Over the last year, auto shops have faced all kinds of challenges, from worker shortages to supply chain delays to increasing demand for services as more consumers repair their vehicles instead of replace them. What are the defining auto industry trends of 2023 so far? From the ongoing auto technician shortage to a demand for electric vehicle service and maintenance skills to customer experience expectations — here’s what to be on the lookout for this year.
Prediction: Auto repair shops need to focus on digital transformation to appeal to customer preferences.
What this means is that people have come to expect all services (including auto care services) to be as seamless as shopping on Amazon — with the ability to manage and complete transactions with a few taps of their phone screen. We’ve seen repair shops respond by integrating critical communication tools into their shop management platforms to help create a better customer care experience.
We expect to see more auto repair shops across the country adopting auto repair software that will allow them to provide key digital features that customers crave. This includes upgrading customer touchpoints through things like real-time updates, text messaging, automated appointment reminders, sending photos and videos, providing fully automated payment options, and the ability to easily approve estimates right from their phones. Building in these communication standards is critical for repair shops looking to boost revenue and grow their businesses in 2023.
Prediction: The shops that get ahead this year are the ones investing in retaining and training their technicians.
The technician shortage has been affecting the auto repair industry for the better part of a decade. As many technicians are retiring from the industry and turnover rates remain high, there are also fewer young technicians entering the industry, and those who are often don’t receive adequate training.
As an industry at large, we must invest in giving techs the right tools and training they need to succeed. When we say “tools,” we mean digital tools: software that supports their work so that they can optimize their time and gain clear insight into repairs.
Modern technology for technicians, such as Shopmonkey, includes digital vehicle inspections, parts lookups, digital estimate creation, and even simple digital organizational tools and internal communication capabilities. Digital tools help your technicians be the most efficient. They’ll appreciate the strategic thought and care you put into upgrading the technology that helps them do their jobs.
Digital tools can also play a role in technician training. With the right ones, you can track the areas where your techs need more education. This helps you proactively provide them with the specific training that will not only grow them individually but also help increase your shop’s productivity level. Training also helps your techs feel valued, which will help with retention.
Prediction: Rising demand for EV repairs and maintenance requires technicians to gain proficiency in EV services.
Related to technician training, shops are finding themselves in need of the capabilities to properly and quickly service electric vehicles (EVs). The popularity of EVs continues to grow, but most technicians don’t have the specific skills needed to service EVs. The time is now to make it a priority to get your technicians trained in EV repair and maintenance.
Prepare your auto shop for 2023 and beyond.
The shops that are best positioned to meet 2023’s auto industry trends in stride are those willing to be flexible and invest in digital solutions as well as the growth and development of their technicians.
Whether that means providing digital customer service tools or looking for ways to optimize your tech’s time, taking modern approaches to auto shop management can boost efficiency and bottom lines, help your shop keep up with the competition and increase your business’s relevance and longevity.
Learn more about how Shopmonkey can help put your shop on the path to a modern future that prioritizes your operations, your customers, and your technicians. Visit https://www.shopmonkey.io/ for more information.