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Auto Repair Shops Text to Greater Efficiency
MAY 18, 2014 17:07 PM
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By Mike Risich

Whether the intent is to ask a simple “what’s for dinner,” to be notified when your prescription is ready, or to quickly let someone know you’re running late, text messaging is the preferred communication choice for millions of Americans.

No longer viewed as a teenagers-only form of chatting, or wasting time, trillions of text messages are sent between an estimated 5 billion people each year for a variety of communication purposes.  

A growing number of text message users work in the nation’s 275,000 independent auto repair shops. Instead of spending time calling after customers for approvals on service recommendations, to communicate that repairs have been completed, or to share vehicle diagnoses, repair technicians are taking to texting.

Automotive software solutions that integrate with repair shops’ management systems easily enable techs to complete and seamlessly text (and email) digital multi-point inspections, service recommendations and, in a growing number of instances, illustrate to the customer in a way only photographs can, why specific repairs are necessary. Text messages, inspections, repair orders and more are stored at the shop location, as well as on the cloud.

The advantages for customers are fairly obvious. The ability to “see” recommended maintenance while scrolling images and work orders on their cell phone or tablet can be done from the convenience of their home, office, meeting, and more without the need to disrupt their day while a repair tech tries to explain over the phone why their brakes are failing, or battery should be replaced, and so on.

For automotive repair shops, integrating texting functionality helps businesses be more efficient in day-to-day operations.

First, texting or emailing a completed estimate, inspection report, or work order-and accompanying photographs-has been proven to speed up the customer approval process to 37 minutes on average as compared to 1 hour and 17 minutes for traditional customer communication methods. Faster approval times mean shops can service more customers. In addition, quicker approvals make it less likely for vehicles to be removed from lifts only to be re-added hours later once customers are reached.

Besides speeding up the customer review and approval process, wireless features help to lessen the time it takes automotive techs to complete repair orders and inspections. This mobile technology, which functions either with a mobile device or a tablet, enables techs to seamlessly scan a car’s vehicle identification number, which helps to increase efficiency and accuracy over writing the information out by hand.

Eliminating the need to handwrite customer repair orders, inspection reports and more saves precious time and prevents techs from, later on, having to decipher what was written. In turn, both help to boost efficiency.

Above all, integrating the ability to send and receive text messages with the repair shop’s management system is becoming the time-saving norm - for both shop owners and consumers. And who wouldn’t love more time these days?

For more information on wireless technology visit www.boltontechnology.com

Bio

Mike Risich has been involved in software development since 1995. While teaching a Microsoft-based class in Bucks County, Pa., a student who owned an auto repair shop asked for help with the computer programs he used to organize sales. Mike realized a large gap between the technologies used in the automotive industry and those that were available in other industries.

The opportunity to develop time-saving software solutions already in use by doctors, dentists, convenience stores and airports became apparent. His introduction to the automotive industry began in 2008 with the formation of BOLT ON TECHNOLOGY - a software solutions company based strictly in the automotive world.

His affiliations quickly grew to partnerships, including with Mitchell 1, a Snap-On Tools company, which has officially licensed three of BOLT ON TECHNOLOGY’s products. The company serves thousands of auto repair shops across the U.S., Canada, South America and Guam.

Web site: www.boltontechnology.com Email: info@boltontechnology.com

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