Lead Your Auto Repair Shop to Sucess As a Service Advisor

By approaching your service advisor duties with intentionality, you can set everyone at the shop up for success.

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The list of service advisor duties can seem endless. You have to be there for customers, technicians, the shop owner, and even other service advisors.

Traditionally, there are four pillars to an auto repair shop that all support one another: the shop owner, technicians, customers, and service advisors.

The integrity of the shop depends on each of these pillars in different ways. The shop owner needs to make the right calls and put the right systems in place for technicians and service advisors to do their jobs. Technicians must stay focused on repairs. And loyal customers keep the lights on.

By effectively leading your team, service advisors can support the other three pillars of the shop—and in turn, achieve balance and improve the quality of your job. Getting started in your Service Advisor career, or looking for some tips? Here’s how to lead your team with intention.

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Strategize With the Shop Owner

During day-to-day operations, your service advisor duties and the decisions you make will directly influence the shop’s workflow. Because shop owners call the shots, and you see the day-to-day impact of their decisions, the relationship that you have with your shop owner is ripe for collaboration.

In addition to streamlining your workflow, a good shop management system will also allow you and the shop owner to track and identify patterns.

Tracking patterns can help you identify even more opportunities for shop growth:

  • As you delegate tasks based on priority and monitor your team’s performance, you might notice where there’s room for improvement.
  • If you see that a technician’s productivity has significantly decreased one month after a steady flow, you can work with them on an improvement plan to get back on track.
  • Service advisors might also notice where systems and processes can be improved. In many cases, productivity gaps aren’t the result of individual employees but rather the result of inefficient ways of doing things.

If you have a difficult time seeing the status of repairs or if you have to constantly leave your station to chase down a technician or a customer, a better shop management system can help add some transparency into the process.

Set Technicians Up for Success

One of your main service advisor duties is to maintain harmony in the shop. Finding the balance between helping customers and helping technicians keeps the wrenches turning.

It’s typically up to technicians to run inspections, but service advisors play a key role in handing off the inspection tasks.

  • If a customer comes into the shop concerned about a leak, you might prompt the technician to conduct a fluid inspection. One of your service advisor duties might even include creating vehicle inspection checklists that you can assign to technicians, helping them know exactly what parts of the vehicle to inspect.
  • After a technician completes the inspection, it’s now your turn to show the customer all the issues they found, write up an estimate, and sell the work. The more work you sell, the more work technicians have on their plates. And depending on how the shop pays service advisors and technicians, the more work you sell, the more money both of you make.
  • Once the work is sold, you can begin ordering parts and dispatching the jobs to one or multiple technicians. In many shops, ordering parts falls under service advisor duties, but some shops hire a parts manager to help find and purchase parts as well as manage the shop’s inventory. If your shop has a parts manager, you will still be responsible for communicating with them, especially when you write the parts side of the estimate.
  • When you dispatch work, you want to be careful to distribute the work evenly among technicians so that no one technician feels overloaded or that they’re not getting enough work. You might even want to know which technicians specialize in certain repairs so that you can foster better collaboration among technicians.

Support Your Team From the Ground-Up

It's also worth zooming out and thinking about setting your technicians up for success from a fundamental perspective. Everyone's working together as one piece of the puzzle at a your shop.

With service advisors keeping things organized, shop owners setting direction and goals and directing operations, technicians are the workers of your shop, the ones turning wrenches and fixing cars.

Something really interesting we uncovered in our recent Industry Index Report was that, on average, Tekmetric shops could pay their technicians almost $5 higher than the national average from 2022.

Shops should structure their team and payroll operations to, of course, maximize labor profit margins. But it's also critical that shop owners ensure employees are paid adequately for the work they do.

At the end of the day, one of the best ways to show your team how much you value their hard work is to compensate them well for the work they do, which will keep them motivated and driven to deliver great results!

Build Trust With Your Customers Through Transparency

Even though you work closely with the shop owner and technicians, the most important part of your service advisor duties is customer service.

A major element of leading your team is setting a good example for them on how to deliver great customer service.

Every day at the shop, you’ll need to take customers through the inspection and estimate process. Many customers will have questions about their car and the services you’re suggesting.

Probably the most challenging but rewarding of all the service advisor duties is building customer loyalty.

Standardized processes like including images with every Digital Vehicle Inspection sent to a customer, and features that help free up Service Advisors with fewer clicks or even detailed customer history, enable Service Advisors to create transparency, consistency, and amazing customer service at every step of the interaction.

When customers feel they can trust your shop, they'll be more likely to approve repairs. Especially those expensive, unexpected repairs.

By showing them exactly what's wrong, what needs to be fixed, and how much it'll cost, customers will be more likely to understand the why behind the repair, and not just focus on the cost.

Streamline Your Service Advisor Duties

Using Tekmetric’s many features, including the Job Board, Tech Board, and DVIs, you can set your team up for success—and create a shop environment where everyone can thrive.

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