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Old 07-18-2019, 10:21 PM   #1
2slofouru
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Default Mechanics, subaru or otherwise: Does your shop use iService???

Our shop recently bought into the iService app that makes techs record a video explaining their inspection of the vehicle and what's causing the problem, while also showing them said areas on the vehicle.

The company's rep was very slick, had a great sales pitch and was a really friendly and patient guy. He claimed all shops that used the system saw at least 15-20% increase in upsells, I believe that was the range anyway. The concept seems logical, but it actually complicates the original process which can make it take much longer. The maximum video recording time is about three minutes, but that isn't the issue.

Let's say a person comes in with a complaint of a starting issue or even something that takes much longer to diagnose. First we have to do a "27 point inspection" that requires the vehicle be racked up and everything inspected and noted. Some items need to be priced and those get written down on the work order. You have to do things like check for leaks, obvious physical damage, check all tire pressures to make sure there isn't a leak that needs to be searched for, consider mileage and search the vehicle history in the system to see if certain maintenance is needed (because some "advisers" are lazy af), etc.

You notice a tire has a nail on the inner edge and it's too close to the edge to repair legally, so a tire needs to be price. Well this customer has three different brands of tire, so you need to decide which brand to price. Anyways, you look at each and every possible trouble area to let them know if anything is unsafe or could cause premature damage to the vehicle if they don't get it repaired asap. This is from the headlights to the tail lights, and the management expects you to not miss a thing...

Now you've looked everything over and it's time to focus on the starting issue. The uber expensive battery/alternator/starter machine has now been "testing" the battery for over 40 minutes and finally decides the battery is "good". (this is of course after you've had the vehicle on the lift and checked everything, and lowered it back down to test the battery/alternator/starter, which takes some time if you actually inspect everything). The machine states the 410cca battery is making 486cca, the starter is working correctly, and the alternator is creating enough amperage. So now that the customer's been waiting over an hour for you to tell them their system is magically "ok" according to the super machine you have, you can FINALLY go get everything priced and make the amazing video that surely (in my case anyway) won't help sell anything. You also haven't found the cause of the issue yet, but the customer is waiting and the precious video has to be made, so the adviser can have help "communicating" with the customer.

We were "taught" how to make the videos by the sales consultant and shown a couple of examples of what was considered good. The guy actually said he thought I did a great job, which was probably a lie, because obviously in my case the results just aren't there. It seems I'm selling less since we've adopted this system and it makes me wonder if it's a result of my craptastic movie making skills, even more lack of effort by the advisers (because now they have an even stronger crutch), or a combination of both.

At first, we only did this service on vehicles with maybe 35k miles and up, but starting a matter of days back, one of the dealership owners decided we will do videos on EVERY vehicle...even if it is a car purchased a matter of days back. I performed a pdi and installed a roof rack and rails on a new vehicle a week ago. The customers came in wanting door guards installed and had a complaint "the roof rails are too hard to slide" (they work properly, the people apparently didn't know how to adjust them). The adviser had to make an iService line for a vehicle with only a couple hundred miles, which eats into our time and effectively keeps us from vehicles that actually need attention = less income and other customers waiting even longer.



If you are using this system, is it working for your shop? I'd rather the advisers learn how to communicate and do THEIR job rather than techs having to do most of it for them. At this rate I can see advisers being eliminated in the next five or so years, that is if they can find techs moronic enough to go along with it.
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Old 07-18-2019, 10:42 PM   #2
Blktrax
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Been there ,done that , different brands. Do the multipoint make thorough notes. Take pictures with your phone and text them to the writers directly.

Beyond that , time costs you money. If they keep raising the bar and not paying you for that time, start looking at other places that value your time. You can always make more money, you can make more time.
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Old 07-18-2019, 11:05 PM   #3
2slofouru
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I understand my value, just wondering about others' experience with the iService system specifically. Management has let us know we will be using it at least for the length of the contract. I only see it working in specific situations. A customer listening to a possible plethora of problems from the mouth of a mechanic could be overwhelming. We shouldn't need to learn great customer service skills in addition to the others we constantly need to upgrade.


This system isn't optional for us...we now must do the video for every vehicle. The video is sent immediately and directly from the mechanic to the customer, many times they call the adviser before the estimate is complete. The video isn't for the adviser, although they can watch if they have time before the customer calls them. Sometimes they are caught up with another customer and don't have time to watch the video.

Thanks for replying though 👍



Quote:
Originally Posted by Blktrax View Post
Been there ,done that , different brands. Do the multipoint make thorough notes. Take pictures with your phone and text them to the writers directly.

Beyond that , time costs you money. If they keep raising the bar and not paying you for that time, start looking at other places that value your time. You can always make more money, you can make more time.

Last edited by 2slofouru; 07-18-2019 at 11:13 PM.
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Old 07-18-2019, 11:38 PM   #4
BlueRibbonRyan
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Sounds like they are trying to save money on properly training the advisors while saving money not paying the techs for time spent and confusing customers into potential extra repairs. I can certainly see the value in a video of specific issues to show a customer but a full on entire rundown on every last vehicle seems unnecessary. I run an independent garage and have 0 employees so this would be completely unnecessary for me since every customer talks to the mechanic directly, me! But a salesperson claiming increased profits to a dealer or larger franchise is all it takes to sway them, after all it's not creating more work for the decision maker only those that have to put up with it. And I agree that if its taking more time the shop should pay the extra labor time for your efforts.
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Old 07-18-2019, 11:46 PM   #5
2slofouru
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Pretty much what it seems. We see the deficiencies in their ability to interface with customers, but can only do so much. If customers aren't confident with their explanations and don't trust them, our extra work means jack squat. Management believes customers trust mechanics over advisers (obviously true when they can sense an adviser is full of it) but the adviser can still throw a wrench in the works even if we accel at informing customers. We don't get reimbursed for the extra effort, and management believes it will pay off, although it's been a few months now. It's a mess.


Quote:
Originally Posted by BlueRibbonRyan View Post
Sounds like they are trying to save money on properly training the advisors while saving money not paying the techs for time spent and confusing customers into potential extra repairs. I can certainly see the value in a video of specific issues to show a customer but a full on entire rundown on every last vehicle seems unnecessary. I run an independent garage and have 0 employees so this would be completely unnecessary for me since every customer talks to the mechanic directly, me! But a salesperson claiming increased profits to a dealer or larger franchise is all it takes to sway them, after all it's not creating more work for the decision maker only those that have to put up with it. And I agree that if its taking more time the shop should pay the extra labor time for your efforts.
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