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The Most Important Service Writer Skills & Responsibilities
Hiring the right Service Writer (or Service Advisor) can be tricky, given how sensitive their job is. After all, they are in contact with your customers more than anyone else, and it’s their responsibility to ensure that your customers’ equipment servicing needs are properly looked after.
It’s an important job, and if mishandled, it can have serious consequences for your dealership, including fewer customers and lower revenue. On the flip side, a great Service Writer can drastically improve your dealership’s customer relations and overall profitability.
In this guide, we’ll share important service writer skills, responsibilities, and best practices to help you hire the right people and identify areas for improvement on your team.
Click to jump to each section:
What is a Service Writer/Service Advisor?
What are the Key Service Responsibilities of a Writer/Advisor?
What are the Qualifications Needed of a Service Writer?
Important Service Writer Skills
Service writer training.
What is a Service Writer/Service Advisor at a Dealership and What Do They Do? (Definition)
Service Writers (also known as Service Advisors) are essential to your Service Department. They are responsible for keeping a lot of essential dealership service processes moving along.
A Service Writer acts as the liaison between your dealership’s customers and your service team. They are responsible for understanding customers’ needs and communicating them to your service technicians/mechanics. Service Writers are also responsible for setting expectations with the customer on costs, time estimates, and warranties.
What Are the Responsibilities of a Service Writer?
- Meeting with customers to discuss their needs
- Creating price estimates and time needed for repairs
- Requesting parts needed
- Scheduling service to specific jobs
- Communicating the needs of customers to your service technicians
- Entering Work Order details into your dealership’s management system
- Communicating information regarding parts, Work Orders, costs, warranties, time, etc.
- Communicating Work Order statuses to customers and relaying any additional work needed and associated costs
- Tracking repairs and problem causes
- Tracking and processing customer warranties and insurance
What Are the Qualifications Needed of a Service Writer?
While the qualifications of a Service Writer will vary somewhat depending on the industry, in general, they require:
- A high school diploma or equivalent
- Experience in sales and/or customer service
- Computer literacy and an understanding of industry software
- Basic understanding of accounting and electronic payments systems
- People skills including conflict resolution, problem-solving, and listening
Let’s dive deeper into important skills required to be a Service Writer.
1. Interact with People in a Friendly Manner (People Skills)
Your Service Writer deals with people on a regular basis – from taking customer bookings and providing them with estimates to interacting with suppliers. Someone who is unable to be friendly and polite during those proceedings situations can easily drive customers away.
In addition, a Service Writer may also have to handle customer complaints, which requires a certain level of diplomacy. Given how delicate such situations can be, you don’t want someone who’s either too irritable or shy to be involved in them.
For best results, try to find someone who enjoys talking to people and solving problems. This will make all the difference to your dealership’s customer experience .
2. Communicate Effectively
One of the key responsibilities of a Service Writer/Service Advisor is to effectively communicate customer needs to service technicians. First and foremost, they must be able to clearly explain to your customers what repairs should be performed and why – without confusing them.
Secondly, they must also be able to relay customers’ requests to your service technicians (using tools like ServiceCRM ), without confusing them either, while managing their repair schedules.
So, it’s not enough for a Service Writer to just be friendly – they must also be able to clearly convey vital information to everyone involved.
Read Next: How to Automate Your Service Department Workflow
3. Correctly Interpret Customer Service Requests & Tech Recommendations
To ensure your techs know what to do and to meet your customers’ service expectations , your Service Writer must be very good at understanding everything they say.
Often, customers don’t know exactly what kind of repairs they may need. It’s the Service Writer’s job to “decipher” what they want and then write it all down. This relates directly to having great communication skills, since the process involves asking a lot of questions, many of which cannot be scripted, to ensure clarity.
But customers are only half the equation. Your techs have recommendations of their own, so being able to understand what they mean and then communicate it all to the customer is equally important.
If your Service Writer is unable to understand what is needed, they can end up miscommunicating that information and reflect negatively on the dealership.
4. Understand the Technology
Being great at understanding people will do your Service Writer no good if they don’t understand the technology they’re servicing. Whether they are interacting with your techs, ordering parts, or looking at complex tech documents, they need to know how your products work if they want to truly be helpful. Otherwise, how are they supposed to ensure that your techs know what to do?
