Jul 28, 2015

Transparency in Estimates: TMI?

Transparency in Estimates: TMI?

At what point has an estimate crossed the line into “too much information”? (TMI for the younger set.) At what point does transparency cross the line?

The Opposite of Transparency

Estimates sporting little detail can serve a purpose for the shop. Sometimes you’re not sure exactly which parts will be needed, so you want to give a ballpark and hope you keep it close. Or maybe providing too much detail will only raise more questions from the customer. They also can serve to expedite the estimating process so you can get a figure to the customer without pricing every single part.

These are valid reasons, and if you’ve been in business long you’ve experienced each many times.

When Does Transparency Cross the Line?

Obviously, in being more transparent you may not want to share the name of the technician, or the name of your parts vendor. You want to avoid technician poaching and customers calling around on their own for better part pricing.

So where do you draw the line?

Well, erring on the side of transparency can actually be a really good thing.

As performance coach Cami McLaren explains,

Active revealing is a way to show people you are transparent. How do I know if you are being transparent? One way is when I hear or see you reveal something that is important to you and perhaps embarrassing or that makes you vulnerable. If you are willing to make yourself vulnerable, I am more likely to believe in your willingness to “let it all hang out” and to tell the truth even where it is uncomfortable.

We have found this to be so in our lab. Producing very detailed estimates, which happens beautifully in Fullbay, builds higher trust levels in our customers. There tend to be very few follow-up questions on our estimates because it’s simply all laid out. And where there is trust, there tends to be more speed. Faster authorizations, faster repairs, and customers returning to your shop quickly for any future needs.

Reach out for a demo so we can share our tools, and our experiences with transparency.

Jacob Findlay