Modern Auto Repair Shop Customer Service Sells More Maintenance Work

Training service advisors how to properly sell maintenance work can create more loyal customers.

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Selling vehicle maintenance work and building customer loyalty go hand-in-hand. Tekmetric’s vehicle maintenance software allows you to access customer notes, DVIs, send text messages, and more—all in one interface. Sell more maintenance work with vehicle maintenance software.

Drivers typically come in with an expectation of what's wrong with their car, which can make it tricky to sell maintenance work. They might think you're trying to squeeze more money out of them, or may simply have a set budget in their mind and don’t plan on spending extra.  

In reality, you're simply trying to go above and beyond and provide them with the best service possible. So how do you show that, and which tools will help you transform the way you sell maintenance?

Here’s how to build customer trust while staying true to your auto repair shop’s mission of providing optimal maintenance recommendations.

Provide transparency and build trust at every step.

Go ahead, kick the tires.

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Why Selling Maintenance Work is a Challenge

According to a survey conducted by AAA, 76% of U.S. drivers said that recommending unnecessary services was the top reason they do not trust auto repair shops.

The survey also points out that ⅔ of U.S. drivers have managed to find an auto repair shop that they trust. That makes it harder for your shop to convince them to pay for an expensive yet critical repair, let alone get them to pay extra to replace filters, change oil, and refresh fluids. 

Service advisors may be hesitant to sell maintenance work and only focus on the problem at hand because they don’t want to come off as pushy. And that's for good reason, as we know most customers don't view auto repair shops as a helpful service, but sometimes a pit of endless expenses.

We're here to help break that cycle, and help your shop sell even more maintenance work just by focusing on the customer experience.

Why Improving Your Shop's Customer Service Can Go a Long Way

Regular maintenance makes your customers’ lives easier and saves them money in the long run. It prevents your customers from ending up on the side of the road and prolongs their vehicles’ lifespans. But more importantly, maintenance work can be an easy win for your shop to provide a modern customer experience, with exceptional customer service.

  • Because digital vehicle inspections make it easy to show customers what's wrong with their car, customers will trust you more. When you provide reliable insights into your customers’ vehicles, you’re their go-to car whisperer—a trustworthy person who reminds them to check stuff out on their vehicle before anything bad happens.
  • Providing maintenance inspections helps shops sell more work, which usually means higher ROs and a more profitable repair shop. Also, because maintenance work helps your customers’ vehicles last longer, they’re less likely to buy a new car and instead keep bringing their current car back to your shop.
  • Maintenance inspections help you queue up more work for the future. Even if they decline the maintenance work, you now have a relationship. You can track those declined jobs, and the service advisor and technician can save time figuring out what all might be wrong with the vehicle and resell that work. 

Modern Shop Management System Features Help Sell More Work

Of course its standard practice for shops to always check and note the mileage of vehicles both as they roll into the shop and when they roll out. And we recommend your shop keeps that up.

But we're here to help make great shops even better. Independent auto repair shops can leverage features like default inspections and canned jobs to create a standardized intake process for all vehicles that roll into their shop.

With default inspections, shops can build inspection templates to cover standardized checkpoints, which can include maintenance items based on the life or mileage of the vehicle.

After the car has been inspected, shops can use canned jobs to instantly generate repair orders based on the findings in your default inspection.

For example, if the car rolls in at 62k miles, and your shop checks coolant levels at every 20k miles, your technician might recommend a coolant flush and replacement. If the work is approved approved, that canned jobs for a coolant flush can be quickly added to the repair order.

Pro-tip: be sure to include a picture of how dirty the coolant is so customers can see why it should be replaced!

Improve your Shop's Customer Service with a Standardized Process

Now, different shops servicing different vehicles may have different standardized maintenance timelines. We've seen shops create a standardized template for maintenance work based on mileage that usually includes:

Every 3,000 - 7,000 Miles

- Replace oil and oil filters, inspect various fluid levels and wipers, check tires and lights

Every 15,000 miles

- Replace air filter

Every 20,000 miles

- Inspect battery and coolant levels

Every 30,000 miles

- Replace power steering fluid, inspect coolant levels, brake pads, and suspension components, check radiator hoses and HVAC system 

Every 35,000 miles

- Inspect and replace the battery

Every 40,000 miles

- Replace spark plugs and wires, inspect ignition system and suspension 

Every 60,000 Miles

- Replace brake pads and fluid, inspect radiator hoses, timing belt, HVAC system, suspension components, and tires, check coolant levels, and power steering fluid levels

Auto Repair Shops Can Sell More Starts with the Best Customer Service 

Selling maintenance work can be challenging due to customers’ skepticism and reluctance to spend extra money. Selling even critical repair work is hard when people don't trust auto repair shops because of bad experiences, or horror stories.

Cars are expensive, complicated, noisy, and unintuitive to most people who drive them, the exact opposite of everything consumers look for in their products and solutions. 

But that's exactly why your shop exists! To help them take care of the costly, sometimes difficult repairs so they can get back to their lives, whether that’s bringing the kids to soccer practice or getting to work on time!

That's why it's so critical for auto repair shops to focus on customer service, and offering customers an experience they can trust with a transparent inspection and sales process. One that makes the often painful, expensive process of getting their car fixed as simple, easy, and painless as possible.

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