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Author Topic: Tips for quoting a repair cost  (Read 172 times)

Offline andyf80

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Tips for quoting a repair cost
« on: January 01, 2014, 10:09:36 PM »
Hi all,
   So I've completed 3 full months full-time and am Loving my new job.  I have been very successful especially this 3rd month and am really seeing things ramp up.  The bulk of my business has come from me handing out business cards/magnets on doors & surprisingly from overflow of my largest "competitor" (I.e. Associate).

   One thing I've been struggling with is a less jolting way to present the repair cost to the customer.  I am using the blue book for my rates and has helped bring my numbers up, but wanted to have you guys give some tips on typical verbiage you use. 

On the initial phone call I typically say (if they don't ask my fees) "just to let you know, I have a $___ minimum and if it's going to be more than this I'll quote you a cost for the repair." 
Once there, I diagnose the problem and then reference the blue book for a price for the repair.

For those that use the blue book, do you show the book to the customer or have some spiel around it?

Offline wildimaginations

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Re: Tips for quoting a repair cost
« Reply #1 on: January 01, 2014, 11:34:46 PM »
I don't use the blue book but I do quote my own pricing.  There shouldn't be any need to show the customer the blue book.  Just quote it and get the job done.  Either they want it or not.  Should be simple.
Appliance Service Technician
Authorized servicer on LG appliances.
About 45 mins east of San Francisco

Offline andersenappliance

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Re: Tips for quoting a repair cost
« Reply #2 on: January 05, 2014, 12:25:47 AM »
If you have to  ask, you can't afford it???

Nah.

I tell 'em that I charge X for a service call, and that will tell them what is wrong in most cases, then it'll be parts and the labor to install 'em to complete the repair. 

If we need details, then it is service call covers the trip charge and 1/2 labor to diagnose.  A trickier problem may include extra labor to get to the diagnosis, and the parts cost includes shipping and taxes.  Labor is 1/2 hour minimum and billed to the nearest 15 minutes.

I also try to get an idea of the problem so that I can encourage them to do the repair.  But I never tell them the problem.  Its more like "No heat?  Well, there are a few things that might cause that.  Most are pretty inexpensive and straight forward to fix.  It is definitely worth looking into.

If they want more details, I say "well, it depends upon the model.  I can't really say for sure until I can [look, listen, check, test, try, run, diagnose, tickle, etc.] your specific appliance.  Oh, the parts. Yeah, those vary.  Can be as low as A or as high as M,  sometimes, I've seem 'em as high as Z, but that is rare.   Most times, a generic repair runs between this and that.  But we really can't tell until I look at your machine."

I am always looking to improve my spiel.  Hope others contribute some ideas here.

Offline Larry the applia

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  • Member Since: Jun 2010
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Re: Tips for quoting a repair cost
« Reply #3 on: January 05, 2014, 08:00:36 AM »
There is no magic solutions.Best advice answer your phone that is what most people want. Never give more information then the customer ask for. I will quote my trip charge. Very rarely give a quote over the phone. Shoppers are shoppers if they call around looking for the cheapest that is what they do. You don't want them. Same as with people who call and say I need you now or i will have to call company ABC. I don't bend to them neither. Next time they have a problem they will do the same thing. Be up front with your customers and honest. Don't drive yourself crazy trying to save them money by worrying about parts cost or they are going to think this will cost to much. I have a blue book to just in case someone says anything. Here is my line "mrs Jones your washer has a bad pump the repair will be 280 dollars which includes trip. The rs Jones says fix it or dont fix it. If you want to impress mrs jones the most love on her dog or tell her how nice here house. That will get you more points than  "Mrs Jones your washer has a defected pump and let me show you here the national standard for this repair is blah blah blah, She dont care her machine is broke and she wants it fixed asap. Give them your quote if they don't want it or stammer over price collect trip and leave. You are not a used car salesman stand firm.
 Now the other thing is how do I get more work when I am slow. This has been a topic of many discussions. The fact is I don't care how big you are there is hot times and cold times. And know way to predict them. I worked 15 years at sears and as big as they are there was slow times. The following will not work: I will charge less than I will get more work to build up my customers/ False if you do raise your prices the penny puncher's will jump ship so you will loose them. You will get all the calls that the other companies don't want. 2: I will do warranty work to build up my business/ False It will drive you crazy not worth the head aches.If you are that desperate advertise free trip charges you would be better of then doing warranty work. 3: I have lots .of rental property if you work with me I can send you lots of work/ False If they are a decent company or person they allready have a company doing there work. Ask them what happen to there previous company. Plus rental is a pain Most of the tenants want to bitch about the landlord and vice verse. Plus they don't want to pay. I have a few that I do but for every one I do I have turned away 10. The ones I do pay at time of service with cc or check and there is no discounts they pay same as every other customers. Even them could walk away tomorrow to someone cheaper. So don't put all eggs in one basket.
 So to grow appliance repair business is a long road 1 customer at a time and word of mouth advertising. Don't get suckered into the snake oil they try to sale you. It does not work the return on the investment is not there. The other thing is if you are 1 man shop be realistic on what you can do. Five calls a day is a nice level for me. Some days more, More days less. So charge what you are worth at the end of the day 100 dollars is the same if it come from 1 call or 3 calls.
 Sorry kind of off topic but to many guys start out thinkin they are going to be overnight successes. It don't happen. I worked a sears for 4 years and doing my calls in the evening to build customers before I took the plunge.
« Last Edit: January 05, 2014, 08:08:58 AM by Larry the applia »

Offline AggielandApplianceRepair

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    • College Station Appliance Repair
Re: Tips for quoting a repair cost
« Reply #4 on: January 05, 2014, 08:20:55 AM »
I agree with Larry. The people who say they have lots of business and ask if I can work cheaper I stand firm on my service call. First, if they have lots of business then they can afford to pay!

So far as quoting, while you are in the home making conversation, you can ask the customer what a new whatever you are working on is going for these days. They have most likely looked on line for a new one at this point. Some will say a few hundred up to 2000 for something like a wall oven. 500-600 dollars for a control board repair on a wall oven is whole lot better than the cost of a new one right?  It's common sense although you will find some people that have more money than brains!

Offline AJ

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Re: Tips for quoting a repair cost
« Reply #5 on: January 05, 2014, 08:47:00 AM »
Yep, more money then brains and a wife that is all set on getting a new one too...

Offline AggielandApplianceRepair

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    • College Station Appliance Repair
Re: Tips for quoting a repair cost
« Reply #6 on: January 05, 2014, 08:55:21 AM »
Yeah! Lol. That's where salesman ship comes in. Gotta remind them of the hassle of going and shopping, paying for it, taxes, delivery, taking off work, oh and the warranty is only one year.

Offline Larry the applia

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Re: Tips for quoting a repair cost
« Reply #7 on: January 05, 2014, 12:42:36 PM »
 The only time I may to persuade there decision is when I have part on truck.If you push to hard and they listen then something else go wrong customer not happy.

Offline AggielandApplianceRepair

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    • College Station Appliance Repair
Re: Tips for quoting a repair cost
« Reply #8 on: January 05, 2014, 01:07:56 PM »
Agreed. Good salesmanship includes honesty. Give all options to the customer.

Offline andyf80

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Re: Tips for quoting a repair cost
« Reply #9 on: January 05, 2014, 02:10:31 PM »
Thank you all!  These are all good recommendations. I appreciate the responses.  Keep them coming!

 

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