Misconceptions About Automotive Repair Software Programs
Now that you’re a shop owner, you’re probably looking for ways to level up your shop. Thanks to talking to fellow shop owners or browsing online, you may have become somewhat familiar with automotive repair software programs.
Finding the right automotive repair software program for your shop is one of the most effective ways you can increase your team’s productivity, boost your revenue, communicate better with customers, and more. However, there are some myths surrounding auto repair software programs that might be preventing you from taking your business to new heights.
Here at Tekmetric, we’ve spoken to many shop owners. Along the way, we’ve heard some common worries that shop owners have about automotive repair software programs. Worries are natural, especially when you’re seeking to invest in software with the goal of transforming your shop. We don’t fault anyone for being alert about these myths; it’s human nature!
To help you on your journey, we’ve compiled a list of some of the most common myths we’ve heard about auto repair software programs.
Myth 1: You’ll Have to Purchase Brand New Hardware
It’s understandable to be worried about having to get new hardware to go alongside a new auto repair software program. After all, new hardware is expensive and will also need space that your office just might not have.
The Real Deal: Run Your Shop on Your Terms
If you opt for the right cloud-based automotive repair software program, you won’t have to worry about buying new hardware because you won’t be tied down to just one device.
Once your software is activated, you can work from whichever device and whichever location you prefer (as long as you have an internet connection), whether it’s the trusty desktop in your home office or the laptop you take with you to trainings across the country.
Cloud-based software gives you the flexibility to run your shop on your terms. Instead of trekking to your shop on the weekend to double check some numbers, you can log in from the comfort of your couch during halftime. If you want to take a few days off to attend an industry conference, but still want to keep an eye on your shop from afar, you can access your shop’s data from your tablet as you hop between training sessions.
Tek-Tip: Easy-to-Use, Cloud-Based Auto Repair Shop Software
Tekmetric’s cloud-based automotive repair software program is easy to learn and use. Your shop’s data will securely live on the cloud, so you can access it anytime, anywhere you have an internet connection. You don’t have to be physically tethered to your shop to run it efficiently. You can stay in-the-know from afar, whether you’re on a Hawaiian island or at your child’s doctor’s office.
And, unlike with an on-premise solution, you’ll have more peace of mind. Because your data will live on the cloud, you won’t have to worry about losing years and years of important shop history due to a drink spilling on your hard-drive or your hard-drive becoming corrupted (hard-drives don’t have long lives—on average, they last between three to five years).
Myth 2: You’ll Have to Lock Yourself Into a Long-Term Contract
Contracts can make anyone nervous. After all, by signing a contract, you’re basically locking yourself into using the automotive repair software program for a certain amount of time. What if you end up not liking it? What if your team finds it difficult to use?
If problems arise, you’ll have to stick out the contract. Meanwhile, you and your team may become increasingly unhappy, and productivity might start to take a hit. Not to mention, your customers might pick up on the unhappiness of your team and paint a negative picture of your shop.
The Real Deal: Long-Term Contracts Aren’t a Given
Thankfully, long-term contracts aren’t a given! With some research, you can find an automotive repair software program that won’t require you to sign a long-term contract. In fact, you can even find an automotive repair software program that won’t require you to sign any contract!
As obvious as it sounds, when you don’t have to sign a contract, you simply have more freedom. If you or your team end up not liking the software, you can switch at any time. The ability to switch whenever you want gives you more control over how you run your shop. You’ll have peace of mind that you and your team won’t be stuck for what feels like an eternity using a solution you dislike. Instead, you can switch over to another solution that you and your team will be excited to use every day.
Tek-Tip: No Contracts of Any Kind Required
At Tekmetric, we pride ourselves on the quality and ease-of-use of our software. We know, we know. We sound like braggarts right now. But we’re confident that shop owners will love our software, and if they don’t, no hard feelings! We don’t lock our users into contracts because we value freedom and don’t want people to stay if they genuinely don’t want to.
If you sign up for Tekmetric, you won’t have to sign a contract locking you into using our software for any length of time. You’ll be free to cancel your service at any time, without hassles.
Myth 3: Switching Automotive Repair Software Programs Is Expensive
You might already be using one of the many automotive repair software programs on the market. Whatever your reasons are for wanting to switch—maybe you want a solution that isn’t on-premise or want one that offers different features—you might be worried that switching automotive repair software programs will be an expensive ordeal.
The Real Deal: Switching Can Be Cost-Effective!
