“People today are more digitally connected and busier now than ever in the past,” says Scott Welsh, owner of Courtesy Auto Service of Tacoma. He and his team of service advisors had this thought in mind when they considered new ways to live up to their motto: Confident Care For Your Car. Courtesy is invested in promoting customer convenience, and the shop values creating trust and transparency between car care professionals and drivers.
It’s in this spirit that Welsh introduced a new kind of technology to his auto service facility – a cloud-based software program that connects Courtesy Auto Service to the clients they serve in a meaningful way. When a vehicle is serviced at CAS, techs use tablets to record information via text and images to share a multi-point digital inspection with their customers.
An example of what a customer might receive could look something like this: “http://2un.me/m060 Hi Jane, here is the link to your vehicle inspection. Please contact us at Courtesy Auto at 253-473-5556 to discuss this report.” This communication starts the process rolling to efficiently converse about the report’s findings.
Once you approve—or disapprove—the changes, technicians can complete service on your vehicle. You’ll receive another text message once a service advisor confirms service is complete and your vehicle is ready to be retrieved. Something like: “Hi, your vehicle is ready for pickup at Goodyear!” Of course, for those customers who do not text message, we can still do things the old fashioned way, and that’s okay.
The tablets have many functions. They allows the service technicians to see things like technical service bulletins, recalls, fluid capacities, history records and access to critical databases at a glance. This software also decodes a car’s VIN number to ensure service techs have accurate information going into a repair or routine maintenance.
This helps customers save precious time at the shop and helps to eliminate costly repairs by nipping known problems in the bud before they have the chance to impact a vehicle’s performance.
Arguably, the greatest benefit these tablets provided to Courtesy Auto customers is the ability to document and share conditions. Photographs and notes, accompanied by the technician’s observations and recommendations, keep customers informed and updated about the overall well-being of their car. An easy-to-understand graphing system (ranking from “good” to “marginal” or “bad”) simplifies the way drivers interpret their vehicle’s service report, too – a valuable addition for consumers who aren’t exactly car buffs.
“Our customers appreciate this service, sure, but we value our digital inspection service because it creates customer convenience, transparency and trust between our service department and consumers,” adds Welsh. “We want to keep our customers just as informed about their vehicle as the people they trust with performing maintenance on it. We would be doing a disservice if we didn’t share that.”
And that’s not even the best part. Courtesy Auto Service has done away with the suspense that comes along with service authorization calls, streamlining the communication process by replacing telephone notifications with text and email message delivery. With this simple improvement over traditional auto service, missed calls can no longer drag out the auto repair process. Gone, too, are nuisances like excessive wait times for a simple oil change because a call goes straight to voicemail.
“As these reports are created, reviewed and quality controlled by my staff,” Welsh explains. “They are then sent to the customer for review while the vehicle is in our shop. These reports are sent via text message, email or both – depending on customer preference – and the customer can view service advisor notes, photos and any recommendations on their smartphone or tablet.”
“We are notified when a customer reviews them and typically we will have a conversation via phone or text message regarding any repairs that might be needed and their authorizations. This creates an efficient and transparent environment for the client and also creates a very efficient communication strategy for us. All of these things help us to be more efficient and accurate and better serve our customers,” says Welsh.
These reports create an archive of information that can be generated just as easily at the shop as at home. Cloud-accessible records provide convenient access to vital info anytime. Have a question about recent service, but it’s outside of office hours? No problem: simply access a personalized chart that contains logs of service that can go back several years and come complete with photos and details of components, replaced or serviced. Reports are protected by security firewalls in the software, and only service advisors and customers who have received a link to a specific digital inspection report are able to view them.
This process and these reports are beneficial to Courtesy Auto Service clients in many ways. They help drivers understand the conditions present in their vehicle when it arrives in the shop and when it leaves, and it also provides an archival snapshot of service. These detailed reports provide peace of mind to customers who are considering selling or purchasing a vehicle that’s been serviced at Courtesy Auto. By simply sharing this CAS-generated link, new owners can see an accurate report of what shape the vehicle was in during its most recent inspection and help customers determine the best route for any future repairs.
“These help people feel that the process is more transparent than they had expected. It helps make drivers more comfortable with the service they receive and allows them to make a more informed and appropriate decision on repairs and maintenance that is needed, or to have peace of mind knowing all is okay.”
To experience the peace of mind that comes with Courtesy Auto’s convenient multi-point digital inspections, schedule an appointment for a complimentary vehicle inspection today.
Courtesy Auto Service & Tire of Tacoma
4502 S Steele Street, Tacoma, WA 98409