Shop Management | Operations - Service Repair

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Build your online community, build your understanding

Wednesday, May 31, 2017 - 06:00
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While your repair shop works to maintain and repair your customers’ vehicles and keep the bays full, in some ways it does take a village to keep technicians performing at their best.

With rapidly changing vehicle technologies appearing on vehicles today, not every technician can be an expert in every area. And while shops would love to have a number of experts in every field, that also isn’t possible. So technicians now work together through a variety of platforms on the internet and through internet-connected tools and equipment to share information, offer suggestions and generally help move the business of vehicle repair forward.

One such platform many technicians, service writers and even owners turn to is the SureTrack Community, part of the ProDemand system from Mitchell 1. This community is an online group of professional technicians who ask and answer questions about a wide variety of vehicles and complaints. Chances are if you are seeing an issue on a vehicle, someone somewhere else has seen a similar issue if not the exact same one and can provide insight.

Eric Girard

Among those leading the way for information sharing among technicians is Eric Girard, a shop owner who still does his fair share of diagnostics in the bays of his North Carolina shop. 

“I find it extremely helpful. I feel sort of like there’s almost a safety net there I could fall back on,” he explains. “It’s just feeling like I have backup. Being a shop owner, the buck stops here. Having this entity behind me, it’s given me the courage to make a couple of calls I normally wouldn’t make and the information to know when not to do something.”

Girard, who owns Eric’s Complete Automotive Service in Weaverville, N.C., was an early adopter of the SureTrack Community, finding the service after purchasing a new scan tool with online capabilities and access to ProDemand. While he was looking up toe information, he found that he could ask questions.

In his position at the shop, which employees three other technicians, Girard does do some diagnostic work and more complex technical repairs. But he said he does have time in his role to answer more questions and help out others around the country.

“I also don’t have the need to ask a lot, but I do step outside my realm and find myself doing research for guys,” he says. “I have learned as much as I have helped.”

In one case, going to the Community and asking for help not only potentially a customer thousands of dollars, but ensured that the customer stayed with Eric’s Complete Automotive Service. Girard shared how he was going to perform a timing chain job on a Cadillac with a 3.0L engine. He asked the Community “if it was an aggravating job to do.”

“The first reply I had was within 10 minutes. It said don’t touch it without these special locking tools, which I didn’t have,” he notes. “I priced the tools, looked at the process and opted out of the job. The engine had to come out of the vehicle to perform this repair, and we were talking up in the thousand-dollars of repairs. I didn’t want this good customer to be used as a guinea pig.”

3 Ways to Maximize Service Information

 3 Ways to Maximize Service Information

Watch this quick video and start to use three quick tips to capitalize on your service repair information and turn it into a silver bullet.

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