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Episode Description

The tools your technicians use should support all of their daily tasks, but many of us still wonder: what tools do they need, and more importantly, how can they use these tools in a way that actually helps deliver higher job approval?

Join Neil Daly (Oceanside Motorsports) and Tom Dorsey, for this week’s Digital ShopTalk Radio episode, as they describe what tools are available to aid your techs in getting their inspections done more effectively, what impactful pictures & videos are, and what inspection best practices look like.

In this episode, you’ll learn:
> Common mistakes technicians are making during their inspections, and ways to avoid these mistakes
> Examples of impactful pictures, videos, and what that means for your techs, service advisors, and customers.
> How to capitalize on your Digital Inspections and create more sales

Episode Transcript

*This transcript was generated using Artificial Intelligence. Errors may occur. If you notice an error, please contact [email protected].

Tom Dorsey (00:00):
Welcome to episode 17, March, no, May 28th, 2019, Digital Shop Talk Radio. I’m Tom Dorsey. I’ve got a great show lined up for you today. We’re going to be talking about things that your technicians aren’t doing in their digital inspections, but they should be, and I got a great guest with us today who’s got some pretty awesome tips and tricks for you guys. So make sure you got a sharp pencil and a notepad handy because you can be taking lots of notes. Also, remember that we record this, it’s live streaming on Facebook. While you guys are in there, you can ask questions. Just type ’em right into the comment section on Facebook there and we’ll answer your stuff live on the air. If you don’t get a chance to watch it because you’re busy at the front counter, you should be. Then of course it’s going to be recorded and posted up and we put some closed captioning in there for you too, so to watch and learn. So without further ado, I’d love to introduce our guest today, the man with the plan. Neil Daly from Oceanside Motorsports. Where are you guys at? Newport Beach.
Neil Daly (01:09):
No, right. Actually in Oceanside. Which is in San Diego. It’s right in the name.
Tom Dorsey (01:14):
It’s right literally in the name. Yeah. Awesome. Well, welcome Neil, man. I really appreciate you coming on and if you could, let’s just get it kicked off a little bit. Tell us about your operation and how you came. You guys have been with us for probably four or five years now.
Neil Daly (01:32):
It’s been a while and we’ve realized the value of the inspection. I’m glad you’re talking about that today. We actually just kind of refreshed it for us. I think I was telling you, we did an inspection clinic the other day that was really revealing and where we had all of our technicians do an inspection on the same car. That went really well, it really exposed some things and then we built an estimate at the end of the day for the worst inspection and the best one, and it came out to be a $6,000 difference. So it kind of showed our technicians a little bit extra time in the inspection, which it did take the guy about 10 minutes longer to do it right, still under our 30 minute mark. But an extra 10 minutes really gave a better service to the customer and allowed us the possibility of having some more work. So that was pretty cool.
Tom Dorsey (02:25):
So let me get this straight. There was 10 minutes difference, $6,000 difference in the estimate.
Neil Daly (02:34):
And then between those two technicians too, their average pictures, one of them was down at seven pictures for inspection, and then the best one was up at like 28, which is kind of where we expect it to be. So all the data is in line with that too.
Tom Dorsey (02:48):
I mean that is brilliant, right? I don’t know who out there in the audience. Have you done something like that? Have you gotten all your guys together, run an inspection audit, have ’em inspect the same vehicle and compare the differences? I think that’s brilliant, so what came out of it? I mean, what were you able to learn from their best practices or their perception of best practices and what were you able to task them to do to get on the same page?
