What is the one thing that every successful auto repair shop has in common? All of them provide their customers with a detailed Preventive Maintenance Inspection form, or PMI. How important is this form? YNR Guide Brian Gillis discussed the ins and outs of the PMI with Service Advisors on a recent Advisor Results Academy meeting. Watch and learn how this vehicle “bill of health” makes a difference in cultivating repeat business. This form effectively helps customers budget and create a game plan for needed future repairs and services. See how it builds trust yet?

Mechanic Technician reviewing the PMI Preventive Maintenance Inspection FormPMI – The Name of the Game

Preventive maintenance is the name of the game when it comes to making a vehicle last longer. Do your customers want proof of how thoroughly you have inspected their vehicle? Then you need to provide them with a detailed Preventive Maintenance Inspection form. In short, a PMI.

This gives them the peace of mind that your Technicians have gotten to closely know their vehicle, both inside and out. Your Mechanics and Service Writers will recommend the services that they would perform on it if it were their own. Your front of house staff can then confidently present and review this PMI form to customers. This gives them the chance to either sell customers additional repairs on the spot, or plan out a timeline for those services to be done in the future.

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Brian Gillis - You Net ResultsYour independent auto repair shop lacks direction. Maybe your business plan has stalled out. You definitely are not meeting your goals for growth. You need an experienced automotive repair industry coach to help you! Then why not schedule a FREE business strategy session with You Net Results guide Brian Gillis? You’ve got nothing to lose, so sign up today!

If this job could talk, what would it say?

If this job could talk, what would it say?

The automotive repair industry comprises a variety of distinct positions. Check out this this short clip from our members only People Process workshop. Brian Gillis and the callers explain automotive jobs. The You Net Results group members outline both the jobs’ tasks and their relationships to each other. Each shop owner on the call shares their knowledge from decades of adapting to an ever changing industry. Do you think you know everything about each job description in the automotive field? These pros all bring up some great points that you may have never considered. Don’t miss out! Watch this clip now.

Explain automotive jobs: Owner and General Manager

First, Brian asks members what it means to be an automotive repair shop owner. Andy recalls his experience working his way up to the position of Owner of his own family’s repair business. He describes “replacing himself” by delegating tasks to other staff members. Sometimes it does not work out immediately. In those instances, he needs to resume said chores temporarily. The bottom line is that owners have to wear many hats within the auto repair business, thus they need to stay on their toes to adapt to change.

Our own Jim Ryckman chimes in to describe a General Manager is responsibilities. He or she also must delegate jobs amongst the team. However, the GM is often on the floor, right in the action. Thinking on your feet is the key principle! Managers may assist with tickets, tracking parts inventory, and weekly organizational tasks for both the front and back of house staff. Sometimes, perhaps most importantly, they are the face of the shop to customers.

Your GM may need to engage clients in “show and tell” about the repair process, or grab them a cup of coffee. A great General Manager is willing to do anything to make your customers feel welcome! This important position is very challenging, but the more dedicated and flexible you are, the more rewarding it can be!

Explain automotive jobs: Front Counter Staff

Explain automotive jobs: Your Front Counter Staff, or Service Advisors, are crucial!

Explain automotive jobs: Your Front Counter Staff, or Service Advisors, are crucial!

Whether you call it Front Counter Staff, Service Advisor, or Service Writer, this job is a crucial spoke in the automotive shop wheel. Cory explains what this job means to him, since he has experience with training his own front counter staff.

Service Advisors are the conduit between both your customers and your mechanics. They’re responsible for explaining the car’s repair needs to customers. They also must estimate how long repairs will take and how much they will cost.

“Job stacking” is a critical task for a Service Writer. Managing multiple jobs can be tough, so Front Counter Staff need to have excellent time management and organizational skills. Not to mention, they must work with vendors in order to ensure all necessary parts are in stock. The COVID-19 pandemic has presented new challenges to these workers, such as online communication with customers, due to social distancing requirements.

Cory believes that no other position is as integral to an auto repair shop’s income stream than the Service Advisor. You could say that no other auto repair position requires people skills more than that of a Service Writer.

What are the responsibilities of General Service Technicians?

Explain automotive jobs: Car mechanic or General Service Technician

When we explain automotive jobs, we must not leave out the General Service Technician – the heartbeat of your shop!

A General Service Technician is sometimes called a Mechanic by a lay person. It is undoubtedly the heartbeat of any auto repair shop. Techs often perform a thankless job. That is despite the fact that they are required to take regular ASE certification training.

While many facets of the auto repair process don’t change, technology advances dictate their continuing education. Who knows, your shop may have to service a self driving car in the very near future! Mechanics need to know everything from transmission repair to how to fix the computerized engines of 21st century cars and trucks.

Joe is a veteran shop owner who hails from the state of Alabama. He has seen it all in his day! First of all, Joe runs down the ever evolving responsibilities of technicians. He then recalls his own experiences as a mechanic, which began over 50 years ago. Before they engage in continued learning, each tech must have a strong foundation of general know how. Speed of service is also a crucial factor for technicians.

Mechanics are typically the lowest paid team members, but they have plenty of opportunities to advance their careers. General Service Technicians can learn many skills on the job. Whether at their existing shop, or in another industry, they can be valuable hires. Their communication with others in house, plus their flexibility, are important traits. Those skills can help a General Service Tech to eventually move up to an A Tech, Service Writer, or even Owner position over time.

Ready to learn more? Grow your shop’s bottom line with our weekly meetings!

Are staff relationships and automotive repair training confusing you? Do you struggle to put all of the pieces together? Then why not join one of our monthly coaching groups! You will have access to join our live weekly Zoom meetings. They cover topics such as budgeting for profit, hiring, leadership, and much more. Members also have 24/7 access to hours of previous training calls. A library of valuable documents will help to guide you. 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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