Whether it is for maintenance or repair, taking your vehicle to an auto repair shop is an inevitable occurrence for a car owner. If you’re a first-time car owner or you’re new to a place, finding a shop where you can entrust your most prized possession may seem to be a daunting - if not stressful - affair.
More than likely, you seldom think about the inner workings of the modern car, let alone understand them. So when things about your car go bad, you become dependent on a mechanic’s “expertise” for diagnosis and repair. You worry because you want to find someone who not only knows what he’s doing but somebody who is also a true professional that would not take advantage of your plight, or your mechanical ignorance.
To help you with your search, here are 5 of the most common things to look for when finding an independent auto repair service that you can trust.
1. Word of Mouth
You have to do your research beforehand, long before you would actually need the services of a mechanic. Word of mouth is perhaps the best way to find a good place that services cars and also a great way of knowing which places to avoid. Do family and friends have personal recommendations? Would your close circle have a suggestion particularly to the make of your car (some repair shops have brand or vehicle type specialization)? When it comes to determining the right place to go, nothing beats the actual experience of others.
2. Online Presence
An auto repair service having a good amount of online presence give discerning customer two valuable information. First, having a website or a business account in social media shows that a company is up-to-speed with the latest. This is an indicator of their attitude towards technology not just for marketing but more importantly, the latest in in automotive technologies, diagnostics, and repair methods.
Second, having an online feature helps customers determine credibility whether its reviews from other customers or ratings from regulating groups. Though nothing beats the depth and weight of personal recommendations from people you know based on their real-life experience, but information online does help.
3. Certification and Associations
A mechanic and shop should be certified by the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence. Having ASE certification shows that a car repair service and personnel has the necessary technical expertise needed to perform their services.
Other memberships that show professionalism and good services are: accreditation or at least, listing on the Better Business Bureau (bbb.org) with accompanying good ratings; AAA-Approved Auto Repair status; membership with the Automotive Service Association; and local community service awards and recognition.
4. Ocular Inspection
In finding the right place for getting your car fixed, most experts will also recommend doing a site inspection of the place of repair. Whether it’s a small garage or vast shop, you’re looking for organization in the operation. Equipment are well-maintained, tools and supplies organized, evident work-stations and workflows in place, even the shop floor should look reasonably clean in spite of constant repairs of leaky cars. Again you’re not just looking for experts but also professionals who take pride in their work and their work-space.
5. Building Customer Relationships
Another pro-tip in determining a good auto repair shop is having a simpler service done to your car (like an oil change for example). This is to test the water. Not only will the small-job give you an opportunity to check the premise and maybe even talk to other customers for feedback, but it will also give you a first-hand experience on how the service treats its cars and customers.
You want a car repair service that values building customer relationships. This is an important aspect of any business and there are many ways to tell this with an auto repair service. For example, a good repair shop helps with the education about auto repair particularly with helping clients understand how an issue was found and why a certain repair procedure is needed. A good auto repair service also gives good advice to clients in order to help them decide if a certain repair procedure is worthwhile especially if it might prove costlier than the value of the car. Receiving a warm, friendly, assuring and accommodating attitude from the shop’s personnel is also a strong point.
Maintaining good customer relationship is more than a gesture of goodwill or an appreciation of bringing your business to them. Equipment, expertise, and experience get the job done in the first place but by also treating the customers right, trust, reliability and reputation are realized.