Read Next: How an Award-Winning RV Dealership Has Strengthened Customer Relationships by Streamlining Their Service Department
5. Make Accurate Notes & Calculations
Service Writers have to do a lot of writing and math, so if they’re not good at forming legible sentences or making correct calculations, they can cause blunders and slow down your dealership’s services. After all, a Service Writer is not just responsible for talking to customers and service technicians, but also for ordering parts, sending out invoices, and taking inventory . As you probably already know, making mistakes in those areas can be costly.
6. Think on Their Feet
There are a lot of different variables involved in servicing equipment – from meeting customer expectations to ordering the right parts – which means that there are plenty of opportunities for things to go wrong. Parts may arrive late, techs may run behind schedule, or your customers may simply change their minds.
When something inevitably doesn’t go according to plan, your Service Writer must be able to quickly resolve the problem. They have to be able to analyze it and then come up with a solution that makes the customer happy and doesn’t strain your bottom line.
As the industry progresses and new trends emerge, it’s important that your service team stays sharp. Enrolling your Service Writer in certification courses like those offered through the RVDA Learning Center will ensure your team brushes up on industry best practices.
It’s also important for your Service Writers to be trained on how to use your dealership management system effectively. Learn what training is offered by your DMS provider and sign your Service Writers up for relevant training sessions to help keep their skillset and knowledge up to date.
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5 Crucial Service Writer Training Tips
If you want to increase your shop’s sales and customer satisfaction, these 5 service writer training tips are the most important for you to consider…
#1. In order for people to buy from your service writers, three things need to occur: they need to like your service writers, trust them, and view them as credible experts. Accordingly, the first thing your service writers need to sell to your customers on is themselves. Not your shop, or any repair. The best way to accomplish this goal is by training your service writers to smile, greet the customer with a salutation, provide the customer with their name, then ask a question that invites a response.
#2. Remember, your service writer’s tonality is critical to your success. A study performed at UCLA (University of California Los Angeles), concluded that when it comes to what influences people during a sale, 55% is what the customer sees, 38% is the tonality of the salesperson, and the words used by the salesperson account for only 7% of the sale. Since your customers calling in can’t see your service writers, tonality becomes even more important with callers. Regardless of whether the customer is walking in or calling in, your service writers need to slow down, smile, and speak with genuine interest and compassion.
#3. Your service writers should always take notes, then repeat back the information the customer provides them with. This not only helps your service writers start a relationship with your customer, but it shows the customer that your service writer listening to them, it keeps them engaged, and it causes them to actively listen, rather than formulating more questions. This is one of the best-kept secrets to controlling the conversation with customers.
#4. As soon as comfortably possible, your service writers need to get on a first-name basis with the customer. By doing so, they will be taking the relationship from one between customer and service writer to one between Bob (service writer) and Mike (customer). It can be trickier to obtain the customer’s name if they are calling in, but your service writers should still typically be able to get on a first-name basis after the first two exchanges. An easy way to do so is by providing their name first: “By the way, my name is Bob. May I ask who I am speaking with?”
#5. Your service writer training should emphasize that your team needs to let go of the age-old belief that your customers, and especially callers, are only interested in price. The reason most people ask for a price is because they don’t know the questions they should be asking (how long the shop has been in business, whether or not you employ certified technicians, if you are approved by AAA, etc.). Accordingly, most customers calling in ask for a price to get the conversation started, and customers in your shop stay focused on price because they don’t know where else their focus should be.
Apply these 5 tips to your service writer training, and watch your sales and customer satisfaction soar!
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Service Writer Tools
Effective and profitable auto repair service writing can make or break your auto repair business – and Manager™ SE gives you all of the tools you need to get the most out of your customer interactions and service writing.
See your customer’s entire history with your auto repair shop in a single window, including lifetime dollars spent, number of invoices, credit status and more. Your automotive service writer also has immediate access to all of a customer’s vehicles listed by year/make/model as well as license, body color, and much more, with recommendations for each in a fully sortable and searchable program. You’ll know when a customer deserves extra attention and how to prioritize vehicles in your shop.
Vehicle recommendations are an integral part of the automotive service writing software and a big profit center for your shop. These recommendations are attached to each vehicle and Manager SE automatically alerts you to mention them to your customer when the vehicle is looked up. Better yet, if you are a SocialCRM customer, these recommendations can automatically be turned into emails and postcards to your customers.
