Why vehicle inspections are important, and digital inspections are even more important

by | Oct 19, 2016

Whenever I am asked why vehicle inspections are important, my answer is simple: you owe it to your customers to report the overall health of their vehicles.

Personally, if I went to a doctor because of a strange-looking growth and he checked out the growth yet didn’t check my pulse, take my temperature, nor ask additional questions core to my overall health, not only would I be surprised, but I’d also feel that I had been given a disservice. Whether our customers realize it or not, we owe it to them to report the overall health of their vehicle. That is our duty. Afterall, it impacts that which matters most…their safety.

Why do I think digital inspections are even more important? Presentation and a better sales process.

When was it acceptable for your customer to turn in a handwritten report to their boss that contained spelling errors and grease spots? Never. Even in grade school, children are now being taught how to deliver digital documents. Likewise, we should present to our customer in the same fashion they use and are accustomed to.

And, how would a digital inspection improve and facilitate the sales process? We have a society that often says “No” when asked, “May I help you?” We don’t need help (or, at least we think we don’t), and we certainly don’t need what you’re selling. And, yet we expect our service advisors to get on the phone and sell $1,000 worth of services to a customer (all needed) in the first 30 seconds of a phone call. AdvisorFix‘s Jeremy O’Neal proved this to my shop: if you send the digital inspection to a customer to digest for a few minutes before talking to them on the phone, they have a tendency to respond in a much more receptive way. They have the ability to look over the sheet, gain a better understanding, and not be shocked when you talk with them. And, the more savvy clients might even go to repairpal.com and get an idea of the costs to be well prepared for the conversation. Telling a customer they have $1,000 needed in repairs and then immediately asking if they’re ready to buy without any forewarning or preparation will get you a high percentage of no’s.

Yes, I have a product on the market that offers a digital inspection, but I’ve included a list of a few companies offering digital inspection sheets. They all serve the same purpose, and that is to benefit the shop and the customer. Go ahead, kick the tires, and find the one that best suits you: autotext.me (from yours truly), Bolt On Technology, AutoVitals, E-Inspect, AutoServe1, and Prospect, to name a few.

Chris Cloutier

Chris Cloutier

Architect/President at autotext.me

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. With 20+ years experience as a software developer including employment stints at Southwest Airlines and Wyndham International, Chris had seen the benefits of the marriage of software and customer service.  With the entrepreneurial passion to create an innovative solution to solve a common industry problem, Chris designed autotext.me, a tool that dually functions as a visual workflow management system and as a means for keeping customers engaged and informed by providing status updates throughout the stages of the vehicle repair process. Click here to read more...

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