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Auto-repair software counters customer skepticism

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An auto repair shop in Leacock Township, Lancaster County, is using technology to erase doubt in its customers about the need for repairs – and generating more work to boot.

Software used by Intercourse Automotive 4x4 allows its technicians to take photos of car problems, make notes and send them to customers.

Owner Alvin Esh says the software, Mobile Manager Pro, helps convince customers of automotive problems that they otherwise would have ignored.

Auto repair technicians are frequently met with skepticism when they tell customers about problems with their cars.

“It built clarity between me and my clients because they can see what is bad,” Esh said. “They believe me when I say that because they can see it.”

BOLT ON Technology in Upper Southampton Township, Bucks County created Mobile Manager Pro in 2013 to give technical-oriented mechanics a way to provide simple explanations to clients.

“By empowering the technician to use technology to document visually what he has found, it makes it simpler for him to communicate those findings to the vehicle owner and create trust,” said Mike Risich, founder and CEO of BOLT ON Technology.

Esh said that since Intercourse Automotive began using the software, customers are less likely to ignore problems that they can clearly see on the app. He said that clients who once asked the shop to fix the bare minimum to keep cost down will now return to the shop to fix everything. The shop’s average earnings per vehicle has gone from about $250 to $1,000, according to Esh.

“It’s more than doubled or tripled each invoice. We come up with an estimate of $4,000 and they will ask for us to fix the safety issues and we will do half now and half later,” Esh said. “It also pushes the car count down because we can work them out by urgency.”

Mobile Manager Pro also helps technicians auto-schedule appointments, send messages to customers and other technicians in the shop, access specific vehicle repair information, and send inspection results to clients.

Earlier this month, an employee of Intercourse Automotive used the app to photograph a frozen part in a customer’s vehicle, submitting what turned out to be Mobile Manager’s 20 millionth photo.

Risich said that it took four years for the company to reach 10 million photos, but it reached the 20 million milestone within a year.

“Intercourse Automotive 4x4 has been one of our most prolific and productive customers,” Risich said. “They appreciate the value of showing as well as telling a vehicle owner the ‘why’ behind their repair recommendations.”

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