Now that Paperless Back Shop (PBS) digital inspections have had some time in the field, we are hearing some amazing feedback. Not only are our users reporting increases in the number of recommendations made by technicians during inspections, and more recommendations making it to the tech worksheet, but shop dynamics are improving as well.
What if you could improve the relationship between the front and back of the shop? We knew that having the vehicle service history available on the tablet would be a great asset for the technician, but we could not have anticipated how it would change the relationship between the technician and service adviser.
One surprise learned from our PBS users was that a digital process increased the confidence of technicians and service advisers in recommending necessary jobs to the motorist. Before going paperless, service advisers were not always advising the motorist of all the jobs recommended by the technician during the inspection. The service adviser was concerned that the motorist would perceive a recommended job as unnecessary, or that the tech might have recommended a job that was actually performed on a recent visit.
Now that the technician can leverage the vehicle history on the tablet to confirm the last time a job was performed, as well as take a detailed series of photos of the condition, they can make recommendations to the service adviser with total confidence.
Combined with the technician effectiveness report we discussed in the Jan./Feb. 2014 issue of Shop Owner magazine, there is no more fluctuation in the quality of inspections. The service adviser can now confidently recommend jobs and is armed with photos of the vehicle’s condition to clearly show the need for service to the motorist.
What Else Can Photos Do For My Shop?
You know pictures convey a thousand words when it comes to recommending jobs to a motorist, but they also help your service adviser with these words: “Could I have your email address?” With all of our inboxes full of spam, many of us are reluctant to hand out our email freely, and your service adviser may not always bother to ask.
However, when you offer a motorist a nicely presented, detailed inspection report loaded with photos, you’ll have no problem populating your company directory with customer email addresses. Equipped with the ability to take unlimited photos with every report and add pictures to the results of the tech worksheet, some of our PBS users have begun taking before and after photos of all repairs.
There is no question in the customer’s mind that the work was performed, inevitably strengthening the relationship between your shop and your customer.
Other popular subjects for photos that shops are making a part of every inspection include:
●- Tires (door sticker, size, condition, tread depth);
●- The gauge cluster (odometer, warning lights);
●- Overall vehicle condition and inspection stickers;
●- Fluids (visible levels, blotter test results), and;
●- Scanner results.
What About Hard Trends? Show Me Some Numbers
Let’s talk about one of our shops that has been using digital inspections for the last six months with stellar results. The month prior to implementing digital inspections, this shop’s average repair order (ARO) was $360. Digital inspections were initially performed on about one-third of all appointments during the first three months, and doubled to two-thirds of all appointments in the next three months. Now almost all appointments receive a digital inspection.
Using the technician effectiveness report, we found that during the first three months, 5.8% of inspections resulted in a recommended job from the technician, and, in the last three months, this metric jumped to 12.9%!
Technicians are now recommending more than twice as many jobs as in the past. The ARO for the last month jumped to $520, a 44% increase in just six months! While this is due to the efforts of the shop owner, he recognized implementing the digital inspection program as a major factor in the improvement. He is now moving his second repair shop over to digital and says, “When I’m in my shop without digital inspections, I feel like I’m back in the ‘60s!”
Thanks to the power of digital inspections, technicians are recommending more jobs; service advisers are selling more jobs; shop owners are more aware of the profit potential; and confidence is improved for everyone in the shop. Would you like to raise the quality of inspections in your shop? Get started with digital inspec-tions today!
Neil Reilly-Shapiro is the Product Manager for the Paperless Back Shop at Autovitals. He is a former automotive technician, holds a Master’s in Mechanical Engineering from UC Santa Barbara and has more than five years of industry experience. AutoVitals’ products facilitate highly effective Concierge Auto Repair services, covering all aspects of the service adviser’s interaction with prospective and existing customers. He can be reached by visiting www.autovitals.com or calling 1-866-949-2848.