An Inside Look at Your Vehicle
Explaining what’s wrong with a vehicle is often difficult without a visual aid. For customers that might not understand what a certain part is, he or she may hesitate how that part isn’t operating the way it should be.
In order to address miscommunication between the shop and customers, BOLT ON TECHNOLOGY offers “Mobile Manager Pro,” a digital vehicle inspection tool that allows customers to better understand the courtesy inspection process. Using a tablet with a built-in camera, the technician uses the software to take and store photos and videos of specific vehicle issues throughout the inspection and send them directly to the customer via text message.
“The whole inspection takes place on the tablet,” said John ‘JB’ Burkhauser, Director of Education at BOLT ON TECHNOLOGY.
When using Mobile Manager Pro, customers are able to view what happens behind the scenes by accessing photos from the inspection as well as live demonstrations of the repair issue in the form of a video.
“Now you’re out under the car, looking at all of the [parts], and technicians can point out the problem,” Burkhauser says. “You don’t have to try to describe these things to the customers over the phone.”
Joe Hanson, owner of Gordie’s Garage, in Roseville, MI., uses Mobile Manager Pro installed on a total of six tablets at his shop and says customers have been pleased with the ability to view photos from the repair.
“Our guideline is that we want to show the customers pictures that are “good” [parts in working condition] vs. pictures that are bad [parts that need to be repaired or replaced],” Hanson says.
Determine What Works
Once purchasing Mobile Manager Pro, it’s important to try it out with the team in order to make sure everyone is on the same page. Burkhauser says there are advantages to knowing how the system works before implementing it on the shop floor.
When using BOLT ON’s Mobile Manager Pro, the tablet offers a three-color labeling system that dictates what condition a specific part is in.
In the inspection process, technicians can identify the condition of each part by three colors: green (everything is good), yellow (caution; repair is needed in the future) and red (immediate safety issue).
“I think it’s important for a shop to have a consistent understanding of what the colors mean. That’s what makes it more consistent,” Burkhauser says.
Hanson’s shop takes photos for all cases, he says.
“We take good [parts] pictures and we for sure take bad [parts] ones,” Hanson says.
Find Your Number
After taking photos of an inspection, it’s important to determine the amount of photos that are necessary to send over to a customer. In Hanson’s shop, he’s found that five photos are most impactful with customers.
“One hundred percent of the cars get inspected, no matter what. The advisors have to quote it all, and technicians know that we will not complete an inspection unless it has a minimum of five photos,” Hanson says.
The shop has found success in submitting five photos, and Hanson says the number five was done through trial and error after bringing in Mobile Manager Pro early this year. Hanson’s shop found that 1–4 photos typically resulted in tickets reaching $167, tickets with 5–7 photos were over $500, and 7–9 photos could reach up to $850 on a ticket.
In addition, offering video can assist in identifying a certain noise or movement that occurs on the car, which can serve as further evidence of a repair.
“It builds that transparency between us and the customer,” Hanson says.
Lastly, the customer can feel confident exiting the shop knowing that his or her car is safer than when it entered.
“It’s more of an educational thing than a sales pitch,” Burkhauser says, regarding the inspection process. “For the first time, every customer gets to see and understand what the shop is talking about.”