Neil Daly (03:22):
Well, because we reviewed all of the inspections with all of the technicians, so they were able to see the things that other guys were doing really good, and now hopefully we’re all doing those same things really good. And then the ones that needed some improvement saw how the inspection should look. So now we’re able to manage the technician that needed some help getting his pictures up. We had a starting point for that and where we’re getting him. And then the technician that did the best inspection, we actually thought on average was taking too long to do his inspections, but when we went in and actually looked at the average time for inspection, he’s totally within what we expect. So the data that you guys had kind of helped us manage that effectively and it made overall our inspection a lot better. Plus just them being able to see it from the customer view of it. I actually think that that’s something that the inspections don’t look at or the technicians don’t look at a lot is how the customer view of it looks, and I think that really helps
Tom Dorsey (04:26):
For sure. And so then did you get the service riders in there too and kind of give their 2 cents, Hey, I really need you guys to take pictures. This kind of lighting is better than this kind of lighting to really kind of close the loop, give them, set them up
Tom Dorsey (04:49):
for success so
Tom Dorsey (04:50):
They got the best stuff for the,
Neil Daly (04:52):
We didn’t get too much into stuff. I think for the most part our guys take pretty good pictures, but that could be the next step of that. But we did make some improvements about how we take our pictures and stuff. Should I jump into that? Yeah, yeah, for sure. With our light? Yeah. Okay, cool. Yeah,
Tom Dorsey (05:06):
I was leading into it, man.
Neil Daly (05:10):
Yeah, it’s funny because it’s so simple. We went between using flashlights and the flashlights are sometimes too bright or it’s not focusing on all this, and one of our techs actually found that this little snap-on light is the best one and we’ve been holding it on the tablets just kind of next to it or putting it in an area and that’ll get it lit. But we actually just recently made it so that it’s magnetic and it just sits here when we do the inspection and that ends up, it gets the best lighting on average throughout the inspection. And we did it just using some little super affordable magnets that we got from Amazon and then we taped them onto a light and put one of those tablet mount metal things here and it just, that turned out to be the best way that we’ve had for getting lights on pictures.
Tom Dorsey (06:04):
We get that all the time, right? Guys are always, you see the discussion in Facebook. What are you guys doing for lights? Oh, I’m sticking a shop light up here. I’m doing this wearing a headlamp, but that’s clean and custom right there, super easy. What did it cost you about someday?
Neil Daly (06:20):
It’ll be like, yeah, it didn’t cost very much and it was definitely a trial, but it worked out great. Someday we’ll design a case that looks a little bit nicer, but for now that works. Perfect.
Tom Dorsey (06:31):
Great. Now that’s awesome, man. So good. Write that down you guys. It looks like a pretty easy buy snap on and a couple little of those round magnets and you’re good to go in about half a foot of some colored tape. Not genius, Neil. So what are some of the other tools that you guys are using? So I’m curious to know the detail and the differences between the best inspection and the worst inspection when you guys were doing that. Is somebody using more visual aids like tire tread depth gauges, things like that, where other guys, did you notice something like that? And what are some tips and tricks that you can give to audience? Maybe guys that are just getting started out, how they should be equipping their technicians to take those really good high impact inspections?
Neil Daly (07:26):
Yeah, we did this a while ago actually, where we all made sure that we had the same measurement tools. So we have the same brake pad measuring tool, the same thing for the tire tread depth ones. When we hire a technician now I give him a little kit that has, here’s all your inspection tools, just to make sure that we’re all using the same. So that’s really important. The brake load tester is probably one of the most effective ones because that just besides telling somebody, Hey, you got water content in your brakes. They see the tool and they see it being used and now too that you can show the old pictures from the last inspection next to the new ones. That’s super valuable by the way. It allows us to see that percentage go up if it’s going to over time and all that good stuff. So yeah, all the visual aids one, that’s kind of fun. We don’t really use this anymore because you guys allow the arrows to be added, but we got these little pointers at one point that made it kind of fun, so if you got a picture down in there, you could use the hand on it and people like that, but we haven’t used these in a little while.
Tom Dorsey (08:35):
Oh, I love it,
Neil Daly (08:36):
Man. Yeah, if you get everybody a kit like this, and I actually started making individual carts, I have my inspection cart and I’m trying to make it so we have a standard, so that cart has everything you need to do that inspection. If you’re doing AC work, you have a little gauge, but just showing the customer what you’re doing and sometimes some of the fancy tools you’re using kind of helps relay that information a little better.
