At the foothills of the Rocky Mountains is Haglin Automotive in Boulder, CO, owned by Dana and Judi Haglin.
Dana opened the shop nearly 40 years ago, with one bay and a rotary phone. Now the bustling shop, which services all makes and models, has 12 bays, four technicians and four front office employees.
The Haglins have stayed successful through tough times by keeping ahead of the technology curve. And the entire staff’s grasp of new technology has improved their service workflow, increased communication between departments and kept customers feeling safe during the pandemic. The couple credit the shop’s investment in technology as also helping to improve the culture within their shop as well as reduce comebacks and increase their repeat customer base.
Keeping the lines of communication open between the technicians and front office can be a challenge, so in addition to an old-fashioned magnet board to track vehicles, Haglin Automotive technicians and service advisors are equipped with tablets utilizing BOLT ON TECHNOLOGY’s workflow, which displays the status of vehicles by technician.
“You can actually look at whether we’re waiting for parts or whether it’s in progress — which everybody in the shop needs to know,” Judi said. It keeps all team members appraised of exactly where vehicles stand at each moment of the day.
The technicians also have access to service information directly on their tablets. “To be able to have that right at their fingertips, at the car, rather than having to run to a computer and look it up and print it out, that’s been a big advantage,” Dana said.
Efficient Customer Communication
Communication is key to the success of any shop, and Haglin Automotive uses BOLT ON TECHNOLOGY to streamline how they communicate with their customers. The ability to text customers has been one of the most beneficial pieces of technology that the whole shop is utilizing with a huge benefit to their business.
“I’ve got customers who prefer text because they are in the middle of work or they’re in meetings,” Judi said, “but they’ll take that second look on their smartphone or on their wrist and say, ‘Hey, I need to get back with that. I know it’s Haglin Automotive.’”
She also said this has improved productivity as service advisors often don’t have to wait as long for a response or approval to move forward on vehicle repairs.
Digital Vehicle Inspections that Inform and Impress
“Customers appreciate the transparency digital vehicle inspections provide,” Dana said. Data shows that digital vehicle inspections can increase average repair orders by nearly 40% when vehicle owners can see and more fully understand the nature of the repair.
Judi said they’ve found that even after they’ve discussed service or repairs with the customer and work has been authorized, customers are continuing to research on their own. So, in order to provide customers accurate, relevant information, Haglin Automotive sends customers digital inspections that include not only pictures of the customer’s vehicle but also links to videos of how that system works.
“They can do research and stay right within our Haglin Automotive world. We give them as much information as we can in that inspection,” Judi explained.
Dana especially likes the feature where digital inspections can be saved in the system.
“If a customer calls and says, ‘Hey, I had my car in last month and you said something about an axle,’ you can go back to the inspection, pull it up and see exactly what you had talked about,” he said. “And rather than trying to recreate the wheel of, ‘Oh, we did see that car, but now we don’t remember what it was because we’ve seen 150 cars since,’ it brings that customer right back up to a current state of mind instead of having to guess.”
When referral customers come into Haglin Automotive, they ask who referred them, and Judi said they are finding people are often showing their coworker or friends their digital inspections.
“It’s kind of a wow factor for all our customers to see,” Judi said, “and they’re sharing with friends or coworkers.”
Judi also recommends the digital inspections as a profit center for a shop.
“If you’re looking to grow your business, one of the ways that we have used the digital inspection to our advantage is with the smaller fleets,” she explained. “We have several fleet companies that absolutely love the fact that they can see what’s going on with their cars. (The program) keeps a great history and it’s something that other shops are not offering them. So, it’s that cutting-edge technology that other shops in your area may or may not be using.”
Touchless Customer Service
Haglin Automotive’s use of BOLT ON TECHNOLOGY’s programs has allowed the shop to provide complete touchless service for their customers.
“We can text and/or email the digital inspections as well as text to pay,” Judi said, explaining that customers just drop their keys off in the drop box, the inspections and billing are sent through the BOLT ON TECHNOLOGY software, the service is completed, the customer’s keys are put in a lockbox and they pick up the car — all without having to enter the facility, if that’s what they’d prefer. “Having those services in place already (pre-pandemic), set us ahead of and apart from everybody else.”
Dana concluded with advice for other shop owners: “When you choose what companies you’re going to partner with, choosing one that gives you support and is a real partner with you is very important. It really is a collaboration. Be sure they’re as much a part of your business as you are theirs. It’s very important to partner with people that you can depend on.”
To see the video version of this shop profile, click HERE.