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SERVICE WRITERS VS TECHNICIANS


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After 44 years and many changes, I have some questions for the group. We have 4 technicians with 1 SW and 1 helper/technician, 1 CSR person and 1 office gal. We had a meeting this morning and one old time tech thinks the SW should go out and write all the info of each car and do the initial test drive before the tech gets the car. The tech then will diag and bring the information to the SW. We have tried it both ways, but in my shop I think the Tech should do the walk around the car, test drive get the vin and info if it is a new car to us, ptherwise it is all in the history on RO Writer our management system. Our CSR and office usually answers the phone, writes up the customer and offers tea or coffee. Just wondering what system all of you use when the customer comes in.

 

I have tried a few different ways of doing this. We have the SW collect all the customer and vehicle information, check for damage and create the tech worksheet. Your technicians are the lifeblood who need to spend time on diagnostics and repairs. The tech should do the test drive as part of the diagnostic. Our SW is responsible for creating estimates, selling services and ordering parts. This helps to ensure there is no break down in communication and the customer has one person to deal with. Make sure you charge for diagnostic time.

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I think the sw should get all info off vehicle and from customer inspect car, lube sticker, wipers etc while creating the tech sheet. He needs to see the odometer, warning lights, etc before creating the worksheet. It should be the techs job to road test etc. At least thats how I do it. The tech does not deal with customer unless it requires a ride along for a noise 99% of communication is done by sw so it can be noted.

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      It always amazes me when I hear about a technician who quits one repair shop to go work at another shop for less money. I know you have heard of this too, and you’ve probably asked yourself, “Can this be true? And Why?” The answer rests within the culture of the company. More specifically, the boss, manager, or a toxic work environment literally pushed the technician out the door.
      While money and benefits tend to attract people to a company, it won’t keep them there. When a technician begins to look over the fence for greener grass, that is usually a sign that something is wrong within the workplace. It also means that his or her heart is probably already gone. If the issue is not resolved, no amount of money will keep that technician for the long term. The heart is always the first to leave. The last thing that leaves is the technician’s toolbox.
      Shop owners: Focus more on employee retention than acquisition. This is not to say that you should not be constantly recruiting. You should. What it does means is that once you hire someone, your job isn’t over, that’s when it begins. Get to know your technicians. Build strong relationships. Have frequent one-on-ones. Engage in meaningful conversation. Find what truly motivates your technicians. You may be surprised that while money is a motivator, it’s usually not the prime motivator.
      One last thing; the cost of technician turnover can be financially devastating. It also affects shop morale. Do all you can to create a workplace where technicians feel they are respected, recognized, and know that their work contributes to the overall success of the company. This will lead to improved morale and team spirit. Remember, when you see a technician’s toolbox rolling out of the bay on its way to another shop, the heart was most likely gone long before that.
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