Supercharge Your Shop’s Communication With a Modern Auto Repair Estimate Template
A shop management system with an integrated auto repair estimate template can reduce communication challenges and help you build trust with customers.
An auto repair estimate template, otherwise commonly referred to as a car repair estimate template, can be a great communication tool for your shop—or it can leave your team spinning their wheels in the dirt.
While it’s easy to assume that any old auto repair estimate template will lead to a faster repair order process, unfortunately, not all templates are created equal. The most effective templates provide a standardized framework for the estimate and repair process and lay everything out for your team and customers in a digestible format. The least effective templates cause more work for your team and eat up extra time that could (and should) be spent taking care of the customers.
Nowadays, there’s a whole spectrum of template options to choose from, including pen and paper forms, downloadable PDFs, and full-service shop management systems with a built-in RO program. Finding the right fit for your shop might feel like a challenge, but the effort you put into looking for an auto repair estimate template says you care a lot about your team’s time and value their autonomy. Upgrading your estimate process helps your team maximize its potential by giving them the power to focus on what they do best—getting customers back on the road.
Let’s take a look at the most common types of auto repair estimate templates and what they can—or can’t—do for your shop:
It’s no secret that modern technology has changed the landscape of most industries over the past couple of decades, and the auto repair industry is no exception. Even the way we all communicate with each other has changed. Nowadays, grandparents can tune into a graduation ceremony virtually, and we can tune into a business meeting from the airport with just a smartphone. But modern technology doesn’t just affect our personal lives or bottom line; to get the full picture, we also have to consider how the customer experience has changed over the years.
Today’s customers value open communication and transparency. While pen-and-paper or PDF estimates get you on the right track to more efficiency, using a shop management system (like Tekmetric) with a built-in system for RO management can take your shop even further. By improving both internal and external communication, and simplifying the repair and estimate process for everyone involved, you can supercharge your shop to get more customers in the door and improve customer retention.
No matter how big or small your shop, there are two driving forces behind everyday operations: internal and external communication.
Internal communication is how you communicate with your shop’s managers, technicians, and service advisors, as well as how they communicate with each other. You convey your expectations and values to your team, and your team clarifies vehicle concerns to make sure that the right work gets done in the right amount of time. Internal communication defines your business.
Without clear internal communication, your team might get confused along the repair and estimate process, compromising your shop’s workflow and the number of cars your team is able to repair during the workday.
External communication is how you communicate with your customers. You reach customers through a variety of mediums such as marketing, scheduling appointments, and all the forms that need to be written through the estimate and repair process. External communication promotes your business.
Without clear external communication, customers may not understand what’s going on with their vehicles and grow frustrated during the estimate and repair process, compromising the trust they have in your business.
Your shop’s car repair estimate template affects both internal and external communication and can either be a handy tool or a time-consuming nuisance. Tekmetric’s car repair estimate template lets your service advisors create a professional full-service estimate in a matter of minutes, instantly improving communication and workflow, and ensuring that everyone is on the same page.
First impressions are always important, but even more so in an industry surrounded by misconceptions about trustworthiness.
The estimate is part of a customer’s first impression of your shop and the first step in establishing a relationship built on trust. Templates should be designed with the customer experience in mind instead of forcing service advisors to cram technical jargon into a crowded space. The simpler a template is, the less likely it is to confuse the customer when they receive it.
While a PDF auto repair estimate template might offer a standardized element to your repair and estimate process, a shop management system with built-in RO management features offers customers the most polished and professional experience. Modern shop management systems like Tekmetric eliminate the need for a paper trail that can often create confusion or unnecessary hiccups in the communication process. And as an added bonus, Tekmetric’s digital vehicle inspections make it possible for technicians to easily share pictures or videos that support their findings and how long the repairs are expected to take, reassuring customers that they’re not being upsold on any unnecessary repairs.
Additionally, Tekmetric gives customers the freedom to view the estimate on their own time from any location on any device. Customers need to be able to ask questions, and with just a couple of clicks, service advisors can notify customers of any unexpected delays or when their vehicle is ready for pickup.
By using a modern auto repair estimate template to clarify the repair process, customers feel more confident and empowered to make better-informed decisions. And in the end, feeling less pressure and more in control leads to higher satisfaction with your shop’s service. By paying greater attention to your external communications, you can make sure a customer’s first impression won’t be their last.
An auto repair estimate template isn’t just a communication tool for your customers; it’s also a tool for you and your team. If your technicians need to consult with each other before making recommendations on repairs, it might be challenging when they’re working with different software systems or different pen-and-paper forms across multiple bays. With Tekmetric, all team members have access to the same information at their fingertips and can plainly communicate any vehicle concerns through text as well as photos and videos.
Unlike a more manual auto repair estimate template, a shop management system that handles the RO process makes it easy to adjust estimates. If a technician uncovers a new vehicle concern and needs to pivot, they can easily edit the RO instead of starting over from scratch. And if they need to add additional comments or concerns, they won’t be limited by space either. Tekmetric also makes it easy to pull up previous repair orders and declined jobs for each customer to ensure your team is always getting the full picture.
Organized inventory management is essential to running an auto repair shop. With Tekmetric’s real-time inventory features, your shop manager can easily keep track of parts, assign tasks to technicians, track costs, and improve inventory management throughout the auto repair estimate template process.
By streamlining your team’s communication and workflow, you can begin to focus on the other aspects of your business and growing your shop.
The auto repair shops that thrive are the ones that weave their values of communication and transparency into the fabric of their processes. With a shop management system like Tekmetric, you can further open up the lines of communication and deliver on your promise to keep customers in the loop. Our built-in Job Board and auto repair estimate template make internal and external communication a breeze, so your team and customers can rest assured that all relevant information is captured, reported correctly, and easy to access every step of the way.
Making the jump to digital can be a little intimidating, but the good news is that anyone can do it. Getting trained on using Tekmetric’s auto repair estimate template doesn’t require any special licensing and can be accomplished in a jiffy.
If the tread on your internal and external communications has been getting low, gain more traction with your team and customers by using Tekmetric.
Upgrading your auto repair estimate template can go a long way in accelerating your shop’s professional reputation. Nail your first impressions and make lasting connections with your customers by using Tekmetric.