Sep 09, 2013

The Complaint

The Complaint

When I was a younger man in my very early twenties I shared the responsibility to train large groups of people how to teach concepts and communicate ideas. Many struggled with success in conveying the ideas at hand.

Upon further investigation it was identified that part of the concerns were, questions being answered incorrectly, simply because the questions were not always understood by those answering them. In many shops we find a similar problem. This can occur between the customer and the service writer, the service writer and the technician, and of course between the technician and the front office.

Complaint, Cause, Correction

Whoever came up with the (CCC) Complaint, Cause, Correction standard may not be clear. However, I am certain it was to remedy a communication problem in some shop a long time ago. Lets talk about the “COMPLAINT” first.


A complaint is a statement that a situation is unsatisfactory or unacceptable and comes usually from the customer. If the complaint is not fully understood, communicated correctly or in enough detail, the technician is destined to a path of failure (come back).

For example, The customer comes in at 3pm and complains that his “A/C is not working”. The service writer asked for no further information and the repair order is assigned to the technician. The next morning the technician evaluated the complaint and after several tests, finds that the A/C is working well within manufacturer’s specifications.

The customer is notified that the vehicle is ready for pick up. That very same afternoon the customer (now a very hot and upset customer) comes into the shop complaining that his A/C is still not working and demands warranty. The owner or manager pulls the technician aside and reprimands him for not doing his job correctly. The technician is adamant that there was no problem with the A/C when he evaluated it.

Upon further communication with the frustrated customer the shop finds that the A/C works great in the morning but in the afternoon it slowly starts blowing hot. They also find out that when it sits for a few hours, it  begins to work agian. And further; when it starts blowing hot it does not blow very hard. With this information the technician easily finds the cause and makes the correction.

It goes without saying that all of this could have been avoided by simply identifying the complaint correctly the first time and communicating it to the technician in detail through the repair order.

Jacob Findlay