A Day in the Life of a Service Department: Optimize Your Service Department with Multipoint Inspection Technology

Car mechanics using digital tablet

A day in the life of most service departments is an adventure. From the moment you turn on the lights, power up your equipment, and open the service department doors, your customers are waiting and your team is busy with another round of repairs.

Before you know it, more customers show up unexpectedly, you can’t keep up with call volume, your business bottlenecks, and the day gets away. At this point, your team is just doing the best they can. In all the confusion, well-intentioned service processes go out the window and it’s every tech and service manager for themselves, each working to get the next customer and RO out the door.

Unfortunately, this kind of chaotic service process means that each customer gets a different experience—some are satisfied, others, not so much. To make matters worse, your technology can’t keep up with your team. Your current solution is difficult to use. It doesn’t facilitate communication between your team, your BDC, or your customers. And, in the end, you (and your customers) get an inconsistent, antiquated service process that lacks efficiency and any semblance of consistency.

If all this sounds familiar, you’re not alone. A day in the life of a typical service department is a dance that exists somewhere between controlled dysfunction and sheer determination to get the job done. It’s a common service complaint, and it’s one reason why so many customers are opting for other service options and many dealers are leaving dollars on the table.

There’s a lot of room for growth and improvement, to say the least. In fact, according to a 2021 Cox Automotive Service Industry Study1, there’s roughly $214 billion in potential revenue up for grabs. That means dealerships willing to prioritize processes and give their customers the type of service experience they’re looking for could be first in line to capture a huge chunk of the market currently left on the table.

Consider the following process improvements to help you prioritize the service process and give your customers the experience they expect.

Innovate Your Operation with Digital Tools that Drive Better Processes

Your customers are looking for honest solutions to their automotive problems. They drive up to your service bay, speak with an advisor about a needed repair, and expect your team to provide a trusted recommendation.

For their part, your team is ready and waiting to offer friendly advice and proceed with needed repairs. But they can’t do it alone. Your multipoint inspection software should set them up for success with digital tools that remove barriers to inefficiency and establish a consistent workflow from the get-go.

You can’t just ask or expect your employees to work harder. You have to provide a defined pathway to improve workflows first. An automated service inspection technology that’s easy to use can help your team focus on the customer, while also helping you maximize shop efficiency.

When your technology is intuitive, customer-focused, and follows the same proven inspection formula every time, efficiency naturally follows. In fact, the right digital vehicle inspection software could help you grow your revenue by $123 per repair order.

Make Convenience Your M.O.

There’s a lot of money to be made from your service department (remember that $214 billion that’s up for grabs?), but improving profits is just one piece of the service process—the final piece, to be exact. And if you’re only focused on your bottom line, your customers’ experience will suffer.

The truth is that most of your customers don’t fully understand their vehicles’ exact repair needs. They do, however, understand what they want. They want your service team to thoroughly inspect their vehicles and present them with every repair option. And, they expect this process to be completed quickly, conveniently, and efficiently.

The multipoint inspection influences the entire service experience. The right solutions can deliver convenience from start to finish—from scheduling, approval of service, and even payment and financing options.

Service departments with a customer-first focus find ways to become more profitable. When you prioritize the process, a standard operating procedure that gives your customers a consistently convenient experience, you boost the reputation of your entire service center. This leads to an increase in referrals, repeat customers, and positive online reviews. Profits always follow process.

Unravel the Mystery of ‘Under the Hood’

You know cars. Your customers most likely don’t. While this information gap keeps your service drive alive, it can also lead to an inherent sense of distrust. In fact, two out of three drivers in the U.S. don’t trust you—an unsettling statistic given that trust is one of the four most important qualities your customers consider when they choose a service provider.

The consumer experience is now even more important than the car repair itself. As expectations continue to rise in this customer-comes-first culture, the service process becomes even more important. Your customers don’t want to deal with a subpar or even good-enough experience. They want convenience and they want transparency—transparency in service recommendations, estimates, and approval process. When transparency is lacking, it leads to declined services and frustration. When it’s present, your process and profits improve.

A multipoint inspection technology that utilizes photo and video sharing can give your customers inside access to your service department without being there in person. When your customers see and understand the need for a recommended repair, you inspire trust, promote retention, and lift your revenue in the process. It also leads to a 70% lift in revenue per RO when video is attached to ASRs.2

Again, your customers don’t always understand what goes on underneath the hood of their vehicle and they’re reluctant to invest in repairs without a trusted recommendation. But once you’ve established that trust, once you’ve shown them that your service experience is built around their interests, your customers will reciprocate the respect. In fact, 53 percent of customers will stay loyal to your service department because you developed that trust.3

A day in the life of most service departments is an adventure. But it can be an adventure for all the right reasons: a customer journey of convenience and transparency made possible by the right process and the right tools.

If your service process has been more chaotic than convenient, more trying than transparent, it might be time to rethink your multipoint inspection software. A well-structured, consistent service process that considers your customers first is so much more than routine. It gives your dealership the digital tools to address rising expectations and capitalize on operational opportunities.

Integrating the right multipoint inspection software into a dealership’s daily fixed operations can enhance your team’s capabilities, improve customer engagement and retention, boost efficiency, and help you stake claim to your portion of a billion-dollar opportunity.

Ready to learn how you can revolutionize your daily service routines and improve customer convenience, transparency, and trust? Take a tour of Xtime’s Multipoint Inspection Technology here.

12021 Cox Automotive Service Industry Study

22016 AAA Survey, 2018 Cox Automotive Service Industry Study, Xtime Data, Period Analyzed Q1 2021

32016 AAA Survey, 2018 Cox Automotive Service Industry Study, Xtime Data, Period Analyzed Q1 2021