The Differences Between Working as a Service Advisor at a Dealership vs. at an Independent Garage

service advisor

On top of there being so many automotive careers to choose from, there is also a fair amount of variety to be had even among roles that share a title.

Working as a service advisor, for instance, can mean very different things depending on if you’re at a dealership or an independent garage. Based on the kinds of responsibilities or environment that you want to work in, this might mean you’ll want to focus on one type of environment or another when choosing where to build a career. Or, if you enjoy variety, you might want to work at both.

Curious about how these opportunities differ? Here’s a quick comparison to help make the distinction.

Dealerships Offer Greater Access to the Latest Tools & Information

One of the biggest benefits of working in a dealership is that it can make auto service advising a lot easier. Dealerships, after all, tend to have great access to the latest information, techniques, and tools on offer by the manufacturer. This often allows for quicker or more complete diagnoses of issues that a car might have than would be possible at an independent shop.

It’s rare for the team at an independent garage to have to tell clients that they’ll need to go elsewhere for a repair, but it does indeed happen sometimes because of a lack of access to information or concerns about voiding a warranty. Working as a service advisor at a dealership, odds are that this will never happen.

auto parts careers
Close relationships with manufacturers help dealerships offer more complete auto servicing

Service Advisors at Independent Garages Tend to Offer Lower Prices

Dealerships will normally have higher overhead prices as a consequence of operating a larger, more frequently updated facility. This offers independent garages a distinct advantage. The fact that customers will usually prefer to seek out a lower price means many will be attracted to independent garages. The lower your prices, the more eager clients will be to purchase services, so working in an independent garage after finishing auto service college could prove quite the advantage.

Service Advisors Can Make All the Difference in an Establishment’s Success

Dealerships very much want to establish themselves as the destination for the lifetime service for a car, and are making a big push toward increasing the appeal of their offerings. Elements like the spaciousness of a dealership, the quality of the refreshments on hand, and amenities like comfortable couches or large TVs, are all increasingly common fixtures of the modern dealership experience. Customers are responding well to these conveniences, and becoming more attracted to the dealership experience overall.

Despite this, independent shops still hold an edge. In part, this is likely thanks to the lower prices on offer at independent shops. Research shows, however, that the main distinguishing factor between the success or failure of any establishment is the quality of service it provides, which makes service advisors essential no matter where they go. Offer friendly service and personal attention and you could set yourself—and your workplace—apart as being the kind of high-quality experience customers crave.

auto service college
Personal attention can make a big difference in satisfying customers

Are you looking to get started in auto service or auto parts careers?

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