Let’s be honest about auto repair… wait honesty and auto repair belong in the same sentence? Yes, they can. I have been around the Automotive business for years. I am still blown away when I hear the horror stories that our customers come in and tell us about previous experience at other facilities. It all starts with you. You have to be responsible to know the questions and answers of what kind of Auto Repair facility are you looking for? Are you looking for cheap repairs, knowledgeable staff, community driven companies, specialist, clean facility, honest advise, and the list can go on. Let me give my Top Ten requirements for Automotive Repair Facilities. (Remember you gauge the quality of any repair facility by these three words; Site, Staff, and Service.)
- Accessibility. The facility has to be accessible and safe. Do they have a parking lot? Can you find a place to park? Do they have signs on the building or at the entrances? Is the outside of the building well lite? Is the facility in a safe area? Worst thing for customer is to “not know.” “Not know” where to park or where pull in? To “not know” where to enter the facility, who to talk to, or where to pick up their vehicle.
- Clientele and their vehicles. Once you find a place park or before you get out of your vehicle. Look around the parking lot or in the vehicle holding area. What kind of vehicles do you see? What kind of condition are they in? How long does it appear those vehicle have been there? Those customers and vehicles can tell you what type of business your mechanic attracts.
- Security. How serious do you value you vehicle. Your repair facility should value your vehicle at least as much you, if not more. For most people their vehicle is their life line; the way they get to work and how they transport themselves and their family or friends. Look to see if there is any cameras viewing the parking lot or in the repair facility. Is the vehicle holding area secured or fenced in? Security needs to be a priority to protect your investment.
- Amenities. What services does the Repair shop offer? Shuttle Service or Loaner Vehicles? Customer Lounge? Early Drop Off or Late Pick Up? Bathrooms? Food or Drinks? More important than all this is, how much does your mechanic value their customers. Do they provide an emergency contact information? Is your mechanic willing to accommodate you and/or your family while you need to wait on your vehicle?
- Condition/ Cleanliness. What does the exterior of the facility look like? Is it dirty on the inside? Go to the bathrooms and see that they are like. How does the service area look? A well groomed exterior and clean interior tells you that the owner and employees care about the facility they work in. This is an indication how they are going to treat you and your vehicle while it is there. An attractive customer experience and environment attracts good customers relationships and satisfaction.
- Staff. Were you greet as you enter the facility or in the parking lot prior to entering the facility? Is your service adviser a mechanic, service adviser, cashier, parts manager, and janitor all-in-one? You should be greeted shortly after entering with employees that want to services you. Are the service advisers knowledgeable or willing to find the answer for you? Are you able to talk to the technician or Shop Foreman? Is the owner also the operator and onsite at the facility? You should be able to walk around the facility and talk to the employees within reason. The staff is there for you the customer, you should feel welcomed and comfortable.
- Work Environment. Some repair facilities can be less than hospitable. Having dirty poorly lite areas. Stack and stacks of used parts. Pinup girls and calendars everywhere. Is the service bays well lite? When a technician is working on your vehicle, they need to be able to see. Look in the service bays and see if they are clean or dirty from other vehicle repairs. Are there old or used parts laying all over the floor or stacked into corners. are the tools and floor covered in grease? Good mechanic is known by his tools. If your mechanic takes the time to care for his tools, he/she should not be reckless with your vehicle.
- Technology. Do see computer equipment in the service area or in the service bays? Does the facility have WIFI for the customers to uses? The is a indicator that your mechanic should have advanced diagnostic equipment. Ask your service adviser what diagnostic equipment that you technician uses to diagnose your vehicle.
- Readiness. Is you mechanic prepared to repair your vehicle. Most Repair shops can not stock every part for every vehicle they work on. However, do they have the resources to have the parts readily available.
- Warranties/ Guarantees. A repair facility should have a warranty or guarantee whether it is a 12 Month/ 12,000 Mile, 24 month/ 24,000 mile, or a lifetime warranty. You should check to see if they have any policies or guarantees in place that they “will not spend your money before you do” and if the repair facility breaks it they fix it.
*** I have composed this post with the help of several articles that i read over the years. I having trouble locating my resources to site them properly. Sorry I hope to edit this information soon.