More Pay, Less Headaches, with tools you already have.
Written by Aaron Marion
Sounds too good to be true right? For some of the more experienced Techs in our business, it may be. But if you’ve made it this far, and you’re on board with the Mechanic Alliance Movement, then it stands to reason that you’re interested in advancing your career, position, pay, maybe all the above. If this sounds like you, then I want you to take a second and try to recall the vehicles that you inspected today. Now ask yourself a few of these questions.
Did a front of the house staff member (advisor, manager, owner) annoy you with some seemingly dumb questions?
Did a repair you quoted fail to sell?
Did you get an incorrect part?
“But Aaron, what the heck am I supposed to do about all these problems? I’m a tech, I can’t change this stuff!”
I’m going to challenge that a little bit. I’m probably going to ruffle some feathers. We’re gonna be okay.
Did you write good notes? Did you add documentation like a Pre Scan, or PDF copies of TSBs? Did you add photographs of failed components?
“Allright, allright, allright, that’s what this is about?” Yep, we’re going there. It’s 2022, inflation is real, Diesel Fuel is $5.29 in Texas! We can’t afford not to raise our level of professionalism!
These are the things that the true professionals are doing in every service industry. Call your doctor and ask him what your blood pressure was on your last three checkups. I bet they have it documented. You’re paying a lot of money and expect your doctor to be a professional. We need to hold each other to these higher standards, and I have for you a real example where simple note taking and documentation have really paid off for me personally in the last 5 months.
Earlier this year, a young tech who worked for us was doing some repairs on a late model Nissan. I had been diligently checking on him and encouraging him to run pre scans and upload them to Tekmetric. He listened. This particular Nissan had some Mass Air Flow faults, the repair was performed. Satisfied Customer. Fast Forward 3 months, the car winds up in my bay as a “come-back”. Previous tech has moved on, and the repair falls to me.
“Customer States CEL is on AGAIN, we just fixed it”
I pull the vehicle in, start my Pre scan and start a quick visual inspection. Scan complete, so I upload it and my next step is to check history. BINGO, different faults, different system, documentation to prove it. Customer paid for a testing and diagnosis fee, the second repair was declined but the customer was satisfied. I didn’t have to make a free repair, the shop and myself still made money! Started as a comeback, ended as a sale! Simple documentation, probably added 45 seconds to the length of the repair process.
Who likes spending half your day talking to service writers?
I know I don’t… (They feel the same way.)
The better our notes and documentation are, the less time we need to be face to face. If we’re being honest, those “dumb” questions they ask, aren’t dumb to a general consumer. It doesn’t always feel like our job, but a few moments of note taking, and training the staff to read them, will make your stress level go down and productivity go up.
Now I know what some of you are saying to yourself, you’re not good with words, or aren’t confident in your ability to explain the concepts even though you fully understand them. Some of you are saying to yourself, that it’s not your problem, and if you quote 2 hours of diag, it’s 2 hours of diag and that’s all that matters. To the latter, 1999 wants it’s techs back. For those of us who are on board with taking this craft to another level, LETS HELP EACH OTHER! We have the skills and experience to help you take better notes, improve your documentation and writing, increase your value to your BOSS. Or………… build those skills you’re going to need when you are the boss! I’m challenging you guys to start a thread on the Facebook page. Post your notes from a repair, honor system. If you think you’re great at it, post to help those of us who aren’t. Think you stink at it? Let us help you, post your notes and someone will give you some positive feedback on a different, or better way to word your scenario. We can all get better at this stuff, there are a few thousand years of experience floating around Mechanic Alliance. Lets push each other forward! Join the Movement!