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Automotive Repair Technicians

Automotive Technicians won’t do something unless they understand why they are doing it!

February 4, 2020

Automotive Technicians won’t do something unless they understand why they are doing it!

by Feb 4, 2020

“Technicians won’t do something unless they understand why they are doing it.” This was a phrase my dad used frequently when managing the business.

I used to hear this spoken towards one of our managers after some sort of disagreement was brought to light with one of our technicians.

In recent years, it has come as no surprise to me that, In my journey to help elevate auto repair shops and introduce digital vehicle inspections, I sometimes experience resistance from technicians.

That’s fine. I used to be that tech.

My early shop experiences were among traditional mindsets in a third generation family shop. I have yet to hear an objection towards change, or inspections, that I myself didn’t once speak or hear out of one of my co-workers.

Some of the echoes of familiar statements:

  • That takes too long. / I don’t have time for taking pictures.
  • I’m not doing that, if I’m not turning wrenches I’m not making money.
  • That’s not my job. / this is keeping me from fixing cars.
  • I’m not looking for things to sell the customer. / Inspections are gimmicky
  • The shop doesn’t make money while I mess around with a tablet.
  • If the customer wants to see their parts, they can come in and we’ll show them.
  • If the advisor needs pictures, to sell, they don’t know how to sell.
Each of these assertions are simple to understand if you’ve ever worked as a technician.

I eventually learned that my traditional attitude was a part of what was keeping us from achieving our full potential or establishing a more professional image. Through management training, I came to realize that digital vehicle inspections, done right, can powerfully alter the dynamics of our relationship with our clients.

What I realize now:

  • The job is the inspection. Fixing vehicles is only a part of what we do. The most critical part of our job is to ensure a client’s vehicle is safe and dependable. This starts with an inspection.
  • The time you take inspecting a vehicle on intake prevents a “free diagnosis” later for “ever-since-ya” complaints.
  • Looking up the history of previous findings is also quicker than ever with Digital Inspections. Pictures help you remember what you saw before as well!
  • Show and sells are great, but customers visiting the shop pose a liability and ties up a bay while we wait for authorizations that could have been made in minutes.
  • Service advisors do not have time to educate clients on every component of a repair. When was the last seminar you went to that didn’t include pictures in a case study?
  • Who said inspections should be free? I learned to charge for them as a part of the initial diag process. Countless sales strategies can be taught to ensure an inspection is billed as productivity.
Today, my father’s phrase regarding technicians has a practical application for me as I work with shop owners. It is my hope that those of us in management roles will truly consider the technician perspective as we introduce new processes. Start with why. Implemented properly, technicians will become more enthusiastic towards the technology once they see how it contributes to our professional success.
December 2010 – Craig O’Neill
Craig O'Neill

Craig O'Neill

Vice President of Training

Craig O'Neill