It’s a no brainer that automotive service facilities want more customers, right? An increase in car count is always a goal, but many times it can be challenging if not impossible to achieve without adding staff or scaling back on existing customers’ services. More customers mean more data entry, more repair orders, and more maintenance estimates. What makes things even more complicated is the fact that not every customer agrees to the services you recommend, no matter how much technicians and advisors insist.
The solution to this decades-old problem may already be in your hands: mobile/tablet devices. Typing invoices, writing out multi-point inspections, jotting down VINS and calling customers to replay findings is a thing of the past. Whether you are trying to increase car counts and revenue, boost productivity or communicate easier with customers, digital software solutions are able to integrate with an existing shop management system and help you achieve your goals.
Here are 7 ways for using digital maintenance software to improve automotive service facility operations:
1.Techs can start repair orders and estimates immediately.
After meeting their customers at their vehicle, the Tech can easily type in the customers last name, license plate or even scan a VIN to populate remaining form fields. This saves time and also proves to be more accurate, all while syncing automatically with the shop management software.
2. Scanning VINs.
Getting every letter and number correct is difficult on it’s own, but then you have legibility to account for! A VIN scanning tool eliminates the need to decipher handwriting and makes mistakes less likely.
3. Review pending service recommendations.
According to Automotive News, the average vehicle is 11 years old. This means it will likely require maintenance services beyond the most common, an oil change. Shop management software can alert service advisors and techs of pending required/recommended services even before the customers arrival to the shop. A vehicle service history is kept and offers suggestions that remain from a previous appointment, or ones that are due immediately.
4. Build orders and create digital inspections with ease.
Digital software solutions eliminate messy handwriting, speed up multi-point inspections and repairs orders. This allow shops more time to service additional vehicles without having to hire additional staff, or adjusting work schedules, thus increasing efficiency while raising profits.
5. Add photos to vehicle service recommendations
Seeing is believing! Having technicians take photos of the vehicle condition and parts that need to be serviced is an effective way to gain trust and have your customers approve your recommendations. Technicians that take three or more photos with additional service recommendations have seen work orders increase from 30 to 60 percent on average.
6. Email or text vehicle diagnostic reports with images to your customers.
Digital automotive software with integrated text and email functionality enables techs to send clean, visually pleasing reports instantly to customers. This speeds up customer approval times from 1 hour and 17 minutes to a mere 37 minutes.
7. Use technology that is fully integrated with your shop management system.
Productivity can be boosted with wireless automotive software that automatically integrates with data entered from handheld devices into the shop management system without the need for double entry.