Innovation Is Changing The Auto Repair Industry
Scheduling your car for regular maintenance and repairs is a nightmare for many people. Depending on where you live, it isn’t convenient to drop your car off at a dealership or automotive repair shop, figure out a way to get to work, and then pick it up when it’s finished.
Getting an appointment to have your vehicle looked at is another problem all by itself. In bigger cities like San Antonio, some repair shops don’t have the capacity to fit a bunch of emergency repairs into their schedule.
Convenient Customer Service
The good news is that technology is on our side when it comes to these accommodations. If a company is willing to automate the scheduling process, it creates a better work balance for the shop and also benefits the customer.
The next post discusses automated appointments:
One way to smooth out your schedule is by getting as many customers as possible on the books early. Offer to schedule future appointments for them as they are checking out. Your staff can say something like, “Based on your vehicle’s mileage, you’ll need your next service check in three months. Would you prefer I slot you in for a morning or evening service appointment?”
If there’s a suggested service that came up during a courtesy check that the customer opted against at this appointment, suggest getting them scheduled in a few months to take care of it.
Read more here: Auto Repair Scheduling: 4 Ways To Keep The Work Balanced
As mentioned in the above article, one problem with automation is that there are more no-shows. This is partially due to being set so far in advance that people forget, so sending out reminders by email or text is critical.
There are a number of options for software that automates the scheduling process. You can find sites like this one that list the best auto repair software, providing ratings that you can go by.
Catering To Customers
You do have to keep in mind that these could just be someone’s opinion, so asking around for referrals from others in the auto industry and online reviews might also be helpful.
In this video about Paragon Honda of New York City, they have taken technology and customer service to the next level:
With all of the computer chips and sensors on today’s vehicles, they are pretty complicated to work on. They are basically a computer on wheels, making the days of traditional car repair a thing of the past.
Tablet computers are a big part of a repair technician’s toolbox in today’s auto repair industry, but things may soon get even more high tech, with augmented reality potentially becoming part of the diagnostic and repair equipment.
Augmented Reality and Car Repair
In this next post, the use of enhanced technology to repair automotive computer components is discussed:
These expensive components are already changing how cars are repaired. But even more changes are on the horizon. Soon, augmented reality might mean that auto technicians might sport Google Glass headsets that feed visual information about the car to a computer that guides the mechanic through the process, and an app program that can help the technician visualize areas that are out of view or out of reach. Volkswagen was among the first manufacturers to float the idea of such technology, and introduced an interface called MARTA for the upcoming VW XL1, which features an intricate diesel-hybrid drivetrain [source: Okulski]. MARTA (Mobile Augmented Reality Technical Assistance) can save technicians valuable time learning the ins and outs of an unusual vehicle, and, Volkswagen hopes, may even improve safety on the job. Researchers say that someday, augmented reality apps might be written for consumers to use for repairs on-the-go, paired with smartphone cameras. Future versions of augmented reality technology might even replace the traditional paper owner’s manual booklet [source: Stewart].
See the full post here: 5 Futuristic Auto Repair Technologies
The use of this type of technology isn’t going to lower the cost of having your car worked on, as repair shops have to purchase the expensive equipment to keep up. It is making it harder for smaller local repair shops to stay afloat without focusing on a specific type of automobile or niche.