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Technician/Service Writer Dual Role


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I was offered a job today. My service manager asked me if I would like to be a service writer AND a technician at the same time. I asked him, well how would that work?? His suggestion was to spend this amount of time in the shop, and this amount of time at the desk...."we will work some kind of schedule out." I have worked on cars for about 14 years now, I don't want to turn wrenches forever. I do want to move up in the world, and his suggestion was to get exposure in all areas of the service department. Has anyone done this before, or just any opinions would be greatly appreciated!

 

Brian

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I second and third the above

There is so many things to be taken into consideration, close to impossible to recommend...

 

I'd say, ask yourself why did he offer it to you. Who will benefit the most from the "transition"? I recommend getting your C1 ASE first, shadow the writer for couple of hours a week (2-3 weeks), so it does not negatively affect your earning ability. Then start saving and stashing the money away. That way if you make any kind of move, you fell safer, bolder and more confident at whatever you end up doing.

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Thanks for all the input. One of our service writers hit the road. I would fill in when the other writers had days off. I'm just not a sit behind the desk all day kind of guy. There is deffinetley more pay involved, and If it was easy everyone would do it. Maybe I'll give it a test drive for a few weeks! Thanks again everybody!

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Cars don't talk back....people do. Keep that in mind when you're in the service writer side of things. Ya get used to it, but it's a lot easier to bitch at a stubborn bolt then deal with a "bitch" in the lobby.

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That's a good point, I have always feared being a service writer and being too "technical" with the customers. Building relationships with customers is what I have been trying to work on the past year, but its kind of hard to do that in a dealership, but I have left hundreds of business cards in customers dashes! And yes, putting wrenches down is hard, it's almost a pride thing.

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Guess I'm the weird one in the group, but I can't wait to put my wrenches down! ASE Master Certified, blah blah blah, I'll take a desk job with slacks and a Polo/button down shirt any day over bending over a fender and busting knuckles! However, I have always been very social, told I have the 'gift of gab', etc. On top of that, service writers USUALLY (not always) make better money. And they don't go home with cuts on their greasy hands, a snap-on bill, and a bad back.

 

Sure, 'wrenching' might be fun, but for a career, I know what I want! That's like choosing between playing football and golf. Football might be fun, but golf isn't gonna beat you to death. I'm sure not everyone will agree with me, just thought I would give my opinion.

 

Brian, I would go for the opportunity, work your butt off, read some books on relationship building & friend making & sales, learn to shave daily, smile, and put the wrenches down. Worse case scenario, you unlock your box again, and pick the wrenches back up.

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  • Have you checked out Joe's Latest Blog?

         5 comments
      I recently spoke with a friend of mine who owns a large general repair shop in the Midwest. His father founded the business in 1975. He was telling me that although he’s busy, he’s also very frustrated. When I probed him more about his frustrations, he said that it’s hard to find qualified technicians. My friend employs four technicians and is looking to hire two more. I then asked him, “How long does a technician last working for you.” He looked puzzled and replied, “I never really thought about that, but I can tell that except for one tech, most technicians don’t last working for me longer than a few years.”
      Judging from personal experience as a shop owner and from what I know about the auto repair industry, I can tell you that other than a few exceptions, the turnover rate for technicians in our industry is too high. This makes me think, do we have a technician shortage or a retention problem? Have we done the best we can over the decades to provide great pay plans, benefits packages, great work environments, and the right culture to ensure that the techs we have stay with us?
      Finding and hiring qualified automotive technicians is not a new phenomenon. This problem has been around for as long as I can remember. While we do need to attract people to our industry and provide the necessary training and mentorship, we also need to focus on retention. Having a revolving door and needing to hire techs every few years or so costs your company money. Big money! And that revolving door may be a sign of an even bigger issue: poor leadership, and poor employee management skills.
      Here’s one more thing to consider, for the most part, technicians don’t leave one job to start a new career, they leave one shop as a technician to become a technician at another shop. The reasons why they leave can be debated, but there is one fact that we cannot deny, people don’t quit the company they work for, they usually leave because of the boss or manager they work for.
      Put yourselves in the shoes of your employees. Do you have a workplace that communicates, “We appreciate you and want you to stay!”
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