Tom Dorsey (09:02):
Yeah, exactly. I mean it puts the value behind it and if it’s easy to understand, easy to see, and like you said, especially if you can show degradation over time, if you can start to show that caliper getting closer and closer or whatever it is, it’s going to work. I know a lot of guys hate those digital moisture testers, but they’re cheap. And so if they burn out, who cares? It’s about the visual aid. If you want to back it up with the pH strips or whatever, go ahead and do that just so that in your mind that things calibrated correctly. But use the visual aids that red is bad, green is good. It makes it real simple in the mind of your customer and it leads ’em to the path to success.
Neil Daly (09:57):
Yeah. Another thing too, when you’re talking about the good and bad, there was a while everybody probably sees this where things come in waves. There’s one week where all you’re doing is oil and gaskets, and then there’s a few weeks where in this case all we were doing were engine mounts. So we took an engine mount that was collapsed and then took one that was good and just put ’em side by side. And anytime our guys would recommend one, they’d take a picture of the one on the car, but then they would have their other aid that we just on a piece of paper we wrote good and bad. And we just took a picture of that so you could see the actual difference between what it’s supposed to be and what it was. And that was really huge for selling those. When you take a picture of an engine mount and you say it’s collapsed, you look at it and you’re like, wow, it looks fine to me. Yeah, it
Tom Dorsey (10:42):
Looks square.
Neil Daly (10:42):
Show the difference. That really helped kind of just saving some old parts to show off like that.
Tom Dorsey (10:48):
Yeah, no, that’s genius. And the more that you can do that, it’s like how the weight loss works right before and after pictures work and especially filters. Filters are an easy one. Fluid drip trays. I don’t know if you guys saw that Facebook post I think, who’s that by Dan Garlock or something where he 3D printed his own fluid drip tray that’s up on Facebook. Great idea if you have availability issues or whatever. I know BG has those good ones, but anything where you can show that comparison, that’s really going to help to close the deal. What about on the other side, Neil, what about things? What did you uncover when you had your inspection rodeo there and on things that guys were maybe cutting corners or making mistakes or maybe not digging deep enough, maybe eyeballing or doing cursory stuff for some of the people getting started on digital inspections, what are some things to look out for from a technician’s perspective?
Neil Daly (11:54):
Just us viewing all the inspections really pointed out where we made mistakes on mine. I missed that it had a cracked belt. I had looked at the main belt from one side, but the other guys caught the AC belt on the bottom and it just made it. So I was like, wow, I missed that. I’m not going to do that again. And same thing for some of the other guys that missed some cracks in the sidewall of the tires. The tread was fine, but it had a more dangerous flaw on it. They now know, okay, cool. We’re looking at the side of the tires as well. So everybody knows that every technician has their strong point of what they’re going to look at. And the point of this was just to highlight the strong points of everybody and allow us to attempt to have as close to the same inspection as possible. But it definitely is something we should do more often because even just the one time, I’m sure it got us closer, but I’ll still get a different inspection from everybody if we were to put the same car through the shop again, but it would be a little bit better.
Tom Dorsey (12:56):
And I mean, it’s measurable, right? I mean you can say, Hey, what’s the deviation? How many things got missed this time? And then next time you do it a couple months down the road, there’s less things that get missed until you get really to a point where these guys then it’s working, right? Because they’re looking at both sides of something or the top and the bottom and they’re just doing more comprehensive and better due diligence. They’re just paying attention better. And you could completely measure that. I think that’s a brilliant idea to have kind of a regular type thing and maybe even kind of the snap surprise inspection test or something like that so that they’re always prepared to follow the most consistent process.
Neil Daly (13:44):
And actually the reason we did it was because we had a car come in on Friday and it came back on Monday for work that we recommended, and the tech that got it accidentally reinspected it and I said, what the heck? This is so different from three days ago. So that’s what kind of kicked us into gear for that.
Yeah, and that’s actually, you guys count how many pictures are taken per inspection per tech. And I’ve always thought like, oh, our guys always take a ton of pictures. It’s all good. But it’s funny how that data is actually really accurate because our worst inspection was the guy that is taking seven pictures on average versus the rest of the guys that are taking like 25. So that gave us something really real data to manage on and we said, Hey, you need to get your picture count up with good relevant pictures so we can get your inspections up to par with the rest of the guys.
