The old adage that time is money is often overlooked when it comes to business processes. Without taking the time to streamline operations in the shop, auto repair shop owners are missing out on a great way to boost productivity and revenue.
Implementing new processes to boost efficiency in the shop may take a short adjustment period, but the right software can smooth out any kinks in your operations, automate menial tasks, and let your employees focus on their job. In other words, a few simple repair shop solutions help streamline your business, boost profitability, and thrive!
Here are a few of the most effective solutions you can implement to maximize the productivity of your team.
If you aren’t offering online booking yet, it’s time to start.
First off, customers find it so much more convenient to visit a website any time of day, take the time to check their availability, and book a time – no waiting on hold required. They can schedule appointments any time, anywhere.
As far as your own shop’s efficiency, online booking takes a huge weight off your administrative staff. When your team doesn’t have to spend as much time booking appointments on the phone, they’ll be able to focus their efforts elsewhere. Customers book on their own time, and your team simply watches the appointments trickle in.
Even with the best of intentions, customers often book an appointment only to forget about it entirely. Unfortunately for your shop, that means the time and bay you set aside for the customer’s appointment may just go to waste.
Automated service reminders prompt your customers to remember their appointment and show up on time. To this end, text message tends to be the most effective with an impressive open rate and quicker response times when compared to email.
Best yet, your staff does not have to spend work hours sending out text messages to confirm each appointment. Text marketing can be automated so that every appointment receives a reminder, ultimately saving you time and money.
One of the best practices for service reminders is the opportunity to allow people to reschedule. There are always times when someone will no longer be able to make their appointment. By making it easy to reschedule through online booking or with click-to-call options, they can keep their car in top shape and conveniently book their next service appointment.
When managing a team, it’s essential to know where your techs are assigned and how much availability they have – otherwise you risk little things falling through the cracks over the course of a busy day.
To this end, your auto repair shop needs technician scheduling software that will enable you to efficiently schedule techs and dispatch them accordingly. AutoVitals includes a task manager, time clock, and internal communication to help technicians and service advisors stay on the same page.
In the past, this might have been reserved for a desktop computer that technicians had to check for their next task. Now, mobile-friendly options like AutoVitals allow them to check in from anywhere in the shop using a tablet or smartphone. This saves everyone time and eliminates unproductive minutes walking back and forth to see what should come next.
Tech scheduling and dispatch to specific projects can streamline efficiency with analytics, labor inventory management, and efficient time-tracking.
Gone are the days of paper inspections. Writing everything by hand and storing it in a maze of filing cabinets was an unreliable system, extremely time-consuming, and left your team with very few ways to share findings with the customer.
If your team is still using a paper checklist or writing observations by hand, upgrading to a digital system will maximize shop productivity. Guided digital inspections ensure a consistent process every time. No missed inspection items, no second-guessing whether something was already checked – the system handles the details so technicians can focus on their job.
With digital vehicle inspections, you can also communicate clearly with a customer about what needs attention. For example, you can send a quick text message with a note about what is wrong, along with pictures of the issue. As a result of this transparency, your customers have more trust in your findings and often approve the repairs at a much higher rate, leading to increased revenue for your shop.
Customers tend to prefer digital vehicle inspections for more than just their transparency. This communication is more convenient for them, allows for faster service so they can get back on the road, and ensures that they have a thorough inspection.
From adding more personalized photos to building on prior inspections, there are tons of ways that you can personalize your digital vehicle inspections to make them more meaningful to your customers.
One of the most effective repair shop solutions is to start automating the processes that you go through on a regular basis. When everything is entered manually by your technicians and service advisors, it takes up valuable time.
This is where canned jobs come into the picture. Instead of your service advisors typing technician findings into the computer, canned jobs – which are essentially templates of common repairs – make it fast and easy.
Canned jobs result in significant savings when it comes to estimate-building. It eliminates any discrepancies between what a technician finds and what the service advisor recommends. Best of all, the process of using canned jobs can increase your repair approval rate by an incredible 30 percent according to AutoVitals data.
The next step in productivity? Combining all of the items listed above into one automated workflow.
There are a lot of moving parts across multiple people from your technicians to your service advisors and finally to your customers. An automated workflow ties everything together into one cohesive, guided process.
Booking an appointment, sending a service reminder, guiding technicians through a digital inspection, facilitating communication — an automated workflow can include it all. Repair shop solutions like AutoVitals can streamline these crucial steps, saving your team time and reducing the chance of human error. If there is a function that can make your auto repair shop run smoother, you can likely include it in your workflow automation.
A cohesive and consistent process is essential to making sure that your auto repair shop runs as smoothly as possible. And an operation that runs smoothly isn’t just easier on you and your team – it also leads to significant time savings. According to the data we’ve gathered at AutoVitals, your team likely spends about 580 minutes each month doing unproductive tasks, for a total lost revenue of $2,500. Imagine what your business could do with the extra time – and the extra funds!
SmartFlow X from AutoVitals benefits your shop from start to finish by implementing smart workflow management, communication, and task management. From digital vehicle inspections to technician dispatching to customer communication, it offers everything you need to maximize productivity right away. Contact us today to schedule a demo for your auto repair shop!