3 Essential Characteristics of a Great Service Writer

Service writerThe Service Writer has one of the most important roles in your dealership. They are the face of your service department and no one interacts with more customers. To put it in perspective, if your Service Writer, on average, makes 20 touches per day, that’s 5,120 touches per year! In comparison, your sales rep may only make 3 touches per day, which only equates to 768 touches per year.

With the help of leading RV industry expert, Chuck Marzahn, we’ve listed the 3 essential characteristics of all great Service Writers that will help your dealership provide the best customer service.

1. Understand customer concerns so they can br accurately conveyed to your technicians

Providing quick and open communication is the most important thing you can do as a Service Writer and this starts before your customer even enters your dealership.  When a customer initially calls in, collect their information up-front on what they would like serviced and get that information entered into your dealer management system immediately so estimates can be created and service can be scheduled. Marzahn also recommends that you schedule a “reception” time when the customer brings in their RV. Schedule 10-15 minutes for you and your customer to physically walk around the RV, take pictures and see, first-hand what is getting looked at.

2. Make sure you have answers to 3 questions all customers ask

The reputation of your customer service relies heavily on how up-front and honest you can be to your customers, and much of that communication is done through your Service Writer. In order to provide excellent communication Marzahn says it’s essential that your Service Writer properly answers these 3 questions:

  • How much will it cost?

This seems like an open-ended question, but Marzahn says it shouldn’t be.  A good Service Writer will know the flat rate charges on basically everything but electrical work.  If the Service Writer takes down the correct information from the customer when they list the items they’d like serviced, they should be able to give the flat rate estimate for these requests.  If it’s an electrical issue that needs to be diagnosed, the Service Writer must start off by estimating the diagnostic fee.

  • When is it going to be done?

Marzahn says you should be careful not to underestimate when answering this question.  Typically you know how long it takes to order parts and the problem OEM parts that can cause delays, so don’t give your customers a false sense of hope that service will get done

  • What are you going to do?

This is another question that takes a little prep work ahead of time.  If the Service Writer does a good job of collecting notes, before the customer arrives at the dealership, they should take the time to talk to a technician and come up with a game plan that they can present to the customer.  This way everyone knows from the beginning what to expect.

3. Keep current with the transaction

Once the RV has been dropped off for service, the next step is for your Service Writer to stay on top of what’s going on with the unit.  Fortunately, your dealer management software can simplify this process for you.  If you keep well-managed, up-to-date info in your dealer management system, your Service Writer, or anyone else in your dealership, should be able to instantly provide the following pieces of information to your customer:

–        Work Order Status – If processes are tracked in your DMS properly, you should easily be able to inform the customer how the service is progressing.

–        Promise Date – If an estimated completion date is given, this should be tracked in your DMS so it can be communicated to the customer.

–        Work Order Comments – It’s very important for your Service Writer and your techs to record comments in your DMS.  This way everyone in your dealership is on the same page and can easily inform a customer on their service.

–        Job Line Status If properly configured, this should happen automatically as the tech clocks on and off each job line.

By incorporating these best practices into your dealership, you’ll instantly boost customer satisfaction and ensure your Service Writer has the proper tools and skills necessary to excel at their job and bring the most into your dealership.

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Download a complete free guide:
7 Basic Service Processes for Delivering the Best Customer Service

This Service Writer’s guide will:

Service Writer Guide for RV dealers* Highlight basic practices all dealerships must implement in order to provide the best customer service.

* Determine key questions every service writer must be able to answer.

* Outline the tools and skills necessary for the service writer to reach their full potential.

* Help you build trust with your customers and establish your reputation.


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