In the heavy-duty repair shop business, it’s vital for every repair to be a successful one. Your shop and your reputation depend on it. To keep customers happy and coming back—and to keep your shop running smoothly—here are seven steps for successful truck repair. Following them will help make your shop successful, and the right truck repair software will make it all a snap.
Step 1—Create a Service Order and Assign a Tech
This one might sound pretty easy, but it’s important that whoever takes the order fully understand the customer’s complaint, including all the relevant details, before creating a service order. Without the details such as what the problem feels like and how the truck is acting, the technician won’t have all the info he needs to do the job right. Let’s look at a common example of a complaint.
A customer brings his truck into your shop in the late afternoon and says the air conditioning isn’t working. Without asking any further questions, the service writer creates an order. Then, he assigns the job to a tech for the next day. When the tech examines the truck in the morning, the AC works fine. He calls the customer to pick up the truck. That afternoon, the customer comes back, hot and angry. He says the AC still isn’t working. If the service writer had asked, he would have learned that the AC had been working for the customer in the mornings but blowing hot in the afternoon. What’s more, when the truck sits for a few hours, the AC starts working again. With those essential pieces to the puzzle, the tech can accurately diagnose the problem and identify the necessary parts. Segue to the next step:
Step 2—Diagnose Problems and Identify the Necessary Parts for the Job
Heavy-duty truck repair software is the best way to ensure your techs have all the relevant information to accurately diagnose a problem, as well as identify the necessary parts for the job. It will follow the 3 Cs of repair: Complaint, Cause, Correction. The right software also organizes all your service orders. It makes them searchable and they’ll be legible, too, so your techs can get to work faster. Plus, they’ll have access to each truck’s full repair history. Armed with that info, techs know what work has already been done and what preventive maintenance needs to be performed to keep the vehicle running in top shape. That’s good for your customers, their trucks, and your shop.
Step 3—Price the Parts
Creating accurate, consistent, and fast part estimates ensures your shop operates efficiently and it ups the customer confidence quotient—and Cloud-based truck repair software makes it all possible. With a tool like that in place, technicians no longer have to walk price sheets over to parts managers whenever they need a part. And parts managers no longer have to make calls to every vendor on their list for prices. With Cloud-based truck repair software, your parts manager gets a notification every time a tech needs a part price. Furthermore, he can leverage your entire order history to price parts and add the proper markups, using a graduated markup scale. Parts markup should happen automatically. And it’s all done from within the system.
Step 4—Get the Service Order Authorized
Wanting to get going on a job right away is only natural, but ordering parts or starting the work before you get customer authorization isn’t a good idea. What if the customer is just getting estimates and isn’t even planning on having the work done right away? Without the customer’s go-ahead, there’s no guarantee you’ll get paid for the job, and unpaid jobs affect your bottom line PDQ.
The right truck repair software provides your customers with quick, accurate estimates that are easy to read and include all the relevant information. Plus, the software makes it possible to request an electronic signature to authorize your tech to start on the job right away. On top of giving you the proof you need if an issue arises later, it also allows you to start and finish jobs faster, so you’ll have room and time for more business.
Step 5—Order and Receive Parts
Related to Step 4, you usually shouldn’t order parts before your customer authorizes you to start a job. Otherwise, you could end up with a surplus of nonrefundable parts sitting on your shelves and depreciating. You could always send unneeded parts back, but that can involve paying a restocking fee. Then again, once you have authorization, you’ll want to act quickly because the sooner you have the right parts on hand, the sooner you can finish the job and get paid. That’s where truck repair software comes to the rescue once more. You’ll be able to place an order from a specific vendor directly through the software if you don’t already have the necessary parts in stock. That saves time and it saves the order history, too, for future reference.
Step 6—Perform the Repair or Service
Technicians don’t always have to wait for parts to arrive before they begin a repair or service. The best truck repair software comes in handy for those times when it makes sense to get started without the parts on hand. Fullbay, for example, allows your parts manager to order the parts while your tech dives into the repair. It takes your shop’s efficiency up several notches. After all, the more jobs you can finish in a day, the more profitable your shop will be.
Step 7—Invoice the Customer
Going the old-school route using an outdated system or pen and paper, it could take 30 to 40 minutes to generate a single invoice—and that’s not including time to check for errors. Alternatively, the right truck repair software can generate complete, error-free invoices in a matter of seconds.
What’s the hurry? It’s harder to collect full balances from customers if you’re weeks or months behind on invoicing. Imagine following up with a customer about an unpaid invoice then realizing after the fact that he actually owes more. The additional amount just hadn’t been invoiced yet. A scenario like that makes you look unprofessional, angers customers, and affects your bottom line.
Truck Repair Software is the Key
So, there they are: the 7 steps of successful truck repair. The bonus 8th step is to use the very best truck repair software on the market—Fullbay. Fill in the form below and start your complimentary demo today.