Automotive Service Manager: Who is he and what is his role?

An Automotive Service Manager ensuring customer satisfaction and optimizing the performance of his department.

An automotive service manager leads from the front in an auto service department. He oversees all aspects and areas of this department. These include recruitment, marketing, administration, finance, and overseeing repairs and services. 


What Is an Automotive Service Manager?

All operations within an automotive repair shop fall under the automotive service manager. These managers help staff perform their tasks to the best of their ability. They also build and maintain customer relationships by providing the best possible customer service. 

Automotive service managers must have a background in automotive repairs and servicing. They must also have experience running a workshop or dealership with a service center.


Automotive Service Manager Job Description

Automotive service managers help set short and long-term goals for their department. They hire staff for different roles and constantly monitor the performance of their entire team. Auto service managers also prepare budgets. They report back to general management during monthly meetings.

They use the latest technology to ensure all work is of the highest standards. Whenever there is a change in federal, state, or local regulations, they implement it immediately.

Moreover, automotive service managers are responsible for effective administration and all the related documentation. They conduct training, check productivity reports and absenteeism, and often run payroll.

Auto service managers work hand-in-hand with factory representatives. Doing this helps them find and purchase the best quality parts for their workshop. They handle pricing, customer complaints, and follow-ups. It is also their responsibility to maintain a safe working environment.


Essential Duties of An Automotive Service Manager

Automotive service managers have a lot to do, but their essential duties come first. These duties fall into three categories: team management, customer service, and financial performance:

  • Team management: The automotive service manager must guide and motivate technicians and service advisors. They must provide a productive and positive work environment as well. This means resolving conflicts as soon as they arise. It is also crucial for the manager to enforce safety protocols. All repairs must comply with the relevant laws and regulations.
  • Customer service: Without customers, an auto repair shop will close its doors. It is the duty of the manager in charge to ensure customers receive the service they pay for. If customers complain, the manager must find a solution that benefits both the customer and the auto shop. The manager should also identify upselling opportunities that bring real customer value.
  • Financial performance: Cash flow is crucial to an auto repair shop. The manager must control costs and set reasonable sales goals. He should monitor several KPIs like turnaround times and customer satisfaction scores. This will help him identify the areas that need the most improvement, which will improve revenue.

Responsibilities of an Automotive Service Manager

An automotive service manager’s ultimate responsibilities extend inward and outward. 


Internal responsibilities:

  • Create a high-performing team.
  • Ensure smooth collaboration and ongoing skills development.
  • Ensure the service department always runs smoothly.
  • Minimize downtimes.
  • Update parts inventory.
  • Maintain a safe work environment.
  • Ensure the workshop’s operations do not harm the surrounding environment.


External responsibilities

  • Build repeat business and encourage word-of-mouth referrals.
  • Help maintain a steady cash flow.
  • Keep customers satisfied.
  • Maintain good working relationships with vendors and suppliers.



Skills And Success Factors of An Automotive Service Manager

The manager’s skills will determine whether the workshop achieves success. These skills include technical knowledge of automotive systems. Auto service managers do not have to be qualified mechanics, but they must know the basics of vehicle repair. They should understand how diagnostic tools work. And they should be able to interpret diagnostics to ensure correct repairs. 

Additionally, service managers must have impeccable leadership skills. They should inspire their teams to provide the best possible service. They must be able to advocate for their team with external stakeholders. They should not retreat when issues arise. Instead, they should address problems head-on. 

Service managers must delegate work efficiently. This will give them more time to build relationships with customers. It will also allow them to meet customer expectations. Their customer service skills help them prevent misunderstandings, which can lead to conflict. It also allows them to find unique solutions to help retain customers

Automotive service managers must also possess financial skills. They should be able to generate additional revenue by selling products. They should identify areas for cost savings and improve financial sustainability. 

Lastly, service managers must have a strong work ethic. Their jobs are not easy and require commitment and resilience. They must stay on top of industry trends and technologies. They must be adaptable to constant changes in the industry. And most importantly, they must conduct business with integrity. 


How Kilpatrick Can Help Automotive Sector Companies Find Good Automotive Service Managers

At Kilpatrick Executive, we know how important it is for auto companies to find the right person for the job. We focus on finding extraordinary talent for all our automotive sector clients. We tailor our headhunting and recruiting services according to each client’s needs. This way, we can find people that can do the job and help improve the business.

We have 25 years of practical experience finding great leaders for great companies. Contact Kilpatrick Executive today to discover how we can help you find the right talent for your automotive business.