An automotive service advisor is at the forefront of an auto repair shop. It is the service advisor who deals with customers upon their arrival and departure. A career as a service advisor places an individual in a position of authority. It also combines competitive pay and a unique job experience that could provide a sense of security for years to come. The service provided by a service advisor includes making customers fully aware of every kind of service that has been performed on their vehicles. There may be a good amount of back and forth between service advisor and customer, as the end game is to keep the customer fully informed and content.
Job Duties of a Auto Service Advisor
A good service advisor can dramatically improve the volume of business and enhance the reputation of an automotive repair shop. However, it takes a concerted and consistent effort. Many times, customers associate an auto repair shop with the service advisor. That means auto shop owners place a lot of responsibility in the hands of their service advisors. Here is a look at some of the daily job duties performed by a service advisor.
Auto Service Advisor Education
In order to become a service advisor, an individual must possess a certain level of automotive repair knowledge. Customers need answers and a service advisor, who is not informed, is not going to be able to provide customers with any confidence or security. That can negatively impact business. A service advisor should have some kind of formal education in automotive repair. There are a number of technical institutes, community colleges, vocational schools, and automotive training institutes that offer certificate and degree programs in auto repair.
Service advisors are not required to have completed an auto repair education program, although many employers look favorably on a certificate of completion or Associate’s Degree. This signifies that they have invested an ample amount of time in an accredited training program. These programs cover all the specifics of auto repair through classroom instruction and hands-on training. That combination allows service advisors to grasp all the issues they will encounter while working in an auto repair shop.
Math and writing skills are key components of being an automotive service advisor. There is a fair amount of paperwork and computer literacy involved as well. This kind of training can be acquired through basic courses offered through many of the Automotive Technician Associate Degree programs. Those who develop a proficiency when it comes to writing reports also have an advantage when seeking out a position as a service advisor.
Work experience serves as a tremendous education for service advisors. There is a need to understand the essentials of each repair service that is offered. By performing those services as an auto mechanic, service advisors have the actual experience of conducting auto repair. That serves as one of the most valuable learning experiences. Working as an auto mechanic helps qualify individuals to become a service advisor.
In addition to working as an auto mechanic and acquiring an auto repair education, there are service advisor training programs offered through many different organizations. Some of these programs are available online, while others are available in workshop, seminar or classroom formats. These programs can be completed in a relatively short amount of time. Here is a look at what is taught in many of these service advisor programs:
Service Advisor Areas of Focus
The main reason an auto repair shop features a service advisor is to handle the needs of customers. A service advisor is a type of liaison between mechanics and customers. Customers can come to auto service advisors and discuss their vehicle problems while also being given solutions. In the process of ensuring customer satisfaction, service advisors attend to the following duties:
Once a service advisor has discussed the issues that are affecting a vehicle, it is time to write up the work order. This is a detailed report of the services that are going to be performed on the vehicle. It is given to the mechanics, so they can start repairing the vehicle. This order includes customer concerns and actual problems, which provides mechanics with all the relevant information. However, the information is written out in a language more familiar to auto mechanics. The service advisor essential translates what the customer said into auto repair terminology.
Everything in a reputable auto repair shop is structured and that means service is provided through appointments. This requires a high level of organization as service advisors must be able to coordinate customer appointments throughout the course of a day. This means knowing exactly how long certain types of repair will take to complete.
Whether an auto service advisor works for a dealership or private repair shop, there is an ongoing need to offer promotions. This means trying to push certain products or services at certain points in time. Promotion can also extend to providing customers with valuable insight on the upkeep and maintenance of their vehicles. Promotions are not only just a way of generating business, as they also bring value to the customers.
Service Advisor Salaries
There is no average annual salary for service advisors provided by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. There are different kinds of services in which professionals provide estimates, although that encompasses professionals from different fields. Salary estimates for estimators, in general, check in at upwards of $50,000 per year. However, the salary amount has a good deal of fluctuation as the type of auto repair business and location both have an impact on pay rates. For example, the service advisor at a Mercedes Benz repair shop is likely to make more money than the service advisor at a small time quick-stop oil change location.
Most service advisors are paid by salary because they are required to be on duty for a significant amount of time each week. Hourly wages can be paid to service advisors and that could accumulate rather quickly, particularly when there is an overtime incentive. The job outlook for service advisors continues to be steady and that growth is signified by the rising demand for auto mechanics. Some states are experiencing rapid increases in the number of auto mechanics as a host of states are expected to see a 20% growth in auto mechanic jobs by 2024. That bodes well for aspiring mechanics who are looking to advance their careers as future service advisors.
A job as a service advisor could also lead to a future as a collision repair estimator. Both careers are very people-oriented and involve a distinct set of customer service skills. Dealing with people is an essential part of the job and that may be just as important as the actual mechanic work. A failure to create a lasting rapport with clients will threaten the potential for repeat business. That is where service advisors can intervene and provide a top-notch customer service experience. Service advisors also do not have to get down and dirty in a garage all day as it is more of a people-oriented job.
Keys to Becoming a Professional Service Advisor
Taking on the title of service advisor requires a host of duties that are extremely important. One of the main and ongoing job tasks is learning how to keep both customers and technicians happy. Here is a look at the ways service advisors can balance out that difficult task.
Auto Mechanic Communication
A good service advisor is capable of communicating with auto mechanics on a business and personal level. It is important to remember that these mechanics are hard-working individuals. One of the best ways to keep them happy is to keep them busy. An auto mechanic’s job is also made much easier by providing the best information from the customers. That includes how a problem happened, when it happened and other specifics.
Many customers are distrusting of service advisors when they first encounter them in a garage or repair shop. That is not at all uncommon. The truth is that honesty is the best policy when it comes to customer interaction. Over promising customers certain results usually winds up backfiring. Service advisors have the chance to develop personal relationships with customers that can turn them into lifetime clients. That can only happen through a strong bond of trust that is strengthened by the overall performance of a service manager.