Tom Dorsey, host of The Digital Shop Talk Radio, was a guest on this week’s Beyond the Wrench with Jay Goninen. The topic of discussion was an important one in the automotive industry: the relationship between auto technicians and service writers.
In a paper-based shop, Tom believes there are two types of businesses.
Both are unsuccessful in Tom’s mind, especially when you think about how the internet has changed everything – especially customer expectations.
“There are a whole bunch of challenges,” Tom told Jay about the importance of the internet, “but there is so much opportunity.”
That is where AutoVitals comes in, said Tom. The Digital Shop® is built to connect the technician, the front counter, the shop owner, and the motorist through communication and transparency. Creating those connections is why Tom and the staff at AutoVitals get out of bed in the morning.
It has also led to success for AutoVitals customers.
“We’ve got guys at 100% increase in ARO,” Tom told Jay. “I’ve got Meineke shops, franchise shops, that started at $90 ARO and are at $450 now.”
If relationships are tense between your writer and tech, the thought of adding new technology to the mix may be unappealing. Still, Tom has found tools such as the digital vehicle inspection can mend those fences and create buy-in.
“The tech’s experience can be, ‘Finally, the service advisor can’t hide from my recommendations,’” Tom said. “Technicians finally see the benefit and are catching more work.”
That alone makes it pretty easy for them to get on board.
On the flip side, the service writer who has been in the industry for 30 years may see this as more work initially. But the process changes make things easier.
“It’s kind of a sea change for the service writer who is used to be captain of that ship and are afraid of giving that up, but really you’re not,” Tom said. “All you’re really doing is cloning yourself multiple times and allowing you to have that conversation and experience with multiple people at once. If you can embrace that, boy, do you reap the benefits.”
For shops still using paper and whiteboards to conduct business, Tom has a few suggestions to improve the relationship between auto techs and service writers.
“All digital best practices are best practices for a paper based shop as well,” Tom told Jay. “The difference is you’ve still got one gang of guys and a rope pulling the giant boulder, and I’m over here in an excavator.”
He gave Jay three areas for paper shops to focus:
If you want to hear more from Tom, check out The Digital Shop® Talk Radio. New episodes come out each Wednesday at 10 a.m. PT.