Tom Dorsey (14:43):
Yeah, no, that’s awesome. So you’re tracking that in the business control panel, being able to see number of pictures per inspection, are you following through? Take a look at the edit rate, make sure that the tech service riders are putting good edits on there. And then ultimately you should see the motorist research time increase. And I think I was looking in your data and I think you guys are up close to 500 seconds order research time, right? Four 50 to
Neil Daly (15:13):
Tom Dorsey (15:15):
It’s great number.
Neil Daly (15:17):
That’s a good question. I need to monitor that probably. That’s where we’re going.
Tom Dorsey (15:23):
I’ll tell you what it’s working. So when you get in there, you’re going to have a nice surprise because it’s evident in there. And that’s kind of the recipe for success is if we say we’re taking the pictures, we’re editing the pictures, of course we’re hitting sand and we’re sending it to the phone, and then we should see that the more engaging and the better we are at educating through those pictures and the edits we make, the customer spends a longer time looking at that stuff. When we see longer research time, longer research time correlates to higher approval rate. And that’s kind of like the secret sauce. And so yeah, definitely get in there in your BCP show that to your guys because it’d be interesting to see. The second part of that if we did the same inspection or even better, is just where they’re at now in their inspection process. And then just compare it from how long the customers on average are looking at their inspections from an individual tech.
Neil Daly (16:24):
I actually just thought of one other really valuable tool that we’ve been using lately. We will break out the borescope once in a while and take a picture of something that’s kind of hard to get to. And the other day it was just a water pump on an Audi that we were diagnosing, and I ended up pulling the throttle body off to get a way better look at where the leak was coming from because it was right under there. And since that was off, we stuck the borescope down to take a picture of the intake valve and they were covered in carbon from that carbon buildup. So we took those pictures, put it in the inspection, recommended the carbon cleanup, and that was really easy for the advisor to sell. And that was another, I want to say four units worth of work for the tech, and it made that ticket bigger with a maintenance service combined with the water pump replacement that it needed. And when you see a picture of a gummed up valve like that, you’re just like, oh my god, clean it.
Tom Dorsey (17:17):
Yeah, that’s a hard one to pass up. So that’s great tip and great advice is use those borescopes, anything that’s going to help you get into a dark hard to reach place and get a good image. Just take a picture of the borescope display. Same thing with your diag equipment. And I mean even if you’re using a tablet based diag tools, take a picture of the tablet, take a picture of your alignment printout if you don’t have your hunter alignment integrated into AutoVitals. What other, you’re like a pinata full of ideas over here, man. What else are you guys doing in there that you might want to share with the audience?
Neil Daly (18:02):
I kind of think of ’em as they’re talking. I dunno, really, it’s just about taking the time and doing a good inspection every time. It’s so easy to say, not on this car, not for this guy, or they’re not going to buy anything, but those are the ones, and that’s ended up going to why we pay our tech for an inspection now because we want them to spend the right amount of time doing it and making it a really, really awesome product for us. And it’s worked now. Good.
Tom Dorsey (18:36):
No, I mean you never know, man, people, that’s my lifeline is my car, or that’s how I get my kids though, where I got to get ’em to or my job. And so not everybody can get a new car and you got to take a good inspection, you got to send it out to ’em. I mean, even the waiters, right? Do you guys get a lot of waiters in there?
Neil Daly (18:58):
We try not to. We’re going to be getting a lot more of those with the more we’re running an oil change special and stuff like that. So I’m sure we’re never going to do a really fast inspection, but we are going to shorten up the inspection slightly for the oil change customers because we can’t be spending 30 minutes, but probably 15, maybe a little bit more on some of the other cars. But I did think of something that we do as well. This took a little bit of time to get the handoff, but we actually do, there’s five sections to the inspection or you can have up to five tabs on it, I think. Is that what they’re called? The first tab for us is all the advisors and the mileage based concerns because we should be able to have that conversation with the customer about what they’ve done based on mileage before the car gets back to the technician.
