As a shop owner, one of the most valuable assets to your business is your Service Advisor. They are the voice of your shop and it’s imperative that they communicate clearly and accurately, and not just to your customers but also to your technicians and to your vendors as well. Each area of your business needs to be handled in an appropriate manner.
Here are some guidelines on quick tricks to effective communication:
When a customer voices a complaint about their vehicle, you’ll need to provide as much information as possible to the technicians. It’s possible that you may need to ask the same question over again, but rephrased. If something doesn’t make sense to you, it’s probably going to confuse the technicians. Whether it’s a funny sound or smell coming from the back of their car, find out exactly what they are talking about, and document everything in writing! Doing a thorough pre-service or check-in inspection with the customer can eliminate a lot of problems. If it is a new customer, take your time with them. Walk out to the car and do the pre-service inspection with them. Don’t forget to look for pre-existing damage to the vehicle and make note.
Talking to Techs
In order to provide an accurate estimate, you need to know the facts and this will come from the technicians. That means completed inspection forms, all labor procedures needed, and all parts and material needed to repair or service the vehicle, along with a complete description of all diagnostic and testing steps taken. Not having all of the details on the service can result in a decrease in profits. Your Service Advisor should ask questions to the techs, such as:
- “Does the car need anything else?”
- “Did you check the brakes?”
- “This customer is eager to have the repairs completed; will you spend a few extra minutes to look it over again?”
Dealing with Vendors
A Service Advisor needs to know how to communicate with parts and supply vendors. Being prepared and thorough is key here. Before making calls, it’s important to have handy the information on the vehicle such as make, model, VIN, engine number, color, which side, front or back, OE or aftermarket. Having all of the data readily available while on the phone or processing the order online will make communication with vendors seamless. It’s also helpful to have a checklist nearby so that you don’t forget to ask valuable questions about pricing and delivery.
Your shop’s growth potential is determined by the communication skills of your Service Advisor. If you, as the shop owner, help to train and implement these skills, you’ll be on your way to a stable and profitable future.
Curious as to what the strengths and weaknesses are in your shop? Take this completely free Shop Analysis Tool and you’ll find out today: http://managementsuccess.com/free-services/shop-analysis-tool/.