Ah, the lowly Service Advisor. We get abused by the customer, the technician, the service manager, parts suppliers, and the walk-in salesman, not necessarily in that order. Somehow we are expected to make everyone happy, keep gross sales numbers up, maintain profitability, generate great CSI (Customer Satisfaction Index), and do it all with a smile and a positive attitude, even after some jerk on the phone just raked us over the coals for something completely out of our control. We are probably the most abused and least trained group in the automotive industry. But no more my friends! Welcome to The Service Advisor’s Desk!

The Payback

If you had questions about customer service and how to be a great service advisor, then Bruce has given you many of the steps required through this series of articles.

Customer listening to automotive technician at the repair garage

The Perception

You may have done the most amazing repair at the most reasonable price, but if the customer perceives that they were overcharged or there’s some other misunderstanding, then their perception is not going to be a positive one.


The Preventative Maintenance Inspection (PMI) provides another opportunity for increased sales and lets your customers know that you have inspected their vehicle and provided them with the information they need to keep their vehicles safe and dependable. The hardest part of initiating a PMI is getting everyone on board.

The Process – Volume 2

Dispatch – Who is going to be doing the service? As with most other things, each shop has their own way of doing things. You may have a shop foreman that makes that decision...

The Process – Volume 1

Welcome back to The Service Advisor’s Guide to The Galaxy! The next step in the 7 P’s process is … The Process. The Process followed by the service advisor will differ from...

The Phone

How you answer the phone is extremely important especially to a customer that has just experienced a vehicle failure. Bruce provides some great guidelines on how to answer the phone.

Too Many Cooks in the Kitchen

Lessons learned: follow your own rules; they are there for a reason.

I Have a Special Purpose

What is the purpose of a service advisor? One previous trainer said that the purpose of a service advisor is “Get car in shop!” While that may be part of it, there is much, much more involved.

Episode 1 – The Phantom Manager

Most shops today pay their advisors based on total sales. While I agree that everyone should be paid according to what they produce, this type of pay structure pressures the advisor to “sell” in order to get a decent paycheck.

The Service Advisor’s Guide to the Galaxy

Welcome to the first article of our Service Advisor’s Desk series! The goal of this series is to assist you in the daily operations of your position from a guy that has been in the trenches as well.

About the Author


Service Advisor Desk Articles By: Bruce McDowell

Bruce is currently a Service Advisor for Garber Diesel Service Truck & Trailer Service Center.

Bruce’s credentials include: AMAM through AMI, ASE Certified Service Advisor, Ford Motor Company – Master Service Manager, Master Service Advisor, Master Parts Manager, Master Warranty Administrator plus 2 Management Degrees, Stationary Engineer License, and Retired Navy. And above all… modest.