1. Find the Right Environment To Support Your Service Writer Career
Environment will have a major impact on the potential for your career to grow, flourish and shape in new ways.
You should consider whether you’d prefer to work in an independent repair shop, auto repair franchise, or dealership environment. Each work environment has its own perks and unique culture which might affect your decision.
Features like texting your customers their inspection results have revolutionized the way service writers can interact with their clients.
And there’s also the team dynamics to think about. You might ask yourself: do I want to work for a high-volume brand with a large staff and management hierarchy, or would I prefer working with a smaller crew with more of a team feel?
Asking questions about a shop’s values upfront during the interview process can help ensure the work environment is a good fit for you and save a lot of headaches down the road.
Support your shop with the right shop management system.
2. Consider Continuing Education as a Service Writer
Common advice for aspiring service writers is to seek out training. One great option being could be to gain accreditation or certification from the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence. That's an easy to elevate your resume and increase your future earning potential with credibility.
But narrowing down which training to enroll in might not always be an easy decision.
In fact, ASE has over 50 certifications, tests, and courses to choose from. Many of the courses and certifications are focused on general concepts like collision repair, but you’ll also find some specializations like school buses and military tactical wheeled vehicles.
Enrolling in specialized courses helps broaden your perspective and shows great initiative, both of which are necessary qualities for future leadership positions. The knowledge you gain can also be directly applied to bring innovation to your shop and give back to your local community.
Other ways to keep up with the latest industry trends and work on your professional development include attending conferences and trade shows, subscribing to industry publications, and listening to auto repair podcasts or radio talk shows -- or, better yet, read our Auto Repair Industry Index Report!
3. Elevate Your Customer Service Expertise
Although earning an education and practicing your technical skills is important in your journey, we’re not just here to talk about how to become a service writer—we want to help you become the best service writer you can be.
Polish these 5skills to elevate your customer service game:
Be Someone Others Can Depend On: The scheduling process at an auto repair shop involves a lot of moving parts and can get hectic at times. Your team and your customers will look up to you in this role to keep the daily operations running smoothly.
Meet the Customers Where They’re At: On occasion, you may encounter customers who might have unrealistic expectations about the repair order process because they used free online estimate tools. Knowing how to practice active listening with customers leads to more positive customer interactions and a higher customer retention rate.
Practice Empathy: Vehicle concerns can bring about a lot of stress for customers with busy schedules and financial concerns. Learning how to put yourself in your customers’ shoes can help them feel appreciated and ease their anxiety so they can better understand the work that needs to be done to get them back on the road.
Manage Conflicts: Exercising patience while dealing with unhappy customers and managing difficult conversations within the team can help you de-escalate situations before they turn into conflicts. Conflict management is also an important leadership skill.
Build Relationships: The little things like remembering a customer’s name or asking about their day can go a long way in making customers feel comfortable and welcomed in the shop. By giving guests a great experience, you can become the go-to shop for their friends and family, and the first place they think of when they need repairs later on down the road. Relationship-building is also vital to establishing a positive work culture and keeping your team’s morale high.
Fuel Your Career Growth as a Service Writer
If you’re a good problem solver who’s passionate about the automotive industry, building rapport with customers, and keeping shop morale high, chances are you’ll be an excellent service writer. If inspiring others is something that brings you fulfillment, being a service writer is the job for you.
Remember: it’s never too early or too late to follow your passions and try out a different career path. Service writers come from all walks of life and all types of backgrounds, which means you have the freedom to forge your own path.