We’ve all fallen under a “fear of the unknown” spell—whether it stems from waiting for your doctor’s results to come back, or not hearing that check-in text alert from your kid while they’re out with friends. The waiting game can cause our imaginations to run wild with thoughts of “what-if’s.”
Similarly, auto repair customers like the ability to see what’s getting done to their car, if any additional issues were found, and exactly where their car is in the repair process. You can build customer loyalty and enhance your customer service by giving them the ability to see and confirm that everything is going smoothly and according to plan with their vehicle repairs.
Visibility and transparency go beyond just shop-to-customer; it also helps bridge imagination and productivity gaps within your shop.
Tracking with Transparency in the Auto Repair Industry
The fuel behind a transparent approach is trust and efficiency. If either of those are lacking, the perspective of what’s going on can become askew.
Technicians should have the ability to visibly track each of their tasks throughout the day and move things along at an efficient pace, and service advisors should be able to show customers what’s going on with their vehicles.
Auto shops are no strangers to tracking. At any given moment, someone is tracking…
- Repair orders (RO’s)
- Their workload for the day
- Where their car is in the repair process
- Repair times
- Repair costs
- Metrics and finances
As you’re reading this list—whether you’re a technician, shop owner, or service advisor—you’re likely thinking of a few additional items worth tracking throughout your day.
So, how do you stay on top of tracking with a solid and consistent level of transparency? Let’s see how shop management software and its tracking features can provide greater visibility for your customers and team.
Service Advisors: Keep Track of Everything in One Platform
Once a customer walks into the shop, you need to be able to access exactly what repairs are in-progress and what times are available to fit customers on the schedule. Repair tracker software provides a birds eye view of which tech is where and also shows which tech will be available for the next RO.
How Tekmetric’s Repair Tracking Software Gives Service Advisors More Visibility:
- Keep track of everything and easily navigate with Tekmetric’s Job Board
The job board’s navigation helps you easily see the status of jobs all in one platform. You can see which jobs are active, saved for later, in accounts receivable, paid, and deleted. Taking it one step further, you can fully customize what you’re viewing and how you’re viewing it; don’t like the default column view? Switch it over to the list view! Want to see specific jobs that haven’t been started yet? Populate that by selecting “RO Status” and checking “Not Started!”
- Stay on top of all relevant repair info with Tekmetric’s unique customer profiles
Any time you create a job in Tekmetric, you can pull up a complete history of each customer’s visit to the shop. All previous work, declined jobs, digital vehicle inspections (DVI’s), CARFAX report, etc. are logged in Tekmetric’s repair tracker software.
- Maintain transparency through real-time job updates
If any additional work needs to be done to a customer’s vehicle, you’ll be the first to know so you can get back with the customers for authorization. Tekmetric’s digital authorization system limits back-and-forth paperwork and cuts right to the chase.
Give Customers Visibility into the Repair Process
Let’s put ourselves in the shoes of your customers. Say the customer is dropping their car off for worn down brake pads to be replaced; but during the DVI a tech noticed that the drive belt is cracking and needs to be replaced as well.
If your shop has repair tracker software in place; the scenario would go something like this:
1) The tech finds an additional problem with a customer’s car and logs it in their DVI,
2) The service writer sees the finding in the tracker software and gets to work on notifying the customer of the work and its quote, and
3) The customer gets a text from the service writer with the update, and marks it off as “approved” or “declined.”
If your shop didn’t have repair tracker software, the chances of the technician’s findings getting lost in translation are higher. Let’s say the service writer forgot to notify the customer, so when the customer comes by to pick their vehicle up, they’re upset and confused. Not to mention, you run the risk of facing chargebacks on the “unapproved” work, which is never an ideal situation for auto shops.
With repair tracker software, the customer has the ability to see what is going on with their car, the findings, the costs, and they can facilitate what gets approved.
How Tekmetric’s Repair Tracking Software Helps You Stay Transparent with Customers:
- Approve, decline, or hold off on jobs at the click of a button
Customers are more likely to approve recommended repair work if they have the ability to see what’s going on. With Tekmetric, your shop’s customers can see estimates and images of what repairs need to be done conveniently on their cellphones. Once alerted, they can check off whether they “approve” or “decline”. If they approve, they can use the digital authorization system to authorize the repair work. If they decline, the findings will still be saved so the service writers can remind them next time they stop by the shop.
- Stay in the loop via two-way texting during the repair process
Tekmetric’s texting integration, Tekmessage, provides an easy back-and-forth communication among the shop and customers. Texts (or emails) can alert customers on issues found, the work that’s being done, and when their vehicle is ready for pick up. If the customer has any questions on the work being done, they can quickly send you a text, giving the service advisor the ability to respond or call them back to explain their findings more in-depth.
