How You Stand to Gain From Automotive Service Consulting

Managers employed in automotive service manager jobs are struggling with challenges to satisfy their customers. The traditional service set up does not seem to be able to hold onto customers and there is a need felt for an overhaul. Automotive service consulting is one of the ways to improve customer satisfaction and bring in the expected results. A service consultant can guide you keeping important aspects in mind.

An automotive service manager is tasked with the responsibility of coordinating which are related to automotive equipment. He takes care of everything, from operations to maintenance and repairs also. He studies and sees to the quality of the equipment which is to be acquired. The automotive service manager takes charge of everything and looks into the performance, the cost and even the rules and regulations of its use. It is his responsibility to see that there are lesser operational delays and the system runs without any glitches.

Most companies find it quite difficult to get good managers. They therefore look for service advisor training programs that are able to equip those already employed in a service manager job or service director job with the required skills to get good results. However, even good service consulting is difficult to get. In the event that you find a good service consultant the charges towards the consulting may be so high that you cannot afford him. Nevertheless a good service consultant is able to give you some essential advice and guidelines. You may not need his method of scheduling your customers as your goal is of capitalizing on your source of income. The main reason of an appointment system is to avoid delays and backlogs in the tasks.

A service manager is in charge of everything. He looks over the service department, controls the expenses and builds up a good clientele. He makes sure that the service is of a high standard and there are no causes for complaints. A service consultant will guide him and tell him how to supervise the people and to monitor their performances so that the customer is satisfied. He advises on their objectives and goal achieving of the people in the departments. He will even create a marketing plan and also the annual budget if a need is felt for a revamping of existing systems.

The service consultant has to give training regarding the administrative policies. All technicians have to be trained regularly and this is an important aspect which a service manager has to know and accept. The technicians have to be familiar with the latest equipment and their components. A Customer Service Index is important to every company. The service consultant is able to guide the company through the process and charts out the success path therein. Service managers will learn that this can be done by taking care of the complaints as soon as possible and dealing with them according to the policy of the dealership.

The Economy and the Automotive Service Industry

The past couple years have not been kind to the automotive business. Dealerships and independent repair facilities have all taken a huge financial hit, many unable to recover from the deep recession. The economy has changed the way shops hire, train, and use their personnel. Most repair facilities have had to lessen their payroll to meet their budget. While no shop is trying to purposely mess-up your cars repair, it is a chance that increases with less qualified personnel.

Automotive Technicians have different categories they are known by at most shops you have “A, B, C, and D” Level Technicians. An “A” Level Technician will be the highest level, highest paid, many are Master Techs, and are ASE Certified. This is the level of technician that is essential to any shop because of there knowledge, and experience. He is the guy that keeps an eye over your younger techs and shows them what not to do.

Because, of the implosion of the economy, there has been a huge amount of “A” and Master Technician layoffs at many shops. Many of these shops have replaced these higher qualified technicians with younger, lesser-qualified techs with far less experience. If, all the experience leaves the shop then who looks over the shoulder of the “D” Tech?

Exactly, just be careful of the shops you take your vehicle. The shop you used to know, many not be the same shop you think you used to know. You can do your research, or you can learn to fix it yourself. It is not as hard as you think when you have the proper information.

The 2nd Biggest Myth in Automotive Service!

Our industry has a terrible reputation, and unfortunately, that’s not the myth, that’s a true statement.

Not too long ago, I was asked by a customer, one of our local news stations, to help do an expose’ on some of the “fast lube” shops around town. This put me in a terrible position for a few reasons. For one, I really didn’t want to help perpetuate a negative image of our industry. But on the other hand, people have a right to know so they can protect themselves. It really boiled down to two questions for me.

1. What is the harm in doing this? The harm was I was helping to reinforce the negative image our industry has brought on itself. Would people see this and think “Wow, what a really nice thing it was for them to shed some light on common practices utilized by a handful of auto repair shops in order to increase their profits?” Most likely not.

2. What is the benefit in doing this? Let’s face it – the fact that you ignore a problem doesn’t make it any less real. The reputation is what it is, and unless we start to recognize, isolate and eliminate it, it will keep growing and getting worse. When bad things are left unattended, they just get worse, and I have found that pretty much applies to everything in life.

In the end, we ran with the story, and quite a few of the local “fast lube” shops were not real happy with my decision, and they didn’t mind letting me know it. I guess accountability stings sometimes.

So what is the myth?

The myth is that all shops are out to take advantage of you. For my first example, one of the most misunderstood practices in our industry is the Free Safety Inspection, where a technician looks beyond the issue you brought your car in for, then provides you a list of “recommended items”. This sometimes is perceived as an attempt to sell you additional items that you may or may not need. How many reading this have been offered a “flush” that will help prolong the life of whatever system is being flushed, but you can’t find that service anywhere in your owner’s manual? Since you may not be familiar with what they are talking about, it is real easy to feel like you are being taken advantage of.

Let me give you my best advice on this – if it feels kind of sleazy to you, it probably is. Please don’t misunderstand what I am trying to say. A reputable shop is going to offer you the same Free Safety inspection, but with a few major differences.

The biggest difference is the motive behind doing it, and I just summarized the best way to tell in my previous statement – a reputable shop is going to OFFER you the same service. If you don’t want someone looking over your car from front to back, then you shouldn’t be forced to let them. A reputable shop will ask you if you would like for them to perform the service before they do it.

Another good way to tell is the manner in which they approach you with their findings. A reputable shop says “here is what we see, what it effects, and what it cost to repair”, then let’s you make your own educated decision. A greedy shop pushes the service until you feel like running out the door, possibly even using scare tactics to try to intimidate you into buying. One of the shops covered in the expose’ I mentioned actually told a customer her transmission would blow up if she didn’t do the service. What made that extra sleazy was the fact that she JUST had the service done at the previous shop they visited! To make matters worse, the repair was authorized, and the hidden camera showed the mechanic pretending to do the service, never even hooking up the flush machine!

A final way to make sure you’re doing the right thing is to follow the manufacturer’s recommendations, and nothing else, since nobody knows your car better than the people who made it. If it’s not in the owner’s manual, it doesn’t need to be done. On repairs like brakes, a little bit of research will tell you what the average is for your make and model on both mileage and cost of repair.

In the end, the most important thing is that as you drive away from the repair shop, you feel good about the transaction that just took place. If you do, you have found your shop. If you don’t, my best advice is to keep looking.