Callbacks Part Two: Benefit of Tracking Callbacks

In my last blog, I suggested that tracking callbacks leads to better management and quality control. Today I want to reinforce that argument with examples and explain how you can use the tracking data collected.

By now, if you did the exercise I suggested in the last blog, you know that callbacks can cost you a ton of money.  And, if you keep track of the numbers, you know the reducing these numbers can greatly improve your bottom line. So how do you reduce the callback percentage and increase profits?

First of all, I would suggest that you track the callbacks by each technician, then by branch/store and then by company in the form of a percentage of total jobs. If you completed 100 jobs and had five callbacks during that period you had a 5 percent callback rate. Don’t forget to back out repairs unless it led to an installation. Also, back out the callbacks that are frivolous, such as “my tail light burnt out right after you replaced my windshield.” However, frivolous callbacks can be a sign of some other problem that we will get to later.

The ideal callback rate should be zero but most certainly below 2.5 percent. The higher the rate, the more attention that store or individual should get. If a technician has a high callback rate, it usually indicates a difficulty based on the diagnosis and fix of the problem. For example:

  • Joe has several water leaks appearing above the rearview mirror. The diagnosis says that there was a hole in the urethane bead. This could indicate that Joe punctures the urethane bead while repositioning the wire cover. A quality control meeting led by the local manager or more training on proper placement of the wiring cover makes sense.
  • Same problem but the diagnosis says that there is a gap in the urethane near the glass surface. This could indicate that Joe does not paddle his urethane bead seams properly or at all. Same recommendation is suggested to solve the problem.

If there is a pattern building in a particular branch or store, then the cause could be improper training or lax supervision.

For example:

It is noticed that there is a problem of water leaks in the top driver side corner of the windshields at this particular store. It is not one technician, but several. Here are the possible causes:

  • The technicians use ungloved hands to set the windshield and the oils from their hands contaminate the top driver side corner of the windshield and keep the urethane from adhering to the glass.
  • It can be difficult to get a smooth clean strip back to the top corners, due to their sharpness. Flaps in the original adhesive bead can occur while stripping the existing bead thus causing a leak between the two pieces of urethane.
  • Or, it could be an indication that the vacuum cups and setting tools that were acquired for their use are not being used. It could be because the technicians were not trained in their proper use or that they have no trust in the holding strength of the tools due to past experience.


In all of these cases, increased training or stepped up supervision is necessary to cure the problem.

Other indicators will be just as obvious when callbacks are tracked and analyzed properly. For example:

Callbacks Part Two02252016

Tracked callbacks can be used to pinpoint training and correct problems that might otherwise go undetected, causing continuing problems. Through tracking you know what your callbacks are, and you will have the documentation to let you test theories until you have a solution. Undetected callbacks are unsolved problems and unsolved problems lead to unhappy customers and unhappy customers lead to … well you know.

P.S. Callback tracking goes for all of you one-man shops out there as well. If you want your company to be a success, you have to keep track of your callbacks and fix your problems quickly and the first time or your new company will suffer the consequences.