Overdrive Extra

Max Heine

How one dealer eases the pain of repair anxiety

| December 13, 2012

The last time I moved, I hired one of the leading local realtors to sell my house. I immediately noticed that he called almost daily to update me on prospects – even when there were no prospects.

Jacob Williford

My wife and I thought this odd until we realized this was one practice that made him a top realtor. His clients, rarely in house-sale mode and desperately wanting the sell-buy transition to be as seamless as possible, appreciated knowing what’s going on.

I was reminded of this while visiting the Rush Truck Centers Tech Skills Rodeo this week in San Antonio. The trucking journalists were given a tour of Rush’s San Antonio dealership by Service Manager Fred Scott.

He introduced us to Jacob Williford. He’s filling a newly created job slot as service communicator, a liaison between all parties interested the progress of every single repair job.

Williford has been one key to improving service at the busy 18-bay shop, Scott said. He tries to make contact with every repair customer twice daily to give an update of the truck’s status.

“He can tell you every truck that’s in the lot,” said Scott.

The hardest part of the job is “dealing with a customer whose truck has been sitting here a while,” Williford said. Also tough is handling the customer who brings a truck in for a minor repair, but upon closer examination learns that more expensive work is needed, too.

The new position has worked well for the dealership, Scott said, and representatives from other Rush facilities have been by to learn more about it.

Williford not only helps customers by keeping them updated, but enables technicians and others at the dealership to focus on their core duties instead of being pulled into talking with anxious customers.

Doing his job also makes a happier camper out of Scott, whose responsibilities were too broad to allow him to focus on every truck: “I don’t get chewed out anymore.”