Why auto repair shops are going digital, and what's in it for you

Auto repair shops have recently been moving towards making their repair order and reporting process paperless. They aren’t the first industry to be doing so, and the financial, environmental, and organizational benefits have been made clear by the many industries that have come before them in the journey to a paperless workplace. Printing and paper costs are cut, paper waste is eliminated, and everything is stored in one place, with easy search functions and secure back-ups.

This transition, however, isn’t just affecting the shop and its employees. It’s also making a big impact on their customers.

Typically, when you take your car in to the shop, your car’s diagnosis and necessary repairs are explained to you by your service advisor, and it’s up to you to take that information at face value. That’s not always easy. Being the humans that we are, we want to know why. We like to ask how? And well, are you sure? It can be difficult to get on board with expensive repairs without getting to see the evidence of why you need them yourself. This is especially true with auto repair, since many customers aren’t mechanically savvy. This makes it hard to know what questions to ask and gauge whether the suggested repairs are warranted.

The movement auto repair shops are making towards digital recording and reporting is working to erase the dynamic of doubt and distrust between shop and customer. Now, many shops are equipping their technicians with tablets or phones that they can use to perform digital inspections, take photos of problems they’ve found, and text or email customers directly about their vehicles.

Customers love it.

Imagine, instead of getting a phone call saying your car needs new brake pads, you receive a text or email with a photo of your car’s worn brake pads, and an explanation of what needs to be done to fix it. Not only are you being shown exactly what’s wrong and why you need what the shop says do, you’re given a chance to mull things over at your own pace before discussing repairs and costs with your service advisor.

This takes a lot of pressure off of the customer during the car repair process, and doesn’t leave you feeling in the dark if you’re not a mechanic yourself. You may not know how to replace brake pads, but a clear photo and description make it easy to see that your brake pads might be worn.

G&C’s primary goal is the customer. In an effort to build honest and transparent relationships with our customers, G&C now offers the option for digital feedback for all repairs and services. We’ll also always be happy to take you back in the shop and let you take a look at any problems yourself to help you better understand the issue at hand. Just ask at your next appointment!

If you’re interested in increasing your own auto repair shop’s efficiency, Ratchet and Wrench wrote a great article on getting started in their February 2017 issue. Check out how AJ Nealy made huge improvements to his shop by going digital. https://www.ratchetandwrench.com/articles/4363-inspection-perfection

By: Katie Lake

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