Date:
By: Anina Diener

Sometimes even the most hardworking technicians and service advisors can find it difficult to stay productive. We have come up with 8 tips using professional auto body shop information and feedback. Read and implement the following for in order to boost your productivity and make the most of your (and your team’s) work day.

1. Keep cool (or warm – depending on the season!)
If at all possible, try to sustain a comfortable ambient temperature in the shop and in the bays. It is a good idea to bring in fans or heaters to circulate air and/or heat the air if it is necessary.

2. Drink Plenty…
Some days fans just aren’t enough. Employees appreciate if you offer cold bottles of water or sports drinks. Not only does it boost employee moral and appreciation, but it prevents dehydration and decreases chances of workers becoming dehydrated.

Even when it is cold, it is important to stay hydrated with water, but I am sure employees would especially appreciate access to hot drinks such as coffee, tea, and hot cocoa for this time of year.

3. Take a breather…
It is hard to accept that offering employees/technicians more breaks is not counter-productive, but studies have actually proven that employees who take more breaks are more effective during their time at work. Not only that, but if employees are together during break time, it can help to enhance relationships between employees. They will have time to build a link outside of work related topics, thus making it easier for them to understand and work with each other afterwards.

4. Say ‘Thank You’
Acknowledge your team for a job well done. When your staff feel appreciated, they are more likely to stay motivated and productive. By making it a habit to notice the good and then saying something in gratitude, this will do wonderful things for your culture.

5. Keep Communication Channels Open
If both employees and management aim to keep their communication clear and constant, this will reduce misunderstandings and repeat efforts, thus saving valuable time. One program that is recommended by some body shops is Mobile Manager Pro. It has a chat feature that you can use to let everyone in your team know the status of customers’ vehicles. This means that technicians no longer need to walk up to the front of the shop to update the service advisor, but rather can do it all electronically – thus increasing efficiency.

Not only that, but make sure that if you are in management, you have a good relationship with your employees. This makes it easier for them to bring concerns and/or feedback to you. This way you can work to constantly improve.

6. Don’t Be Afraid of Technology

If you want your business to remain competitive in today’s world, you must embrace technology. With the right systems and processes, you are able to enhance reporting, accountability, customer service, and much more! Technicians’ ability and willingness to be productive is majorly enhanced if you (as the employer or manager) are clearly always striving to make their work life easier. They may take a little bit of time to get used to technology, but once they are adjusted, they usually appreciate the fact that you are an industry leader and looking out for the future of the company.

Implementing fully wireless multi-point inspections, for instance, will reduce the time a technician spends on writing out the recommended services for a customer, because ideally, the system you implement will have stored recommendations and jobs.

Implement automated appointment scheduling: There are systems out there like Lube Sticker Pro, that accurately predict when the next visit should be. It then automatically adds these appointments to the calendar within your shop management system and prints stickers to put on the vehicle’s windshield. This simplifies follow up and helps keep you in front of customers.

Use text messaging communications: In today’s world, it is too busy to manually call up and confirm appointments. If you use automated text messages to remind customers about appointments, this will relieve a load off of the people in the office.

7. Put up-selling in customers’ hands
If you show customers all the options while educating them about what they are working with, they will upsell themselves. You can do this through resources such as self serve kiosks or very informative step-by-step websites. These resources can do things like allow the user to check in for service, select the services they would like to have performed, consider popular and suggested services, and review weather-related suggestions such as windshield wipers during a rainstorm. These things will help lessen the workload of the service advisors, and allow customers to choose what they would like to have done without feeling pressured to buy more than they want to.

8. Eliminate bottlenecks and unnecessary steps
By constantly analyzing your processes, you can find and eliminate bottlenecks and unnecessary steps. To put it into perspective, think about Amazon’s one click order. By saving your information they can simplify your buying process to only one step – thus making the user experience better and the likelihood of return business higher. In the auto industry this could be achieved through implementing some of the above suggested processes, as well as keeping detailed records of your customers.