Many of the 229 million American drivers are faced with the dilemma of getting their autos repaired daily. Unfortunately, many of those drivers have had a bad experience with automobile service repair shops in the past.
Think about the last time you needed your car repaired.
What often happens is that you hear a noise you haven’t heard before, or a warning light on the vehicle dashboard turns on. You don’t know whether you need something like a new transmission, or if it’s simply the transmission range sensor. Maybe you get your car computer checked using an OBD2 scanner. While the data provided by OBD2 scanners is normally accurate, it doesn’t tell you what needs to be fixed, only what’s wrong. A good metaphor is, “If it worked on a person, it would say that you’re bleeding, but not what caused the cut.”
Relying on Google
A Google search of the OBD2 scanner codes results in an overwhelming number of issues it could be, with no idea where to start. You need to be a trained mechanic to look at not just the codes, but the other data provided to put together the big picture. In your search, you also see that a rebuilt transmission will cost around $3,500, and that’s before you’ve scheduled an appointment and take time off work to go to the shop to get an estimate – yet you have no idea if it’s even safe to drive the car that far.
Most car owners need to take their car to a mechanic for repairs versus attempting to fix it themselves, even with the help of Google searches and YouTube videos that can walk you through simple repairs – assuming you made the right choice in what you needed to fix in the first place. If you’re like most vehicle owners, you don’t have a preferred automobile repair shop on call. Instead, you may resort to searching Google to find a local mechanic.
Mechanic Trust Issues
According to the American Automobile Association, two out of three drivers say they do not trust automobile repair shops in general and the single most important factor for choosing a mechanic is finding an honest and trustworthy mechanic.
Even if you find a seemingly good prospective mechanic in your area using a Google search, you still have questions.
Are the reviews accurate? Will you feel comfortable that they understand your issue? Are they going to be condescending like you’ve experienced in the past? Are they even going to answer the phone or return a message if you call?
If you had a chance to get to know your future mechanic a bit before you even made an appointment, you’d be able to choose one and rule out another and feel confident in your decision while also saving time and headaches.
A survey from AutoMD and shared on the Car Connection, show that over 83-percent of all drivers don’t trust repair shops and dread taking their autos in for repair.
Sometimes, the job is finished and paid, and you drive away, yet the mechanic didn’t fix the original problem. Other drivers have said they were sold unnecessary work or experienced unscrupulous billing.
Finding Good Mechanics
Believe it or not, mechanics have just as hard of a time. For every mechanic that has received bad reviews or car owners had a bad experience, there are more good ones who provide excellent service and are trustworthy.
Professional, reputable auto shops are seeking new and creative ways to connect with their customers and provide the highest level of service.
When Jeff Newcomb from Cary, North Carolina found himself in need of a mechanic, he felt frustrated by the same issues that so many drivers encounter when attempting to find a new auto repair shop, and that’s when his vision for such a service formed and he created Ratchit Virtual Automotive Specialists – a brand new platform that is bringing together car owners and mechanics with Live Video Chat and scheduling technology which is the only service of its kind.
The ability to see your future mechanic’s face, their body language, and look them in the eye during your Live Video consultation provides a lot of information to anyone seeking car repairs that a voice-only phone call just can’t provide, allowing the mechanic to develop a rapport with the customer and build trust. Taking the platform even further, Jeff wanted to make sure that the automobile professionals who have joined the Ratchit program are trained to assess and diagnose your vehicle during the call, and can offer a DIY solution, or schedule you for in-shop repairs when needed. Building a true customer service solution.
An App for That
The Ratchit app has quickly grown and expanded in response to feedback from both drivers and mechanics who wanted even more. Initially, drivers and mechanics used the app to connect before services even began. The technology has since expanded to add a widget that auto shops place directly on their own website to provide these same Live Video Chat calls with their existing customers as well as prospects, and the service has grown from the Raleigh/Durham, North Carolina area and is now open to both mechanics and drivers across the nation as the service continues to grow. Ratchit also now offers a mechanic listing directory search platform and will even build a landing page for those shops who don’t have a website.
Check engine light photo from Wikimedia.