Elevating Silver Lake Auto's Customer Payment Experience

As location manager of Wisconsin-based automotive repair shop, Silver Lake Auto, Tyler Peartree makes top-tier customer service a priority.
Elevating Silver Lake Auto's Customer Payment Experience
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As location manager of Wisconsin-based automotive repair shop, Silver Lake Auto, Tyler Peartree makes top-tier customer service a priority. He plays an instrumental role in executing important operational decisions that affect the daily operations across all four locations of Silver Lake Auto. Through its forty-year history, Silver Lake Auto has become known for its concierge service, a differentiator that excels in offering convenience-centric customer care and quality repairs. But the service didn’t come without hiccups, and Tyler was tasked with addressing its challenges in a way that built customer trust while growing revenue. He knew the auto repair shop had a truly valuable offering through its concierge services, but he needed a solution that could pay-off the exponential benefit. The answer? Tekmetric Shop Management System and its integrated payments feature, Tekmerchant.

A Bottleneck in the Process

As much as customers loved the service, Silver Lake Auto’s concierge service faced a significant bottleneck: the vehicle drop-off. While Tyler’s team could pick up vehicles and take them to the shop for an initial inspection, they required payment before they could return the vehicles. As a result, the drop-off portion was rendered unnecessary.

There was a gap in the process because customers had to come to our location and pay for the repairs,

Tyler reflected. He knew that to make his concierge service a standout benefit to customers, he would need a system that allowed customers to pay anytime and from anywhere, rather than deal with the inconvenience of coming into the shop.

Implementing a New Payments System

Tyler began researching shop management platforms with digital payments offerings that could benefit his customers and close the gap in Silver Lake Auto’s concierge service, while still allowing management to remain connected to multiple store locations. The platform that caught his attention? Tekmetric. Tekmetric, a cloud-based shop management system for auto repair shops, offered features that aligned with Tyler’s goals. Not only did it track shop data in an accessible, easy-to-understand interface, but it also allowed data sharing across multiple locations through its multi-shop feature, Tekmetric Multi-Shop. Most importantly, Tekmetric also offered a solution to the bottleneck in Silver Lake Auto’s concierge service. Tekmetric’s integrated payments feature, Tekmerchant, offered flexible, secure solutions that allowed Tyler and his team to easily manage customer payments and other accounting functions. Through Tekmerchant, Tyler and Silver Lake Auto could:

Enable customers to pay via text or email with Tekmetric’s secure text-to-pay offering

Automatically integrate all partial and complete payments into their point-of-sale

Access data through Tekmetric’s real-time reporting on payments and batches/payouts

Reduce chargebacks with enhanced early warning fraud detection

Success from the First Day

According to Tyler, the implementation and training process Tekmetric’s Tekmerchant were simple and intuitive. Tekmetric offered training videos, speedy customer service to help with specific questions and help tickets, among other key assistance. With all the resources Tekmetric offered, Tyler found it easy to integrate the system and make sure his team was comfortable. “As an organization, we create a lot of training videos,” said Tyler.

The fact that Tekmetric already had videos created meant we didn’t have to do anything – just share the links to existing videos.”

Tekmetric and its Tekmerchant payments feature proved successful at Silver Lake Auto from the first day of use, as the text-to-pay feature integrated seamlessly with the shop’s concierge drop-off service. “We had a customer in Italy on vacation,” Tyler said. “They were able to pay for their repair by text, and we were able to deliver the vehicle to their house while they were on vacation. Without Tekmetric, we would have had to wait two weeks – with the vehicle at our shop – for them to pay. Instead, we were able to get their payment, take the car back and close out the repair order.”

Continued Growth in Shop Performance

Since implementing Tekmetric and Tekmerchant, Silver Lake Auto’s shop performance continues to grow. At the organization’s flagship store, average repair order (ARO) has increased by more than $200 a month. Additionally, the shop can now offer text-to-pay at all its locations, which has offered more convenience for customers – particularly those that leverage the shop’s concierge drop-off service. Once the payment link has been sent, payment is completed quickly and efficiently. If a customer has Apple Pay or Google Pay it just takes just a couple of clicks. This benefits both the customer and the shop, as the vehicle can then be delivered directly to the customer rather than waiting until the customer can pick it up.

Silver Lake Auto’s service advisors have seen great success with Tekmerchant. As the team members responsible for collecting payment and closing out repair orders, service advisors have particularly enjoyed being able to share a link and receive payment in just a few minutes, without waiting for the customer to come into the shop.

Customers have also been thrilled with the new system – particularly parents: “We service a lot of high schools in the area,” said Tyler. “With Tekmetric, we can pick up a student’s car from the local high school to make repairs. The parents can pay through text-to-pay, then we drop the car off at the high school again.”

Additionally, after-hour pickups of vehicles have increased. Before Tekmetric, the team at Silver Lake Auto didn’t have the capability to safely take credit card information over the phone. But with the new system, they are able to offer secure, encrypted links and, once payment has been received, leave keys in a safe location for the owner to pick up the vehicle after-hours.

Overall, Tekmetric and the Tekmerchant integrated payments feature offered Silver Lake Auto the solution it needed to enhance their customer experience and promote shop growth. With Tekmetric implemented at all its locations, Silver Lake Auto can now fill the gap in the concierge process to complete vehicle drop-offs more efficiently, and it can offer customers a secure option for digital payments. Internally, service advisors can increase efficiency and close out repair orders faster. Altogether, Tyler knows this is the switch his shop needed, and it’s one he would recommend to others in his position: “It’s a night and day difference,” he said. “Make the switch.”

For more information about Silver Lake Auto, visit silverlakeauto.com.

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