Quality Control

Why Your Auto Repair Shop Should Practice Quality Control

November 3, 2023

When a customer trusts your shop with their car care, even the little signals you send matters. So, imagine if they get into their car and a grease smear stains their hands or clothes. That makes them question your auto shop quality control measures.

And it could cost you their business.

After all, you don’t want customers to have any doubts about your ability to perform top-notch work. Instead, exceed their expectations by using these nine strategies to always overdeliver.

Why Quality Control Matters for Auto Repair Shops

By taking care of the details on every repair order, you set a higher standard that will pay off for your auto repair shop. You may be surprised to learn that it creates ripples in five different ways:

Customer Satisfaction – If a customer arrived in a clean car, they want to leave in the same way. They don’t want to know the messy details of what tools you used, then left behind on the floor. Rather, impress them with how well the car runs, making you look like a trustworthy genius.

Safety and Liability – Leaving off a cap can lead to leaks that damage the engine and leave you in legal limbo. However, auto shop quality control ensures that this step never gets overlooked.

Reputation and Brand Loyalty – When friends ask for a referral, do you want your customer to remember a high-quality repair or the small error that surprised them? Take away the guessing game by consistently delivering the quality assurance you expect to wow your loyal customer base.

Cost Savings – Get it done right the first time and never double back. Not only does this make your shop efficient, it also reduces warranty claims. That also impresses customers whose time is equally valuable.

Compliance and Regulations – Adhering to quality-control measures makes sure you hit every step to comply with industry regulations and standards.

9 Strategies to Ensure Quality Control

#1: Tap into a Software like Autoflow

You don’t have to reinvent the wheel to get your shop in ship shape. Instead, learn from companies who have already worked with the top shops to create repair processes that pay off.

For instance, did you know that Autoflow offers the leading digital vehicle inspection (DVI) platform for streamlining quality control processes? Its systems work for auto repair shops and other businesses in the automotive industry.

Using its platform can improve quality control for your auto shop by making your team more accountable for its hits and misses. That way, you gain confidence in their work and your shop’s reputation soars.

With Autoflow’s Quality Control Solution, you begin each day with:

  • Turn-key quality control checklists
  • Seamless integration with SMS work orders
  • No time-consuming paper shuffling processes
  • Full buy-in thanks to onboarding, training and support

Book a demo today to see how easily you can get started.

#2: Create a Comprehensive Program for Staff Training

Put your staff on par with your best certified technicians. First, develop a structured training program that covers safety protocols, customer service and technical skills. Now, no one has any excuses to fall short.

Next, reinforce your auto shop quality controls with continuous education and certifications to keep your staff’s skills updated.

#3: Select Quality Parts and Suppliers

When you cut corners, customers and their cars know it. On the other hand, if you work with reliable parts suppliers, you will deliver better quality, reliability and – ultimately – cost-effectiveness. For optimal quality, use OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturer) parts.

#4: Establish a Schedule for Equipment Maintenance

Don’t leave your equipment’s fine-tuning to chance. Just as you advise customers to come in for tune-ups, do the same for your machinery. 

First, create a step-by-step plan and maintenance schedule for tools and equipment, then stick with it. Overall, it will save you from costly repairs and ensure your staff’s safety.

#6: Standardize Repair Work Procedures

If your top tech does a job well, teach others how to follow this person’s example. Once you have that process on paper, your next hire easily falls right into line with the rest of the team. 

Above all, standard operating procedures (SOPs) for everything from oil changes to transmission rebuilds provide a clear roadmap. With each one, you reduce errors and deliver first-rate automotive repair services consistently.

#7: Set Up Quality Assurance Checks

Once upon a time, Golden Rule Auto Care in Texas found itself facing frequent complaints about small oversights that kept adding up. In response, its service writer focused on a checklist of nine issues and found out 80 percent of vehicles had at least one problem. Next, he mapped them out to gauge overall auto shop quality control.

After the team saw the results, they created checklists to capture each often-overlooked step. Then, they worked as a team to make sure they didn’t miss a single one. Now, those extra few minutes make all the difference in auto shop quality control.

#8: Improve Customer Feedback and Communication

Most importantly, listen to your customers. Their comments can illuminate where your techs fall short so you can correct the problem. Even better, they may have a great solution to share with you. 

#9: Keep a Detailed Record of Repairs

Stop chasing paper trails of hastily scrawled notes that you likely cannot read. Detailed records help you track quality management by:

  • Storing past repairs 
  • Recording customer interactions
  • Systematically organizing these records
  • Securely storing files

As the Golden Auto Care team learned, you can only improve quality control efforts if you have the data.

Conclusion

At first, having quality control measures may feel like an unnecessary step. However, they ultimately save time and money, while improving standards and safety. You already have the tools to raise the bar; you just need to invest time to plan it out.

In the end, customers appreciate climbing into a clean car that you’ve topped up with the oil they paid for. Don’t give them an excuse to question your expertise. Instead, reinforce that you run a reputable shop worthy of their business.

Autoflow makes all this easy, offering a comprehensive solution for across-the-board quality control for your auto repair shop. Find out how we work with your systems to produce memorable results. Book a demo today.

Chris Cloutier

Chris Cloutier

Architect/President at Autoflow

The Desire for Continuous Improvement

As an auto repair shop owner of Golden Rule Auto Care, Chris Cloutier realized the need for a better way to communicate with his customers as he observed how communication gaps created bottleneck situations and wasted valuable rack time.

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Chris Cloutier