Enhance your customer’s experience by automating notifications to them about the most common maintenance and safety items. The addition of ProPack , our integrated customer communication toolbox, will help you keep your customers informed about upcoming service recommendations.
Build accurate, dependable and profitable estimates every time with the confidence of knowing that Mitchell 1’s decades of parts and labor knowledge is behind you. Manager SE is integrated with ProDemand’s estimating tools and maintenance schedules, TSBs, recalls, tracking, and industry-leading labor guides, so you can easily add parts and labor to your estimates and work orders.
The extensive symptom and diagnostic task database in Manager SE enable you to go from symptoms described by your customer to a work order in one click, The automotive service writer tools in the system allow you to add common symptoms and recommended procedures to your work order, giving your techs a head start in diagnosing the problem.
The next generation of the shop scheduler/calendar helps you improve efficiency by maximizing available resources. Quick views by day, week and month, plus the option to quickly schedule same-day appointments give you more control over your operation.
You can create appointments with integrated access to all of Manager SE’s estimating tools while the automotive service writer software saves you time and reduces the chance of error. The user interface also features drag-and-drop capability, making it easy to change appointments and re-assign resources as needed.
Plate to VIN
Enter the license plate number and Manager SE automatically provides and decodes the VIN, quickly delivering vital vehicle information such as year, make, model — and more — to help speed up the estimating process for service writers.
See the history of each vehicle in your shop. You’ll know what repairs have been done, when they were done, what they cost, and more importantly, what needs to be done to bring the vehicle current with recommendations, maintenance schedules, TSBs, and overdue repairs.
Your auto techs are profit centers – if you can capture what they find when they’re servicing a vehicle. Manager SE makes it easy to add revisions to repair orders, so that you can call a customer to suggest a part replacement and have a revised estimate ready to discuss (up to nine revisions can be stored).
Shop Management Key Features
- Product Highlights
- Business Management
- Service Writer
Optional Add-on Solutions
- Manager SE Truck Edition
- Accounting Link
- Mobile ManagerPro
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How to Become a Service Writer
Step 1: Understand the job description and responsibilities of a Service Writer
What does a service writer do.
A Service Writer schedules repairs with customers and prepares schedule for shop and field service personnel. Oversees timely processing of work orders. Being a Service Writer requires a high school diploma or its equivalent. Typically reports to a supervisor or manager. To be a Service Writer typically requires 1-3 years of related experience. May be entry level if some experience in the skill. Gains or has attained full proficiency in a specific area of discipline. Works under moderate supervision.
A service writer works in the automotive industry and acts as a communication liaison between the customer and the repair technician.
Vehicle knowledge and people skills are both service writer requirements.
Car dealerships and auto repair shops are the most common places to find service writer jobs.
The service writer is typically the first person customers meet when they come in for auto repair or service.
The customer relays problems or concerns to the service writer, who then determines what type of auto work is required.
Step 2: Learn best tips to become a Service Writer
Best tips for those who want to become a service writer.
Here are some tips to become a Service Writer.
Correctly Interpret Customer Requests & Tech Recommendations.
Make Accurate Notes & Calculations.
Understand customer concerns so they can br accurately conveyed to your technicians.
Make sure you have answers to 3 questions all customers ask.
Keep current with the transaction.
Step 3: View best colleges and universities for Service Writer
Best colleges and universities for service writer.
- Butler University
- Carroll College
- Cooper Union
- High Point University
- Princeton University
- Providence College
Step 4: Think about whether is it worth to be a Service Writer
Is being a service writer worth it.
Communication with Service Writers to establish timeline on repairs and dialog with customers.
Marina/Boat dealership looking for an experienced service writer and parts assistant.
The ideal candidate will have experience in service writing for a busy vehicle dealership.
You will be responsible for providing customers with excellent customer service throughout their entire service experience.
There are two extremely challenging positions that can be achieved through this kind of training— that of a Professional Service Writer or that of a Parts Specialist.
Step 5: Prepare relevant skills for being a Service Writer
What skills do you need to be a service writer.
As with every job, there are some skills needed to succeed within this role. Possession of the following skills will help ensure successful day-to-day operations in this role: Expediting, Service Operations, Order Tracking, Work Order Scheduling, After Sales Care Management, Returns Processing. In order to do well in this job, you must have the following skills: Order Management Software. This list doesn’t encompass every skill required for the role, but is a good place to start.
