Overcoming an industry-wide problem
More and more automotive repair centers are beginning to take a modern approach to service repair. Today we go over how your business can not only become a successful one, but also a top-performing one.
To do this, shops need to take a modern approach to selling service. The general sense in the automotive world is that shops are untrustworthy. Because of a few bad eggs in the industry’s egg basket we all now need to overcome this challenge.
Shops needs to start building trust with its customers. They need to really show their customers why repairs are needed. Unfortunately, that isn’t always easy. When customers, especially women and younger drivers pull into a repair center they are overcome with anxiety. They worry about being taken advantage of, how long it’ll be before they get their car back, how bad the damage is, and more importantly they feel like they are not in control.
Modern Problems Mean Modern Solutions
Thanks to modern technology and the ingenuity of a fast growing Canadian tech company, we’re starting to really shift the tide in the right direction. To address the need for more transparency and trust for service centers, digital vehicle inspection software is being implemented by thousands of shops all over North America. It’s paying off for them too as we saw an average repair order increase of 25% with a case study we put together.
With Digital Vehicle Inspections technicians have the ability to use their smartphones or tablets to easily record the inspection process for the customer. With options like video and image sharing and voice-to-text recording, customers get to see what technicians see (for every step of the way!)
When customers get detailed images and videos explaining what exactly the problem area(s) are on their car they are much more willing to approve service repair. With these new, detailed auto inspections service advisors have a much easier time selling service. It gives advisors clear cut explanations for customers.
Communication is key
Not only will digital vehicle inspection software help shops sell more service, but it also has many other extremely helpful tools integrated. AutoServe1’s software helps increase communication in the shop. The technicians have the ability to send the inspection right to the advisor.
Your shop can even send the customer a complete vehicle inspection with photos and video right to the customers’ phone. Not only that, but the customer can also approve work right from their phone. No mail waiting to get in touch via phone call and no more annoying voicemails. Your shop simply gets to begin service quicker as a result.
We would also highly recommend your service center train your advisors in communication best practices. It may even be wise to make it a job requirement to be a college graduate. Already have great advisors? You should still train them! A training routine in communication skills is crucial in maintaining these skills. Enroll your advisors in a communications class. When advisors don’t communicate effectively it could come off as pressure to the customer.
Not only do we recommend introducing communication training, but we suggest training all your advisors as technicians as well. When advisors are trained as technicians, they understand cars , how they work and why fixes are recommended. When they know cars better, they simply know how to communicate better with customers.
Top Notch Employees
A good business is only as good as those working in it. Remember that and strive to live by that statement. Nobody wants to work for a mean boss who takes work for granted. Show your technicians, advisors, and anybody else who works at your service center that their work is appreciated. Give them fair breaks and a nice break room with free coffee.
Create a workplace community where employees have no problem opening up about issues they have. When employees have their concerns raised it can work wonders with moral. Not to mention employees often have fantastic ideas that can actually help the business grow and improve. Reward them with staff programs too. A simple employee of the month plaque can give people a little extra drive to go above and beyond for customers.
Already have an employee of the month program? Incentivize it! Offer the top employee a small reward (such as a $10 Starbucks gift card) to really get them moving. Spending all the time and money into training up a new hire, who clearly has talent only for them to leave in 6 months is gonna cost your business. When you show your employees some love, you can expect them to stick around for a while.
Not only will it save your business money instead of hiring and rehiring, but it gives customers more faith in your shop. Imagine yourself as the customer and every time they go to your shop for service, there’s a new technician working on their car, or a new advisor helping them. Would you not feel more confident seeing familiar faces? We certainly do.
What about employee performance? All service centers need to ensure they have proper processes in place. The key first steps to increased profits in the shop are to; establish a regular process of inspecting every vehicle, and then, being able to monitor the progress of that process. AutoServel ‘s Analytics Dashboard lets the shop owner monitor key metrics like how many tickets were created each day. How many of those were inspected, and how many of those inspected had a report sent to a customer. Associating these metrics with trends in Average Repair Order enables the shop owner to stay on top of team member performance.
Your shop can also increase productivity by implementing custom checklists for the services you provide. Service repair shops provide a wide range of services for customers and each job has different steps needed to complete it.
Misdiagnosing a customer’s vehicle problem can cost shops big. When shops fail to follow the checklists in place or have no checklists implemented in completing jobs, the chances of forgetting something or misdiagnosing a problem is higher. Your shop could then take poor online ratings and get left refunding money for improper work. >Learn more about how custom checklists help service centers.
Offering service guarantees can give customers a lot more confidence in you. We can see a lot of dealerships offering great warranties such as 4 years, 60,000 KM warranties.
You don’t have to have service guarantees THAT long but offer something that perks the ears up. Something as simple as a 1-year warranty on brake service could be more than enough. The point here is to let your work speak for itself. When you can guarantee customers your work is quality it can create loyal customers who are likely to tell their friends and family about you.
Combining trust, honest and great customer service there’s one more thing you should do. Customer comfort. Make the customer feel as comfortable as possible while they’re doing business with you. Invest in a quality waiting room complete with comfy chairs, televisions with a good channel selection.
Give your customer the ability to have free complimentary coffee, tea, even a cookie dish on the table in the waiting room. When the customer feels at ease, in a comfortable environment they are put into a much better mood.