What Does Being An Automotive Service Advisor Entail?

If variety is what you’re searching for, becoming an automotive service advisor at an auto repair shop is the perfect career choice.

The role of a service advisor is to serve as a go-between with the customer and service technicians working in the shop. Service advisors deal with the customers face-to-face and over the phone to determine what is wrong with the vehicle and provide technicians with accurate repair descriptions. They are also responsible for greeting customers, scheduling appointments and providing estimates on work to be completed. In some shops, the service advisor may also be responsible for duties such as verifying and confirming insurance coverage, conducting inspections and test driving vehicles after the work is completed. As a service advisor, you are the face of the business, and it’s your job to create trust and build long-term relationships with customers.

So how do you decide if an auto service advisor career is right for you? While other automotive careers tend to focus mainly on one skill area, such as mechanics, customer service, or finance, a service advisor needs a mixture of all these attributes. It’s a challenging job, but with proper training, you can look forward to a rewarding career in an area you’re passionate about.

One of the steps that can be taken in becoming a service advisor is gaining valuable hands-on experience in the field. Enrolling in a post-secondary automotive education program is one of the best ways to go about this. Completion of this program will qualify the person for an entry-level position at an auto repair shop as a service advisor. Training programs are available at technical schools and colleges and ensure that individuals have the knowledge and skills to work in their desired field. These programs usually include classroom lectures as well as hands-on practice and can lead to a certificate or associates degree.

Another way to get into the industry as a service advisor is to look into an apprenticeship with a shop. An apprenticeship can provide candidates with the opportunity to learn more about the automotive service industry. By being an apprentice, you can gain valuable experience by working alongside seasoned professionals and obtain many hours of supervised, on-the-job training.

Want to know if you’re suited to become an automotive service advisor? Here are some the most important skills all good service advisors have:

1. A Good Automotive Service Advisor has Polished People Skills
One of the most important elements of a service advisor role is customer service. You will need to take customer calls and meet them when they first come into the shop, book appointments, provide estimates and deal with suppliers, so being friendly and courteous is a necessity. Auto service advisors also handle customer complaints, so being able to deal with unhappy customers politely and diplomatically is essential.
2. A Good Automotive Service Advisor Communicates Effectively
An automotive service advisor acts as a liaison between the technician and the customer and needs to be able to communicate with both effectively. They must explain repair recommendations in layman’s terms to their customers, while also briefing mechanics on customer needs and managing repair schedules.
3. An Automotive Service Advisor Needs Good Comprehension Skills
Being a service advisor also requires strong comprehension skills. Mechanics will provide you with complex service recommendations, and it’s important you understand what you are being told. You also need to be able to listen to customers and properly understand their questions and concerns to provide the best possible service.
4. Mechanical & Engineering Basics are Essential to all Automotive Careers
For a service advisor, the key to good comprehension skills is having basic mechanical and engineering knowledge. Whether you’re speaking to your own technicians, ordering parts or looking over complex technical documents, the technical aspects of your automotive service training will definitely come in handy. But, the learning won’t ever stop – as your career goes on, you’ll need to constantly refresh and update your knowledge in an ever-changing industry.
5. Automotive Careers are all about Troubleshooting
No day runs completely smooth in a repair shop. Parts will arrive late, repairs will run behind schedule, or customers might change their mind about a service request. Sometimes it’s hard to predict how busy your day will be with customers calling or walking in. As service advisors are involved in all aspects of shop business, troubleshooting is a huge part of the role, and you’ll need to be able to think on your feet and solve problems quickly.
6. Writing and Math Skills are Important for Auto Service Advisors
Service advisors have to calculate and prepare estimates, so having good literacy and numerical skills is a basic requirement of the job. You’ll also need to order parts, take inventory and send out invoices, so being good with numbers and writing goes a long way.

Does this sound like you? If so, visit www.carcareers.org to learn more!

Written by Judell Anderson

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