The service advisor engages in the direct dealings with the customer. From the time that the engagement takes place – the service advisor must ensure that the repair opportunity is managed to make the best use of the technician’s time. Doing things in the proper order and being able to recognize what needs to be done in the repair cycle are keys to providing optimum service. The Auto Repair Shop Management software should make recognizable what needs to be done on the repair order. Following are points in the repair process affected by the service advisor:
- Quote – Often a visit from a customer begins with a quote. When providing a quote for a prospective customer – the shop should have the contact info for a customer and a follow up should be part of the process. It’s always beneficial to know the reason that business was not earned so corrective action can be taken. It’s also beneficial to know the reason business was earned.
- Appointment – When a customer schedules an appointment it’s important to know what the customer wants to have done. This allows as much planning and preparation as possible to be done. Resource planning such as dedicated bays or equipment as well as technician skills can be planned for. Parts for known service requirements can be purchased in advance. These actions will improve productivity in the repair process. Assigning the technician to the appointment will support advance scheduling.
- Check In – Vehicle check in is an opportunity to confirm the required repairs and possibly to identify additional requirements. The preferred contact method for the customer should be established and approval for the initial repairs should be obtained. In the preferred set of circumstances, the vehicle will move from check in directly to the shop floor where repairs can begin.
- Additional Repair Approvals – The initial stages of the repair process may involve an inspection and/or diagnosis during which additional repairs are identified. If both an inspection and a diagnosis are performed it’s best to wait until both are done before contacting the customer. This is not always possible as the time required for a diagnosis can vary. Obtaining approval for the additional work must be done expeditiously so that needed parts can be procured and work can begin as soon as possible after initial known repairs are completed.
- Work Completion – Once the technician finishes work on the vehicle – quality control and any other post repair items will need to be completed before turning the vehicle over to the customer. The vehicle should be ready before the customer is contacted and vehicle delivery should be scheduled.
- Vehicle Delivery – When the vehicle is returned to the customer any declined services or recommendations should be reviewed and the customer should be encouraged to make an appointment. The vehicle delivery step is an opportunity for relationship building.