Let’s talk about auto repair business ethics. Picture this: you are an auto repair service advisor. You present a necessary service to a customer. They tell you that they just can’t afford it right now. Do you let them go without fixing the issue, potentially letting them risk more harm to their vehicle? What about the other issues you haven’t even gotten to writing up for them yet? Automotive Service Writers have a professional obligation to tell customers about needed repairs, just like doctors are obligated to tell patients about illnesses they may not know about.

Service Advisors must apply business ethics to phone calls with customersGroup Discussion on Business Ethics in Auto Repair

In this video, Brian talks with shop owners in our You Net Results group about that obligation. Don’t let your worries about your client’s money troubles get in the way of your ethics. Whether you display integrity or not, the word gets around!

Brian then surveyed the group members on what they defined professional obligation as. Karen said business ethics means treating your customers with respect. It’s the only way to ensure they become repeat customers. Next, Bryce pointed out that auto repair shop owners should ensure that technicians watch their language around customers. Finally, Jared reiterated that we are all obligated as professionals to ensure each client a safe, reliable vehicle.

Each caller provided a correct answer. In conclusion, Brian provided the example that we must report everything wrong with the vehicle. Even if the customer is already hurting financially, we do not have the right to withhold that information from them. In short, that is business ethics.

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Does your auto repair shop lack direction? Perhaps your business plan has stalled out, and you need an experienced automotive industry coach to help you. Then why not schedule a FREE business strategy session with Brian? You’ve got nothing to lose, so sign up today!

Professional Obligation

In the excerpt above from our Front Counter Workshop series, Brian discusses the concept of professional obligation in the automotive industry. We owe it to our coworkers and clients to be both honest and consistent. The members of your community, as well as your profession, talk. Word of rudeness, dishonesty, and overall unprofessionalism travels quickly.

YNR Members on the call talk about the similarities between auto repair shop staff and medical doctors. It is up to us to not only correctly diagnose a vehicle’s problems, but to also remain up front about them with their owners. Think of how you would feel as a customer if a service advisor withheld information about problems with your car because he or she was afraid of charging you more. Imagine if these problems caused your car to break down, and cost you even more later. You probably would not visit that shop again. You may even leave the shop a poor review online afterward. What if that review included the service advisor’s name? Surely, that would cause harm to the shop’s reputation, as well as the front counter staff.

Our professional obligation as Auto Repair Shop owners and staff

If you and your auto repair staff don't perform your professional obligation to customers, it could be costly.You owe it to your team to model both honesty and integrity. As Warren Buffett famously said, “It takes twenty years to build a reputation, and five minutes to ruin it.” If your staff sees you practicing what you preach, then they will get buy in from you.

When mechanic technicians, general managers, and service writers work together to perform their professional obligations, customers respond. They will reward your honesty and consistency with the one thing every automotive shop needs: return business and referrals!

Learn more about professionalism in your own auto repair shop!

Could your front counter staff use a deep dive on the concept of professional obligation? Learn the systems that run a successful automotive repair business, as well as how to teach them to your people. You Net Results offers LIVE online meeting groups every week. They are also archived on our site for you to view at your convenience. Sign up for a free strategy session!


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