Week two of our Service Department position highlight brings us to the Service Writer. The service writer is one step away from the service manager’s role. They take over the customer contact role of the service manager and in smaller service departments, also handle warranty claims. There is nothing more important in a service department than good communication between the shop and its customers, internal or external.
Much like the service manager, the service writer must have the ability to handle multiple tasks and personalities. The service writer is normally the first one in the shop and the last one to leave, along with the service manager. They make sure the technicians have jobs and parts ready each morning and check throughout the day on work-in-process. The service writer will also often handle warranty claims with the manufacturers.
In shops with less than 3 full-time techs, the service writer replaces the role of the service manager and works with the shop foreman. In most shops, once the service department has 3 full-time techs recovering at 100%, I would move the service writer to service manager and then hire a new service writer.
Warranty Writer (Possible Position related to the Service Writer)
Many larger dealerships have taken warranty writing away from the service manager and service writer to free up time. Instead, they hire a warranty writer who builds a relationship with the manufacturers’ warranty departments to help ensure the dealership is paid for all the work they do. Some say that a manufacturer will only pay so much for a repair, but that is not true. If the warranty writer can explain why a job took longer, the manufacturer may pay 100% of what the dealership is asking.