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Digital Inspections

If Your Shop Isn’t Providing Them, It’s Time to Shift Gears

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KEYWORDS Straight Talk

"Digital inspections” are all the rage these days and with good reason. During a pre-work safety inspection or as a result of diagnostics or during disassembly, the technician can easily snap a photo (or video) using a modern scan tool or digital pad device. You can then show the customer what the problem is or use a text message to the customer if the customer is at a different location after dropping the vehicle off. This offers transparency, proving to the customer a specific problem or need for repair. 

As a case in point, I recently observed technicians performing a safety inspection prior to installing a set of new tires. They quickly discovered a loose (and ready to separate) outer tie rod end. One of the techs immediately showed a digital photo and video of the concern to the vehicle owner, providing proof of the need for repair. While this particular shop has a glowing reputation for quality work and honest dealings since the tech provided visual proof and a clear explanation of the hazard, the first-time customer didn’t need to wonder if she was being taken advantage of, and immediately approved the repair. The technicians also took snapshots of the vehicle’s odometer, VIN plate, checking fluid levels, tire inflation pressures, existing body damage (dents, scratches), etc, all to be stored in the customer’s file for current or future reference.

Given the availability of devices that can capture images (and sound) and the ease of presenting this to the on-site customer or remotely by messaging/texting to customers in a heartbeat, this provides reassurance to vehicle owners in a much more direct and efficient manner as opposed to trying to explain the issue over the phone or in your shop’s waiting room and serves to increase the customer’s trust factor.

Performing a digital inspection also allows you to create and maintain a visual record of the concern and repair, again which can be stored in the customer’s file.

If your shop isn’t providing a digital inspection, please consider adding this feature. Shops that have adopted this customer communication process have reported a substantial increase in service sales, in many cases by as much as 70%, as well as speeding up the job process.

This is a good example of how modern technology works in our favor. A plethora of available software allows seamless integration between the hand-held tool and office management, speeding up parts ordering, customer history files and billing.  

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