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Five rules of dealing with motorcycle service centers
If you own a motorcycle you probably have had your fair share of run-ins with the service center personnel and most often than not we as customers are left frustrated and even disgusted by the way authorized service centers conduct their operations.
Most often the problem is fairly simple and easily correctable, yet the reluctance shown by service personnel is frustrating to say the least.
From not admitting that the problem exists in the first place, to completely ignoring your repeated requests, to blaming you for the problem by stating you are the one not taking care of your bike or are riding incorrectly. While some time they are right, most often than not, they are giving you a rebuttal.
I know it is frustrating when people refuse to do what they are getting paid for, but some time a person has to be a bit diplomatic, especially when the health of your sweetheart is at stake. Since there are people who go to the same service center and receive better treatment, its better approach the whole issue with open mind.
Here is what I have learned in past few years of paying regular visits to service centers:
1. Loyalty pays: Yes that’s right, sticking to a service center usually helps build rapport, and it also helps if you had purchased your bike from the dealer running the service center. So in case you are about to purchase a motorcycle, do check if the dealer you are purchasing your bike from has a service center which is located at a convenient distance from your home.
2. Build a rapport: How a person interacts with you is usually based on the rapport or perceived rapport they have with you, and things aren’t different here either. Building a rapport is an uphill task, unless of course you are son of a politician.
To build a rapport you have to first follow rule number 1. After this it is usually best to identify the key players in the service center and try to build rapport with them. Generally they are:
Head Mechanic: While there are several mechanics employed in any service center, there is one head mechanic. Usually he is the guy who actually knows how to fix the weird noise that is coming out of your bikes engine. Being on good terms with this guy is essential to getting your bike serviced/repaired properly; a good rapport should ensure that he is the only one who touches your sweetheart.
Though it’s not essential and not good for your wallet to tip him on a regular basis, it is a good idea to tip him when he has fixed a niggling problem or has done some thing out of his area of duty or has serviced your bike for the first time. Even though service center staff (including the management) is aware that mechanics receive tips, its better to tip the mechanic when no one from the management staff is around.
Workshop Manager: Even though he is not directly connected with the servicing of your bike, workshop manager does enjoy respect and command in the service center. It’s best to be on his good side, usually small talk related to bikes/politics/cricket is enough to put you on friendly talking terms with him and that’s all you need.
If you manage to build a rapport with the above two characters, it almost guaranteed that your bike would be well looked after.