An automobile service writer is a key employee in the service and maintenance department of large auto dealers and dedicated auto mechanic shops. The writer serves as something of a liaison between customers and the staff of mechanics and technicians. Service writers are the persons who write up all issues regarding a car brought in for service. They review estimates for accuracy, itemize and codify charges by parts and labor, and present customers with itemized invoices. They also serve as one of the main customer-facing employees in the operation and are a key part of customer service in repair operations.
The primary job of an automobile service writer is simply and accurately writing up any issues that may have brought a customer into the repair department or shop. The service writer notes these mechanical issues clearly and presents this preliminary writeup to the repair staff. When the repair staff has an idea of the cost to repair the car, the service writer itemizes that and presents the customer with an estimate that includes all part costs and labor. Finally, when the repair is completed, the service writer completes the itemized invoice and presents it to the customer for payment. In addition to these basic duties, in many dealer service operations, the service writer is also expected to make customers aware of any preventive maintenance programs or service agreements that the vehicle may be eligible for.
Automobile service writers typically need only a high school education, and many employers will train on the job for this position. For most repair facilities, the key attribute for a candidate in this field is an aptitude for customer service, an ability to think quickly, and an ability to be organized at all times. Automobile service writers normally standard daytime office hours.
Automobile Service Writer Tasks
Explain to customers what kinds of repairs or servicing their car needs, and make cost estimates for the work.
Track repair status and fill out reports detailing the time spent on repairs and expenses for parts.
Provide customer service and schedule service appointments.
Ask owners questions and perform visual inspections of cars to determine the cause of problems.