Tom Dorsey (19:52):
Oh, nice. So
Neil Daly (19:54):
The advisor actually starts the inspection on his tablet and does the walk around. We take pictures of the wheels. He recommends anything based on mileage and if they’ve done it, we put it into their record saying they did a transmission fluid exchange and it’s next due app, and then we put that mileage in. So as that’s coming, we have some time for it. And it took a little while to get that handoff seamless going from the advisor to the technician, but we’ve got it down now and he then closes it, gets it to the tech, and they’ve already got all that stuff filled out for him.
Tom Dorsey (20:31):
No, that’s great. No, that’s great. Right, and because I mean, one of the biggest, we’ve been going on the road doing a lot of workshops and stuff and getting a lot of feedback from guys on their intake process. And one of the most important things is set solid expectations, give them a taste, especially for your new customers. You got to kind of condition them to your process. And if you do it right, man, they open up that inspection sheet as soon as you send it, they’re waiting for it, they respond back in like five, 10 minutes. They’re always giving you follow-up stuff. They’re opening up your service reminders after their visit. They’re opening up their thank you email after their visit and giving you reviews. You can really kind of control the next steps. And building a lifecycle with ’em where it’s just a recurring maintenance plan, it’s just kind of like the next thing I have to do with Neil, I got to go in and do this thing and it’s, they’re already committed and it’s expected. You can set all that up just by giving them expectations at the front counter during intake. And I think that what you’re doing there is brilliant because you’re having that whole conversation and even showing them a piece of the process. Then it’s really easy to say you prefer text or email and giving about an hour and I’ll have the completed inspection sent to you and here’s what we do with it.
Neil Daly (21:49):
And another thing I thought of too, you got to keep it fun and you got to always show the positives of the car too, especially if there’s something maybe they fixed last time. You take a picture of that and say, good job, this is, it’s not leaking anymore. Or if somebody has a cool license plate frame or some of the guys come in here with maybe a modification they’re proud of, take a picture of it and be like, good job. Something we do now too is actually we check the registration sticker form and that’s part of the service advisor check in. So if that’s required with some people don’t even realize to catch it. Yeah, it does
Tom Dorsey (22:24):
Neil Daly (22:27):
And then the technician pictures on mine. I have a picture of me and my kid and we encourage the guys to make it a little bit more personable. And I’ve always wanted to, we haven’t done it yet, but I wanted to theme our pictures for holidays so when it comes up to Thanksgiving or something, have a Turkey hat or something that you put on. We haven’t gone that far yet, but I think that’d be a cool personal touch that people would appreciate.
Tom Dorsey (22:54):
Oh no, of course. That’s brilliant. I think you nailed it. I mean that’s really a great takeaway for this show is that you have to make it fun. You have to make it personal and you have to make it engaging. And those ideas right there really nailed it is to say, here’s something cool about your car, about you or your personality, and we noticed it and we’re sharing that and then give personal recommendations, personal type advice and things like that. And it’s going to make a world of difference because it really becomes now, instead of just some piece of paper or some step in the process, it really becomes a personalized thing for me. A report for me in my car, I’ll hold onto it and really be able to show the appreciation and share some of that kind of personality. I think you guys really, culture goes a long way to retaining customers, and that’s a great bridge to bring your culture to your customers, right through that digital inspection. It’d be fun to have a conversation on Facebook maybe where we can talk about some of those personalization touches, pointing out that license plate frame or talking about the registration sticker or other things that maybe they don’t get in other shops be kind of fun. Maybe we run a show in the future about some of the things we learned through that discussion.
Neil Daly (24:25):
Yeah, it’d be cool to see some other inspections too. We’ll share some of ours when you’ve got an inspection you’re proud of, post it up and let us see what you’re doing. It might give us some ideas to do ours better.