- Easily make secure payments through Tekmerchant
Repair payments can be confusing at times with unnecessary amounts of paperwork. Tekmetric’s payment processing system, Tekmerchant, makes it easy for service advisors to send an invoice, as well as track who’s paid and who hasn’t. On the flip side, the customer has the ability to see exactly what their total is and what work was completed. When they’re ready to make a payment, they can do so via email or text message—and to make the payment process even more convenient, there’s Tekmerchant Text-To-Pay.
Technicians: Keep Track of ROs Every Step of the Way
Techs, when you’re in the zone, the last thing you want to do is worry about what your next assignment will be, or when the parts for the truck you’re working on are getting in. An important component of your day is the ability to flow from one task to the next, without worry.
At the same time, putting your blinders on and focusing on one specific task is typically not possible in the auto repair industry. Tunnel vision also prevents you from seeing what’s going on around you and will cause you to feel somewhat unprepared for the next task on your calendar.
Avoid being thrown off at any point during your day by cleanly moving from RO to RO. With repair tracker software you can easily see your day fall into place—you’ll know your next assignment coming up, you’ll know when those parts you need are in the shop, and you’ll feel more present throughout your day.
Being present means you have the ability to tune back into what you’re working on, no blinders this time, and can focus with transparency through your day.
How Tekmetric’s Repair Tracking Software GIves Technicians More Visibility:
- Easily access your repair orders through Tekmetric’s Tech Board
Rather than shuffling through endless amounts of paperwork or post-it-notes, the Tech Board provides technicians the ability to access their ROs, as well as any detailed notes, keeping them in the loop with no time wasted.
- Keep the customer and service writer updated with findings in real-time
When you’re working on an RO and come across an issue, the last thing you want to do is chase down a service advisor. As you’re working on vehicles, you can log it in the RO by marking it to “in-progress”; once complete, you check off “completed”. If additional issues are found, you can select “add a comment” and choose who to notify. Now, if you were working on a DVI and found an issue, not only will Tekmetric log the inspection, but it will also give you space to manually add any additional findings. An added plus is that if an issue was found, if applicable, Tekmetric can automatically generate a canned job to that finding.
- Know when the parts you need arrive at the shop via instant text alerts
Once a customer has approved of a job (logged as a blue banner with a thumb’s up icon), the service advisor can check if those parts are in their shop’s inventory already or order the needed parts. Once the needed parts are delivered to the shop, service advisors can click “notify technician” and the technician will instantly receive a notification via text or email.
Shop Owners: Keep Track of How the Shop is Running
Shop owners, ideally you’re out of the repair process so you can focus on the shop you’ve worked so hard to build. As we touched on earlier, though, uncertainty can lead to doubt and stress; so having the ability to track how repairs are moving along, what the hold ups might be, and how efficient everything is running will allow you to work on your shop rather than working in your shop.
Letting the service advisors and technicians take the reins on repairs lets you focus on what’s important: tracking performance, financing, average repair orders (AROs), profit, and reports.
How Tekmetric’s Repair Tracking Software Gives Shop Owners Visibility:
- Stay in tune on your team’s productivity while focussing on additional tasks
It’s no secret that shop owner’s are busy, so Tekmetric gives you the ability to see your shop’s performance—whether month-to-month or week-by-week—while allowing you to hone in on your daily tasks. Tekmetric’s repair tracker software gives you the ability to evaluate service writers’ ratios or sales numbers at the click of a button.
- Easily build, access, and update reports
Tekmetric automatically generates reports based on your shop’s data, trends, and information. And the cloud database allows you to pull up reports from anywhere on labor, parts, fees, discounts, job categories, declined jobs, taxes, accounts, and marketing resources in one shop management system.
- Track your shop’s income, expenses, and payroll as they happen
Staying on top of your shop’s financing in real time makes it easy to plan ahead and gives your shop room to grow and thrive. Tekmetric’s repair tracker software can build reports for transactions in real-time, giving you a variety of metrics for you to analyze. Tekmeteric tracks the total RO’s, hours presented, hours sold, close ratio, and effective labor rate, then calculates the following metrics: ARO sales, ARO profit, ARO profit margin, gross sales, and gross profit. Visualize your shop’s finances either from end-of-day sales or monthly gross profit in percentages or dollars.
Shop owners, next time you’re reluctant to step away from the shop because you can’t visibly see what’s going on, try to think of ways you can add more transparency. Being able to visibly keep track of what’s going on while you’re away will give you the ability to sit back and enjoy the present moment.