A service writer works in the automotive industry, usually at a mechanic company or car dealership, and is responsible for documenting customer concerns about their vehicles. The job description of a service writer involves excellent customer service skills and knowledge of the automotive industry.
A service writer greets customers at the mechanic or dealership, listens to their concerns and addresses inquiries as necessary, writes reports of a vehicle’s condition, and delivers information to a professional mechanic or technician.
Essential Duties and Responsibilities of a Service Writer
- Greets patrons at the dealership or mechanic.
- Inquires as to reason for customer visit.
- Takes detailed notes with regard to customer’s vehicle issues.
- Asks follow up questions as necessary.
- Enters customer’s personal information in dealership database.
- Provides forms for customers to sign.
- Draws up work order with specific details.
- Assigns vehicle inspection to mechanic.
- Acts as liaison between customer and vehicle technician.
- Provides cost estimates.
- Assists service advisors in analyzing nature of vehicle issues.
- Imparts information to customer regarding the work provided by the mechanic.
- Answers customer questions regarding condition of the vehicle, wait time, and cost.
- Explains terminology and the nature of work completed to customer.
- Prints out billing statements.
- Explains billing details to customer.
- Processes customer payments.
- Maintains logs of vehicle work completed.
- Answers service area phones and schedules appointments as needed.
- Drives vehicle from garage to customer parking lot when service is completed.
- Refers customer to service advisor as necessary.
Required Knowledge, Skills and Abilities
- Demonstrates strong interpersonal and customer service skills.
- Maintains professional but friendly demeanor.
- Possesses knowledge of automotive industry and various repair options.
- Demonstrates patience.
- Demonstrates strong organizational skills.
- Is able to read and interpret automotive billing statements and work orders.
- Communicates clearly and effectively.
- Exhibits ability to understand and interpret vehicle terminology.
- Is able to translate automotive jargon into layman’s terms for explanatory purposes.
- Pays close attention to detail.
- Exhibits ability to remain calm and polite when dealing with frustrated customers.
- Knows how to drive.
- Possesses basic computer skills and is familiar with word processing programs.
- Manages time efficiently.
- Demonstrates excellent telephone etiquette.
Education and Experience
- High school diploma or GED required.
- Previous work experience in automotive industry required.
- Must hold a valid driver’s license.
- The majority of working hours are spent in the front end of a dealership or repair shop.
- Time will also be spent in the service area of the shop consulting with mechanics.
- Standard 40-hour workweek applies.
- Shifts vary from day to evening, and some weekend hours may be required.
- Some areas of the workplace may be hazardous and/or dirty; proper safety and protective gear should be worn as needed.
- The average salary for a service writer is between $40,000 and $50,000 per year.
- Salaries range from $30,000 to $60,000 depending on the dealership and years of experience.