Tom Dorsey (24:37):
Yeah, that’s for sure. The more that we can share our ideas and things like this, I thought that Russ Crosby had great insights last week on how he’s running his shop meetings and getting his texts really to form this super solid team. When I was out there, I was mean, I was blown away at how impressed I was by that operation. And it really does because at the end of the day is if we’re tied as a team and we’re taking care of customers and we show, we appreciate, guess what? Those customers are on the team, they become part of the team. They want to be on the team, and that just means a loyal customer forever and really comfortable. Well-rested nights for Neil every night when he knows his business is kicking butt and taking care of customers, right?
Neil Daly (25:29):
Yeah, it’s really helped with the consistency too, being able to, I already mentioned it, but see the old inspection and then edit that. That was just an option we had to turn on. And initially when you turn it on, it didn’t work out. Actually, the guys turned it off before we trained on it, so we turned it back on because we need that inspection to be consistent so that it’s an ongoing thing and it’s not just a new one every time.
Tom Dorsey (25:56):
Yeah, and I get that a lot, right? When you see Carry Ford for the first time, it’s completely different. It’s like, ah. And a lot of guys will do that. They say, Hey, you know what? This is too much for me. So if you could give a little advice for people, how did you guys overcome it when you turned it on the second time? What’d you do to prep?
Neil Daly (26:17):
I mean, we basically just had to go with the technicians and explain. I mean, one, it makes it easier because there’s a lot of things you might not have to take new pictures of. If it’s a car we saw a month ago and a lot of the conditions are the same, you just look at it and as long as that picture shows that then you’re good. It really just took a couple minutes of them getting to know it instead of if you just go to do an inspection and it’s different, you’re like, oh my God, I just need to do this inspection. It caused some panic without training on it. But yeah, it’s been, I cannot go back now.
Tom Dorsey (26:53):
Yeah, see, exactly, and so that’s the thing, guys, if you got a little shaken by that, carry forward when you first saw it and get into the Micro Academy, help.AutoVitals, you can just search carry forward, you’ll see the videos, sit guys down, maybe do it on a Friday night, maybe do it over a lunch and learn or something like that, and then implement maybe on Monday. So give ’em a little bit of time to get hands on with it before they get tossed into the frying pan there, and you should be able to pick it up. And just like Neil said, once you get it down, I mean, it’s a game changer, man. It saves you a ton of time. It gives you more consistency. You don’t get that kind of missing things and growing brake pads and stuff because of the difference. As Neil found when he did his inspection audit, oh, hey, by the way, Darren Garlock is giving you a shout out. Says, what’s up, Neil?
Neil Daly (27:52):
Oh, hey Darren. Hey Neil.
Tom Dorsey (27:55):
He’s out there learning from you, man. That’s
Neil Daly (27:58):
Great, man,
Tom Dorsey (28:00):
Dude, awesome show. Looking forward to tomorrow, we’re going to be doing a webinar and we’ll be talking about some of the implementation of some of these things, how we set up our inspection sheets, how we can set the order in some of our severity groups and things like that to help your techs get best inspections possible. We’ll be going over some best practices and things like that from impactful pictures, how to take really good pictures, so that’ll be tomorrow 10:00 AM Pacific, 1:00 PM Eastern in our webinar. You can, of course, if you’re not registered for the webinar, just go to what’s the and register. And of course, as always, we’ll have next episode of Digital Shop Talk Radio next Wednesday, same time, same place. Another great guest for you and talking about ways to be successful in a digital shop. Neil, Dan, I really appreciate your time, buddy. Taking your time out from your busy day, sharing your advice with us, sharing your culture with us, man, it’s really impressive what you guys do out there, and we really appreciate you coming on.
Neil Daly (29:11):
Thanks, man. Yeah, thank you guys for building this product for us. I appreciate it. No,
Tom Dorsey (29:17):
Man, it’s our pleasure. Yeah, you’re welcome. You’re welcome, man. Let’s bring it on Facebook. Let’s talk about some of those ideas we had. How do we personalize those experiences, some special touches that you guys put in your inspection program that really helped to bring a better bond with your customer and drive loyalty in your business. Looking forward to reading that on Facebook and running a radio show about it in the future. Until then, get out there and make some money. Thanks everybody for paying attention, staying awake, and we’ll talk to you next week.
Neil Daly (29:53):

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