6 Important Skills Your Service Writer Must Possess to Be Successful

Hiring the right Service Writer can be tricky, given how sensitive their job really is. After all, they are in contact with your customers more than anyone else, and it’s their responsibility to ensure that your customers’ equipment servicing needs are properly looked after.

It’s an important job, and if mishandled, it can have serious consequences for your dealership, including fewer customers and lower income. On the flipside, a great Service Writer can drastically improve your dealership’s customer relations and overall profitability.

To handle the job, Chuck Marzahn says that your Service Writer must be able to do the following:

1. Interact with People in a Friendly Manner

Interact with People in a Friendly Manner

As we’ve already mentioned, your Service Writer gets to deal with people on a regular basis – from taking customer bookings and providing them with estimates to interacting with suppliers. So, someone who is not able to be friendly and polite during those proceedings can easily drive many of your customers away.

In addition, a service writer may also have to handle customer complaints, which requires a certain level of diplomacy. Given how delicate such situations can be, you don’t want someone who’s either too irritable or shy to be involved in them.

For best results, try to find someone who actually enjoys talking to people as opposed to someone who pretends to do so – since the latter may not enjoy the role as much as the former.

2. Communicate Effectively

Communicate EffectivelyOne of the key responsibilities of a Service Writer is to effectively communicate customer needs to technicians. So, first and foremost, they must be able to clearly explain to your customers what repairs should be performed and why – without confusing them.

Secondly, they must also be able relay customers’ requests to your mechanics (usually via notes), without confusing them either, while managing their repair schedules.

So, it’s not enough for a Service Writer to just be friendly – they must also be able to clearly convey vital information to everyone involved.

3. Correctly Interpret Customer Requests & Tech Recommendations

Correctly Interpret Customer Requests & Tech RecommendationsTo ensure your techs know what to do and to meet your customers’ expectations, your Service Writer must be very good at understanding everything they say.

Very often, customers don’t know exactly what kind of repairs they may need. So, it is the Service Writer’s job to “decipher” what they want and then write it all down. In a way, this relates directly to having great communication skills, since the process involves asking a lot of questions, many of which cannot be scripted, to ensure clarity.

But, customers are only half the equation. Your techs have recommendations of their own, so being able to understand what they mean and then communicate it all to the customer is equally important.

If your Service Writer is unable to comprehend things effectively, they’ll often end up miscommunicating that information and confusing everyone.

4. Understand the Technology

Being great at understanding people will do your Service Writer no good if they don’t understand the technology they’re servicing. Whether they are interacting with your techs, ordering parts or looking at complex tech documents, they need to know how your products work if they want to be helpful. If they don’t, then how are they supposed to ensure that your techs know what to do?

Make Accurate Notes & Calculations5. Make Accurate Notes & Calculations

Service Writers have to do a lot of writing and math, so if they’re not good at forming legible sentences or making calculations, then they can cause a lot of blunders. After all, a Service Writer is not just responsible for talking to customers and techs, but also for ordering parts, sending out invoices and taking inventory. As you probably already know, making mistakes in those areas can be costly.

6. Think on Their Feet

There are lot of different variables involved in servicing equipment – from meeting customer expectations to ordering the right parts – which means that there are plenty of opportunities for things to go wrong. Parts may arrive late, techs may run behind schedule or your customers may simply change their mind.

So, when something, inevitably, does go wrong, your Service Writer must be able to quickly resolve the problem. They have to be able to analyze it and then come up with a solution that makes the customer happy and doesn’t strain your bottom line.


Set Your Service Writer Up for Success

If your current Service Writer has blind spots in some of the areas mentioned above, you can help them improve – if, of course, they are willing to do so. So, if you see potential in them, be sure to provide your Service Writer with the right tools and training to guarantee their success. To get started, check out our blog post on how to help your Service Writer leave a great first impression on your customers.

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