Depending on which of the automotive repair software programs you decide to go with, it doesn’t have to cost you big time to switch. With some automotive repair software programs, you can consolidate many of your daily activities, so you don’t have to worry about getting various solutions for different functionalities.
Additionally, the automotive repair software program you’re considering might have tiered pricing, meaning you can pick and choose a plan that falls within your budget and that has the specific features you want. Later, if you decide you do want to start using those features, you can upgrade your plan. This flexibility is helpful because as your business evolves, your technology needs will evolve, too.
Or, as distressing as it is to think about, sometimes things in business don’t go as planned. If your area is hit by a natural disaster and you have to close your shop for several months, for instance, you can take some solace in the fact that you can cancel your automotive repair software program subscription for the time being, and re-subscribe once the situation improves.
And if you go with a cloud-based automotive repair software program, chances are you’ll have pretty low startup costs. Data migrations might be the only things you have to pay startup fees for.
Tek-Tip: Switch Without Breaking the Bank
Tekmetric offers tiered pricing that makes it easy for shop owners to switch over. All three of our plans offer access to some of the most essential capabilities for shops, including:
- Digital vehicle inspections
- Calendars and appointments
- Unlimited repair orders
- Unlimited users and devices per shop
Tekmetric doesn’t make users sign contracts, either, so you can upgrade, downgrade, or cancel your plan whenever you wish. If you start on the middle plan (the “Grow” plan) to get your team comfortable using the system, you may later decide to roll out more features. Tekmetric makes it easy to upgrade, so as your team gets more comfortable with the system, you can simply upgrade to the top-tier “Scale” plan whenever you’re ready.
For setting up, you won’t have to purchase expensive hardware, since our solution is cloud-based. If you wish, you can pay an additional fee and import your data from your old system. Paying for a data migration is not mandatory by any means, but it will make getting up and running even easier.
Myth 4: You’ll Have to Pay More for the Software When You Hire New Employees
One of the main reasons you may be looking to roll out an automotive repair software program is to scale your business more efficiently. As your business grows, chances are you’ll have to hire additional employees to keep things running seamlessly. Those new employees will need to access the automotive repair software program to successfully do their jobs, and you’ll have to pay more for those new users, right? Not necessarily.
The Real Deal: More Users ≠ More Expenses!
While researching automotive repair software programs—or other types of software solutions—you might have stumbled upon some that charge more when you add additional users. This approach can create a lot of headaches for shop owners. Hiring a new employee is already expensive. After all, you have to pay them a salary or an hourly rate, provide benefits like health insurance, and set them up with the tools they need to succeed. If you have to pay more money to get a new service advisor or technician set up on your automotive repair software program, that’s yet another expense that you’ll have to add to the list.
If you decide against setting up some of your team members with your automotive repair software program due to the expenses involved, you’ll probably run into major problems, like a disjointed environment where it’s hard for people to get into a state of “flow.” Some shop owners try to bypass this type of restriction by having employees share logins, but that can quickly take a turn for the worse. Specifically, tracking might become inaccurate, and you’ll have a tougher time determining who did what in the software.
However, there are automotive repair software programs out there that won’t charge you for additional users. In fact, programs like Tekmetric have an “unlimited users” approach for each shop location, meaning you won’t have to worry about your automotive repair software program bill climbing up each time you hire a new employee at your shop.
Tek-Tip: No Hidden Fees for Adding More Users and Devices Per Location
Tekmetric gives you one less thing to worry about when you’re expanding your team. You can add unlimited users and devices within a single shop location—with zero hidden fees! Whether you hire five or fifteen new employees for your shop, the price you’ll pay for Tekmetric moving forward will remain the same.
If you decide to open an additional shop, you can easily purchase a new Tekmetric plan for that location and then add that new shop’s profile to your existing Tekmetric system. That way, you can quickly flip between your different locations within Tekmetric, and view and evaluate their unique data points. You won’t have to spend time tediously logging in and out of one shop to access the other.
Myth 5: Training Is Always Tough
Whenever you do something new—be it cooking that carbonara pasta dish you saw online, trying your hand at golf for the first time, or using that automotive repair software program you rolled out for your team—you have to learn the ropes.
Some things have a steeper learning curve than others. It might take you several tries to perfect that carbonara recipe, but you might find out you’re a natural at golf once you get out on the golf course.
