair estimate will play for an automotive technician is that of a tool for negotiating with the insurance company. Your estimate is ultimately what starts the negotiation process. It’s useful for compiling a list of itemized expenses and justifications that need to be submitted to the insurance provider in order for them to go ahead with the work. It is often a starting point, as the insurance negotiator will often push back. However, if the repair estimate is as accurate and truthful as it can be from the start, it will save a lot in headaches and phone calls.
Attending a great automotive school is the first step on a journey to crafting the perfect repair estimate, and having an intricate knowledge of how specific automobiles operate and fit together is essential to diagnosing their problems and recommending a solution.