Located next to a college, D&R Intensive Car Care in Statesboro, Ga., has never had a problem getting cars to come into the shop. The problem was its average repair order (ARO), which hovered around $180, according to shop owner Ray Driggers. Driggers decided to do some research on digital inspections, which he thought could improve his shop’s ARO.
Within eight months of working with AutoServe1, D&R Car Care doubled its ARO. D&R is not an isolated case of a shop that has seen improvements. According to AutoServe1, repair shops that have used it’s digital inspection process have seen their ARO increase an average of 25 percent. The most important variable is a 3 step process which AutoServe1 refers to as ISR.
- Inspect every vehicle
- Send a report to each customer
- Review the report by phone or in person - whichever is more convenient.
Working so close to a college, Driggers says that the shop was constantly selling jobs like oil and tire changes, but was rarely able to upsell. The technicians at D&R were following a 24-point inspection sheet that didn’t allow for visual aids or any type of meaningful interaction with customers. Plus, Driggers says that since his technicians knew the inspection so well, there were times when it was being rushed or not given the extra care it deserved.
With cars constantly coming in, there were times that Driggers didn’t believe customers were getting the attention that they deserved, which was unacceptable. Driggers decided that the digital inspection process would be a better way to interact with his customers and show them exactly what was going on with their vehicles. After he decided to make the switch to digital, the next step was figuring out which platform would work best.
The AutoServe1 Advantage
D&R tried out several digital inspection products to figure out which one would best fit the shop’s needs. In 2014, Driggers settled on AutoServe1 because it had a video option for the inspections and it allowed him the option to customize. AutoServe1’s Builder1 gives shops complete control over how actions are displayed. Shop owners can drag and drop tabs and reorganize to reflect their own processes.
“It’s difficult to take a photo of a bad ball joint; a video makes it so much easier,” Driggers says. “AutoServe1 also was willing to adapt the inspections to our work environment. AutoServe1 was willing to add in all of those line items for us to check.”
Driggers adds that the working relationship he has with AutoServe1 was another huge selling point for the company.
“Working with AutoServe1 has been fantastic. They usually answer any questions that we have within an hour,” Driggers says.
When D&R first made the switch, the shop’s service advisors and technicians went through a live-web training process that took only about one hour. Beyond that, the owner of AutoServe1 made a special trip to the shop to address all of the staff’s questions. It was this level of commitment that really set AutoServe1 apart from the competition.
A New and Improved Process
Driggers says that when he first implemented the digital inspection process, it was met with some hesitation from his staff. Now, since the staff has had time to adjust, they’re all on board and have come to realize that it actually puts more money in their pockets.
As soon as a customer is signed in, the technican brings the car in and begins the inspection process on his or her tablet. Anytime an item is marked as red or yellow (required or suggested repair) a picture or a video is required. Driggers has set a minimum expectation of taking eight photos per inspection Driggers says that the entire inspection only takes about 12 minutes. As soon as the inspection is finished, the inspection is sent to the service advisor, and the estimate is built and emailed to the customer immediately. This transparent process has helped the shop sell more work by better educating customers.
Beyond an increase in AROs, Driggers says that he’s seen customer satisfaction increase.
“I believe that with digital inspections, we do a better job taking care of our customers,” Driggers says.
The digital inspections help create trust between the shop and the customer. Another way that AutoServe1 does this is by sharing photos of the service advisor and the technician, which allows customers to feel a personal connection with the staff.
Driggers says that the information that’s collected in the vehicle inspection can help with customers that have a problem a few months later. The overall results gets stronger over time - customers that have received AutoServe1 digital inspections on their phone come to expect that we will show them everything we find every time they visit. It has created a more trusting and relaxed environment for everyone.