How steep a learning curve is will often depend on your existing knowledge and skills, the complication or ease of the task at hand, and the resources available to you. So, let’s go back to that golf example. You might find out you’re a natural at golf once you’re on the golf course, but if you have a good instructor, you’ll be able to level up even faster. If you have a bad instructor or no instructor at all, it’ll likely take longer to refine your stance, swing, and other skills.
The Real Deal: Learn New Software Without A Steep Learning Curve
When it comes to learning how to use a new automotive repair software program, how easy it will be will come down to two main things:
- How intuitive the software is
- How responsive the customer success team is at training your team and helping you solve challenges
If you go with an automotive repair software program that’s clunky and has a hands-off team that gives you a user manual and wishes you luck, we’re willing to bet that you and your team will have a steep learning curve. You might spend hours trying to figure out how to navigate the software, and that time ends up cutting into your team’s core tasks. Your frustrated team members start taking longer to finish repairs (because they’re dealing with trying to figure out the software), and your customers leave unhappy, possibly leaving a negative review for your shop on Google or Yelp.
But, if you go with an automotive repair software program that's easy and straightforward to use, and that’s backed by a responsive customer success team that offers users plenty of resources (like webinars and on-site training), that learning curve will be pretty smooth-sailing. You and your team will be able to quickly get up to speed, learning all the essential tips and tricks for making the most out of the software.
When your software is easy to use and backed by a team that cares about your success, your employees will get ramped up, become more efficient at their jobs, and start saving time on repairs thanks to the new features at their fingertips. Customers will be happy with getting their vehicles back faster than they expected and will walk out even more impressed with your team, leaving you good feedback and referring your shop to their family and friends. Hole in one.
Tek-Tip: Training, Simplified
Tekmetric is already intuitive and easy to use. Just check out what Tekmetric user Stephane Grabina of Excluservice has to say: “The system is very intuitive, so training wasn't that hard.”
Tekmetric offers shops multiple ways to get familiar with our software, including:
- Comprehensive YouTube videos
- An in-depth online Knowledge Base
- Webinar trainings
- Dedicated remote training sessions
- On-site, hands-on training sessions
With all these options at your disposal, you can decide how to get your team up to speed. You might opt for a combination of all of our training resources, or pick two primary ones and use the rest as needed.
And what’s more, your training isn’t limited to the early stages of your subscription. Our responsive customer success team is here to answer your questions along the way as they come up, whether you need a refresher on a particular feature or need assistance setting up a new employee with an account.
Automotive Repair Software Programs: Finding the Right Fit
Now that we’ve dispelled five of the most common myths we’ve heard about automotive repair software programs, let’s dispel arguably the biggest one we’ve heard: that one automotive repair software program will work for every shop owner.
It’s in our best interest to say that Tekmetric is the right choice for every shop owner. But, we believe that every shop owner should ask their own questions and do their own research on different options on the market. At the end of the day, what works for one shop owner won’t necessarily work for another.
It’s important to think about your shop’s unique needs during the research phase. There are some capabilities in particular that will help you rapidly transform and grow your shop, such as robust reporting, integrations, and workflows. Keep your shop’s needs in mind as you research different options on the market, and don’t assume that every solution will have them. The last thing you want is a nasty surprise on day one of using your new software when you realize that the feature you really wanted… isn’t there.
And remember that along with the software itself, it’s essential to consider the people behind the software.
Do you get along with them?
What’s your impression of them?
Are they approachable and helpful during the demo stage?
If you sign up for a solution that’s backed by people you don’t really get along with, you’re going to have a harder time with training and, down the road, with support.
On the other hand, if you choose a solution that’s backed by a team you love, you’ll feel at ease during training and comfortable asking questions along the way. You’ll actually enjoy interacting with them—and that makes a world of difference.
Think about your favorite restaurant. Chances are that one of the reasons it’s your favorite restaurant is because of the friendliness and excellent customer service of the staff. Who wants to eat at a place with rude wait staff who frequently get your order wrong?
Additionally, you should consider your team members’ preferences and opinions. They’re the people who will be using the software to complete repairs, and it’s important that they have a say in the software they’ll be using each day. Try to have members of your team attend demo sessions with you so they can get a feel for the software and ask their questions.
After the demos, sit down with them to collect their thoughts. They might be able to point out things that you didn’t realize. By including your employees in the decision-making process, you’ll have more peace of mind that they’ll actually use the software and won’t find workarounds to avoid doing so.
Ultimately, by not believing the myths above, doing your due diligence during the research phase, and involving your team in the decision-making process, you’ll be well on your way to implementing the automotive repair software program that’s just right for you and your team.