The consequences of a motorist's decisions always rest on that person and no one else.
Service personnel should watch out for people who try to foist responsibility across the service desk onto them.
To put it another way, it's OK to feel someone's pain, but never take the blame for the cause of it — never!
Over the years, I've been fortunate to both observe and work with stellar service personnel who show concern for their customer's problems.
For instance, they respect that money and budgets are big worries in many households. These service managers and salespersons also have families to feed and clothe.
Also, like the folks they see on the opposite side of the service counter, they know the stress and heartache of unexpected bills. Indeed, they have seen an expensive component on the family car break.
They have dealt with the unforeseen leak from that healthy-looking roof. Simply stated, they have had to cope with unwanted expenses.
Consequently, these service sales personnel take great care to qualify what a broken vehicle needs and why.
They take pains to prioritize repairs whenever possible so a motorist need not face a huge lump-sum bill. These kinds of steps reflect empathy for customers.
However, experience suggests there's no shortage of hustlers, connivers and manipulators eager to take advantage of the decent folks on your sales staff.
Perhaps you and your team haven't encountered them yet, but I've watched their maneuvers many times.
They're experts at trying to shame or coerce you into free diagnoses, cheap repairs, etc. by playing on your sympathies.
These hustlers may draw you into their scheme before you realize it — perhaps try to embarrass you in front of other customers.
I urge readers to continue their caring approach, but don't let empathy lapse into unfounded sympathy for the wrong people.
Listen and observe long enough, closely enough: These people use and abuse their vehicles as well as other human beings. They don't share your values and they lack the skills to set proper priorities.