The auto industry is experiencing another wave of change. New technologies powering vehicles, new repair methods and expertise required, and of course new expectations from customers.
It might sound simple, but it's true: smartphones and digital experiences have revolutionized the way people interact with businesses. We've all come to expect near-instant responses, simplified checkout processes, and visibility into what we're paying for.
And independent auto repair shops aren't any different. There's a unique opportunity where your business can meet customer's expectations with modern service and modern operations.
How Can You Make Your Auto Repair Shop More Modern?
We keep saying that word "modern," but what does that really mean for auto repair shops? When we step back and think about the modern independent repair shop, we could sum it up with three core concepts:
The freedom to run your business in a more contemporary way with data, industry knowledge, flexibility and independence to work as in whatever way is best for you and your shop.
The power to simplify your shop's operations can gain complete visibility, control and opportunity to determine the best path forward for every decision.
The best experience for your customers, every time, for every job, whether that's a coolant flush and pad replacement, or a turbo rebuild.
With the right tools in place, your team members won’t have to stress about extra oversight and can feel empowered to take the reins at work. And your customers can have a more active say in the repair process.
The features and capabilities found in modern repair shop software will fall into two main buckets:
Features that enable you and your team to work more efficiently
Features that enable you and your team to interact more smoothly with customers
Ultimately, the modern features we’re about to dive into will free up your time as a shop owner. Instead of stressing over small day-to-day details, you’ll be able to focus more on the high-level aspects of advancing your business.
Unlike traditional software that needs to be installed directly on your shop computer, which then needs to be maintained by that specific service provider in your shop's physical location, cloud-based software can be used on any device, from any location that has an internet connection.
With cloud software, everything is hosted on the provider's servers, but completely owned by and accessible to your shop.
Technicians can type inspection notes from their smartphones without having to leave their bays, service advisors can check on repair details, and owners can work remotely from anywhere with internet access.
And because all of your data is on the cloud, you’ll have more peace of mind that your shop won’t suffer from data loss if the hardware breaks down, and the platforms are always improving.
2. Real-Time Control with a Streamlined Shop Workflow
Just as a dashboard in a car allows drivers to see what’s going on with their vehicle, auto repair shop software acts as your shop's dashboard with a streamlined workflow. Shop owners gain total control of their business in real-time, while allowing service writers, technicians, and shop owners to see what’s coming in, what vehicle is in the garage, and what’s ready for pickup.
Because shop owners have a granular look at the status of each job at any given moment, they can gain a strategic view of everything happening in their shops.
Tekmetric also lets shop owners see the dashboard by day, week, month, and year-to-date, opening up a whole new level of forecasting with a complete view of how their business is performing over time.
3. Digital Vehicle Inspections For Enhanced Visibility
Instead of handing guests a paper inspection, you can send a digital one straight to their device, where they’ll be able to read all the necessary details about the proposed repair work.
Tekmetric’s digital vehicle inspection feature helps you navigate that issue by bringing another layer of transparency to every interaction. Technicians can attach photos and videos to each DVI, so guests can see for themselves exactly what’s wrong with their cars. As a result, they’ll have peace of mind and trust your recommendations.
4. Simplified Parts and Inventory Management
Modern shop management software gives you an holistic view of everything happening in your shop for the ultimate level of management.
And successful parts management means you need to understand how your inventory is suited to the needs of your customer, the quality of the parts that are kept in the shop, and how to minimize inventory that is not being sold.
Modern shop management software makes parts and inventory management easy by combining every single aspect of running your shop, managing your inventory, and even ordering new parts into one streamlined workflow.
If you don't have a part in stock while working on a car you can quickly swap the part for a similar one in inventory, or instantly place an order for what you need and let you text the customer all the same system.
5. Instant and Digital Communication
These days, customers expect updates on the services they receive, such as shipping updates on their packages. Repairs are no exception. Customers are busy and want to know when they can expect to pick up their vehicles.
Thanks to true two-way texting, service advisors can give customers updates and even answer any questions that customers might have about their DVIs. Service advisors can update customers on the status of their repairs in seconds. They don’t have to dial a number or try to find customers in person.
Text-to-pay is touchless payment—customers can pay invoices directly from their smartphones. They don’t have to physically walk into the shop to hand over cash or a credit card.
Shops can take advantage of alternative payment methods to provide their customers with flexible service and simplify the payment process. Not only does this make it easier for your customers, but Tekmerchant even provides necessary protections to help shops prevent chargeback fraud, so you can have peace of mind knowing you will get paid for the work your shop did.
Running a Modern, Independent Auto Repair Shop
The ability for shops to track financial information, payment, and customer history will affect their success, especially as they take on new types of repairs on new types of vehicles.
As they update their repair offerings in response to new vehicles on the street, shops will need to keep a close eye on their metrics to ensure they are meeting their profit goals.
And of course, shops will have to respond to updates in consumer technology to ensure that they’re keeping their teams and customers happy.
With Tekmetric, you can modernize your shop and give your team and customers the flexibility and autonomy they want.