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Secrets to choosing the right transmission shop..

These days it is really getting hard to figure out how to choose the right repair shop that will be in your best interest if you have a transmission failure or problem. Most folks are fairly naive about what to look for or listen to when choosing a place to replace a worn out transmission, this post should be helpful.

If calling some shops is your first move, I would recommend having a list of questions handy and doing a lot of analytical listening to what the person on the phone is saying. A qualified shop owner will listen too and use your information as a guide and use this info to convince you in terms you understand why his shop is the best one to do business with, without even quoting you a price.

It is unethical and fraudulent to quote prices over the phone on transmission problems before it is examined.

I think in most cases a shop can sell ‘itself’ over the phone by being professional, sincere and honest to you. A referral from a friend that had a good experience is the best recommendation of all. In any case, you may narrow your choices down to a few shops. With that in mind it would be a good time to visit the shops and see what they look like and talk more with the person in charge.

At my shop (I owned a transmission specialty shop from 1981 to 2006 sold it) we had no secrets to building customer confidence. We always treated our customers just like I want to be treated when I enter a repair facility for any professional service.

We started with a phone call by making a convincing argument why the vehicle needs to come to our shop and be diagnosed first, for free. We had a lead sheet so we could write the customers name down and problem.

#1. We greeted our customers by name when possible to show we were listening to them on the phone.
#2. Our shop was clean and organized which simply gives a good impression. It makes it easier to do good work also.
#3. Naturally if the shop is clean and safe it is great to give your customers a tour of the shop equipment, facility and technician/s who will work on your vehicle.
#4. We would give as much time as you the customer needs to understand the suggested transmission repair and why it is the repair that suits their interests the best.
#5. No pressure or obligation if you need to think about it overnight or need to check out another business.
#6. Offer you a ride or taxi home if you leave the vehicle.
#7. Sign your invoice and check the “I want a written estimate” section too.

For reasons I’ll explain another time, a overly busy shop is not always a good sign for choosing a facility.

I recommend checking with the Better Business Bureau and the Division of Automotive Affairs. Most states have a consumer division for reporting fraud, poor repairs, etc. Other good indicators are how long they have been in business. The longer the better in most cases. Don’t discount a newer or young shop just because it is new, if you get the right vibes, than you may have a diamond in the ruff.

I don’t think lots of superficial diplomas all over the walls are imperative, but they are impressive. The important thing is ongoing training and education to keep up with the newest technology. Top technicians should go to school yearly.

The owner should not only be a mechanic, but more importantly a good business man. A technician is not a business man and may not even understand the paradigm of doing business.

The most competent replacement shops will always seek the best suppliers they can find and build good relationships with them. For instance, GotTransmissions.com is a time proven transmission supplier who builds confidence in you from the second they answer the phone.

Don’t forget that if the shop owner listens well, then they can really fit you with exactly what you need. Without seeing the car and talking with you there is no way to determine if you even need a replacement transmission. I have seen cases that were mistaken for being a transmission problem and actually were engine problems.

See why an over-busy transmission repair specialty shop may not be your best choice…

Ultimately, I think the warranty being offered is a big confidence builder. It not only shows that the shop or supplier is confident in their craftsmanship, but a good warranty builds your confidence too. Use our GotTransmissions.com Blog as a source of information regarding transmission repairs and replacement.

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