7 Steps to Embracing the Magic of Digital Vehicle Inspections

Are you still using paper inspection sheets at your auto repairshop? Or, worse yet, skipping mandatory inspections altogether? If so, you are in the perfect position to embrace the magic of performing digital vehicle inspections (DVI) with every service. With that move, you can go out with the old and in with the new, boosting your average repair order totals and overall revenues. Ready to make that happen? Just follow these seven steps to establish the perfect DVI process.


1. ASSIGN THE JOB TO THE RIGHT TECH EVERY TIME

You want the right pair of eyes on every job, so your techs can spot even the most subtle of issues at a glance. So, to get the most out of every tech’s expertise, don’t just assign jobs to the first person with an open bay.

Instead, carefully consider their individual skillsets and strengths to match the jobs to the right techs each and every time. As you do that, you’ll likely notice the quality of your inspections improve as techs have an easier time spotting all the issues in front of them.


2. HAVE YOUR TECHS AIM FOR 20-MINUTE INSPECTIONS

By handing each job to the right technician, it’s not unreasonable to ask them to complete every digital vehicle inspection in 20 minutes or less. It benefits them to get the inspections done fast, of course, and it keeps the day moving along at a decent pace.

Beyond that, when techs have to quickly inspect the vehicle, there’s no time for second guessing their findings. They just have to note the wear or damage, take a few photos or a short video, and move onto the next area.

To help them follow the best process, provide step-by-step instructions on how to perform the inspection, including what to look at and in what order. If you feel like there’s still room for improvement, ask your techs for their feedback or work with an experienced auto repaircoach to further refine the steps.


3. ASK TECHS TO DOCUMENT ALL ACTIONS AND ADJECTIVES

Detailed notes from your techs are wonderful, but they cannot clearly show the problem like pictures and videos can. So, require your techs to always document the actions and adjectives they come across while looking over the vehicle, such as: 

  • ​Torn hose
  • Frayed belts
  • Leaking fluids
  • Missing bolts
  • Gouged parts

Basically, if there’s any excessive wear or damage, then they should snap a photo or take a quick video of the problem at hand. Then, your service advisors can show the customers that evidence to let them know exactly why they are recommending each auto repair service.


4. SET THE STANDARDS FOR YOUR TECHS TO TARGET

To support the efforts of your team, you need to set a goal for the number of digital vehicle inspections completed each month. Otherwise, your team won’t have a set standard to meet and you won’t have a way to hold anyone accountable.

To find that figure, look back at prior months and see what your inspection numbers looked like. Compare that number to how many cars visited your shop in that time period. Then, aim for an inspection on every car that comes through — and let everyone on your team know about that goal for the shop.


5. INSTRUCT SERVICE ADVISORS TO ESTIMATE OUT THE WORK

Once your technicians finish the inspection, it’s time for the service advisors to shine. They can pair all that great information with the data in the customer’s service history to build out a solid estimate. They can look at the notes, pictures, and videos to determine what repairs the vehicle needs right away. Plus, use the deferred maintenance and whatever is due at the given service interval to address every issue.

After that, they should consider wrap around items that complement all the recommended services. If the vehicle needs plug and wires, they should add a fuel system service as well. If it needs a water pump, then have them add a thermostat, hoses, and cooling system service to ensure the customer gets the full value out of their visit.


6. LET SERVICE ADVISORS PRESENT THE ESTIMATE WITHOUT BIAS

On vehicles with a sparse repair history, estimates can end up being quite lengthy. Although it might seem overwhelming, picking and choosing between the recommended work can do the customer a big disservice. They need to know what’s due on their vehicle, so they can stay safe on the road and continue on all their travels.

For that reason, you need to instruct your service advisors to always present the full estimate to the customer – and do it without a hint of bias. By giving the customer the complete picture, they can decide if they want to do all the services in one visit or spread out the work a bit. If they are unsure, the inspection photos and videos can help them understand the importance of completing each auto repairjob.


7. ALWAYS HOLD YOUR TEAM ACCOUNTABLE TO THE DVI PROCESS

Once you have your inspection standards and process pinned down, the rest is up to you. To ensure your team always hits their targets, you have to hold them accountable. Let them know that you’re watching the metrics and reviewing the inspection quality, estimates, and completed repair orders.

If anyone on your team is slacking, don’t just let it go. Pull them aside and create a plan of action on what to do next. On the other side of the coin, make sure to reward your team for hitting their targets. Your ability to balance providing incentives and reprimands will go a long way in ensuring the success of your digital vehicle inspection process.

As you follow these steps, you’ll quickly see the value of switching to digital vehicle inspections. It may take your team a little while to get used to the new process, but once they do, your average repair orders will undoubtedly reflect their commitment.

If you’d like help making the jump from paper to digital inspections, reach out to your trusted auto repair coach, Chris Cotton at AutoFixSOS. With a call to (940) 400-1008, you can get the guidance and support you need to make beneficial changes to your processes.

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