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Liabilities Putting Your Service Department At Risk

Gauge meter showing low and high risk levels
Article Highlights:

  • Service department liabilities can cost you thousands in fines.
  • Digitization can help alleviate those risks and protect your dealership.

In a world where everything can be done securely at our fingertips, why do we continue to spend time doing tasks manually that open ourselves to human error? Especially when there are resources to speed up and improve the process.

In the automotive industry, the service department faces a lot of threats when completing processes manually. The opportunity for problems to arise is constant, and if it hasn’t yet, it’s going to leave your dealership with unhappy customers and a mess for you to clean up.

Situations such as a lack of document tracking, disorganization, lack of accountability among associates, or lost or damaged documents are all common liabilities dealerships face.

Why don’t we put these examples into perspective?

Say you are hit with an RO audit and you’re expected to produce 100 random ROs. In preparation, some of your employees may dedicate full days looking for the requested ROs and making sure everything is in order. If you are unable to locate even one, you could potentially face thousands of dollars in fines. Not only do your employees waste time looking for paper, but money is wasted when more productive and profitable tasks could be the focus instead.

To give you another example, when you present recommended services on paper, there is no real way to prove a recommendation was presented. If something goes wrong on a vehicle, the customer can claim you didn’t recommend that service. Without timestamps or another way to prove the recommendation, it becomes a game of “he said/she said”. And most often, the customer wins that argument.

Digitizing your processes and documents gives you the ability to retrieve the document you are looking for, saving you in more ways than one. It is accessible and in your hands instantaneously. Everything is quick, simple, and in one place.

Digitization can also make up for manual processes by allowing the employee to indicate what was discussed during each visit with the customer. It is done by storing a great amount of information and detail about each interaction. If there is ever a discrepancy between the dealership and customer, the dealership is able to pull up the documentation, share it with the customer, and provide any answers they need. The dealership is able to maintain documents from each customer more efficiently, leading to improved customer satisfaction.

Ultimately, digitization leads to better practices within the service department and dealership. Investing in the technology that digitizes your records and enhances your service department is going to protect you from the liabilities that are putting your service department at risk today.

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Product Planning, Reynolds and Reynolds

Jeff Adams is a Product Planning manager for Service applications at Reynolds and Reynolds.

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