After a technician finishes work on a vehicle, it doesn’t make sense for them to check their own work and to ensure the vehicle is ready to get back in the hands of the customer, according to automotive repair experts.
In a pair of sessions at the Midwest Auto Care Alliance’s Vision Hi-Tech Training & Expo in Kansas City in March, the topic of quality control came up. And speakers from both agreed that the same person working on the car shouldn’t be the one doing the final quality check.
So who should check? Chris Cloutier, founder of autotext.me and co-owner of Golden Rule Auto Care, noted that he knows owners who do checks. In some places, it’s the service advisor. Some shops, he observed, will even hire a person strictly to do quality control.
The point is, Cloutier stressed during his session Managing Change in Your Shop, that someone should be making sure everything is right with the vehicle before the customer gets in and finds something wrong.
In the session Delivery: Reselling the Value of the Repair, Clint White, a service advisor coach & shop consultant with CWI, said he prefers to have his service advisors do quality control checks. He understands the pushback from shop owners who say they pay their advisors to be on the counter.
“I know you do,” he acknowledged. “How about you give your customer a better experience?”
By that he meant making sure everything is in order and clean in the vehicle and the best way to do that is by having a second set of eyes take a look, even if they don’t have they’re not technicians.
“They’re not morons either,” he said.
A service advisor can easily check that the oil cap is there, that the battery doesn’t look like “Chia Pet,” that the car starts and sound good, that the right lights come up and there’s not message on the driver information centre that there’s an oil change due.
“Listen [after starting it]. Hear anything weird?” he noted as a key question. “Did I ask you to diagnose it? No. Have a moment with the car. Look at the current miles, look at the oil change sticker on there. Take a picture of the entire IPC (instrument panel cluster).”
That said, Craig O’Neill, vice president of training at autotext.me and who presented alongside Cloutier, if there’s something technical that needs a check, another technician should do that part.)
“Technical quality control, I agree, always by a different technician,” he said.
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