Digital Vehicle Inspection Apps Pave the Way for Growing Shop Revenue
Lack of transparency has long thrown a monkey wrench into the relationship between auto service shops and their customers. Auto service and repair shops have long dealt with the challenge of maintaining customer trust. A recent AAA survey found, “two out of three U.S. drivers do not trust auto repair shops in general, citing overcharges, recommendations for unnecessary services and poor past experiences for their lack of confidence.” Without any insight into why repairs and services are being recommended, car owners often feel they have to take the shop’s word at face value.
This issue of customer mistrust stems in large part from the use of outdated communications processes. Most auto repair shops are still bogged down with legacy paper-based vehicle inspection and reporting processes, which are often difficult for customers to read. Paper records are also challenging to store and manage, and present a legitimate fire hazard in the shop. Customers, on the other hand, are starting to expect information to be sent to them digitally. In order to stay competitive, service shops need to find a way to communicate better in an increasingly “on-demand” world.
For all of these reasons, shop owners are starting to phase out paper-based vehicle inspection and customer communication processes and replacing them with more efficient, cost-effective and safer digital inspection and communication apps and processes. And many of them are finding that digital solutions help scale their businesses, increase car counts, and boost average repair orders (AROs), too.
“I was looking for a standardized inspection solution that can be customized, and that allows for prioritized orders,” Siegel explains.
Digital vehicle inspections are not only well received by customers but also by shop technicians. At Siegel’s shop, there was very little shop training required and his technicians were able to quickly and easily get set up.
John Poulet (above on left), service manager at Menlo Park Chevron is also using the Driveroo Inspector app, and points to ease-of-use of a key benefit.
“My guys use it all the time. Our SMOG guy who’s been with us for eight years was very happy to switch from a paper-based system," he says. "They also really like being able to take photos of repair areas. This has been a big help with customer communications. It’s a win-win for the shop and our customers.”
In addition to replacing paper-based forms for inspections, Driveroo Inspector is designed to identify current and potential maintenance issues, which helps with upsell opportunities. Driveroo Inspector also helps with marketing by offering incentives to potential customers by offering free battery and wiper blade inspections. These features help boost AROs and customer referrals.
“There’s a growing segment of my customer base that is increasingly more digital savvy but also has less time on their hands. These customers appreciate the ability to review and approve repairs seamlessly and without having to come into the shop,” explains Poulet. “We’ve been able to get more cars in and upsell more jobs because of Driveroo Inspector. We get a lot of repeat customers who enjoy the transparent experience.”
Seigel concurs, saying, “Yes, the customization is great and there are lots of possibilities for income and ARO growth.”
Digital vehicle inspection reports cut through the paper clutter, require no physical space for storage and don’t present a fire hazard. Photo-enhanced reports provide more transparency in the communications and help to build customer trust. Digital reports are quicker to produce, easier to update and share, and ultimately more cost-effective. By identifying additional opportunities for predictive maintenance, they are also are increasing monthly car counts and AROs.
Are you ready to go digital? Try the Driveroo Inspector application for free today.