If your Service Writer is unable to comprehend things effectively, they’ll often end up miscommunicating that information and confusing everyone.
Based on our collection of resume samples, these professionals should demonstrate product knowledge, customer service orientation, organization skills, computer competencies, and communication.
Maintained customer rapport with excellent customer service and strong communication.
Service Writers try to make the experience of having your car serviced as quick, easy and understandable as possible.
Sometimes, the service writer looks at the car to understand an issue better and then records it on the service ticket.
Step 6: View average salary for Service Writer
How much does a service writer make.
The average salary range for a Service Writer is from $44,034 to $64,444. The salary will change depending on your location, job level, experience, education, and skills.
Average salary for Service Writer jobs
- Service Work Order Writer
- Racebook Writer
- Sportsbook Writer
- Medical Writer I
Step 7: Find relevant Service Writer jobs, and apply.
Looking for service writer jobs.
Here are some Service Writer jobs in the United States.
Step 8: Explore Career Path of Service Writer
- College Majors
- Job Search Advice
How To Become a Service Writer
How To Become
- Job Description
- How To Hire
- Best States
- Remote Jobs
- Part Time Jobs
- Entry Level Jobs
- Full Time Jobs
- Work From Home Jobs
To become a service writer, you usually need a high school diploma and 1-2 years of experience. The most common jobs before becoming a service writer are cashier, customer service representative, and sales associate. Hiring managers expect a service writer to have soft skills such as communication skills, computer skills, and customer-service skills. Once you have all the required skills and experience, it takes an average of less than 1 month of job training to become a service writer.
The national average salary for service writers is $39,016, but with the right certifications and experience, they can make up to $61,000. Getting a certification as a Automotive Sales Professional will help you to earn more as a service writer.
Between 2018 and 2028, the career is expected to grow -2% and produce -51,600 job opportunities across the U.S.
How to become a Service Writer in 6 steps:
- Step 1: Explore service writer education
- Step 2: Develop service writer skills
- Step 3: Complete relevent training/internship
- Step 4: Get service writer certifications
- Step 5: Research service writer duties
- Step 6: Prepare your resume
Key Steps To Become a Service Writer
Explore service writer education.
If you're interested in becoming a service writer, one of the first things to consider is how much education you need. We've determined that 23.6% of service writers have a bachelor's degree. In terms of higher education levels, we found that 1.8% of service writers have master's degrees. Even though some service writers have a college degree, it's possible to become one with only a high school degree or GED.
Service Writer Degrees
High School Diploma
Develop Service Writer Skills
It'll be a good idea to develop service writer skills before applying for a job. Here are some skills commonly requested in service writer job descriptions:
Complete Relevent Training/Internship
Service writers spend an average of Less than 1 month on post-employment, on-the-job training. During this time, new service writers learn the skills and techniques required for their specific job and employer. The chart below shows how much time it takes to gain competency as a service writer based on U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics data and data from real service writer resumes.
Average Amount Of Time At Training
Less than 1 month
Get Service Writer Certifications
Certifications can show employers you have a baseline of knowledge expected for this position. They can also make you a more competitive candidate. Even if employers don't require a certification, having one may help you stand out in an application. Plus, the process of getting a certification can teach you new skills that you can bring to your work. We determined the most common certifications for service writers. The most common certification is Automotive Sales Professional, but Associate Service Executive (ASE) is also frequently seen in service writers resumes.
- Automotive Sales Professional
- Associate Service Executive (ASE)
- Commercial Driver License (CDL)
- Certified Pharmacy Technician (CPhT)
- Certified Service Manager
- Master Certified Electronics Technician (CETma)
- Certified Auto Glass Technician (AGT)
More About Certifications
Research Service Writer Duties
When you decide to become a service writer, It's important to know what duties and responsibilities are required for this position. Some common responsibilities are a part of most service writer jobs. Here is a list of the main duties that define the role:
- Achieve certification in service writer sales (upselling )
- Used SQL queries to report, analyze, and manage the ongoing Y2K research progress.
- Prioritize and schedule service to residential customers for both HVAC and preventative maintenance.
- Notify drivers via radio, cell phones, or GPS system.
- Utilize GPS equipment and location to guide service technicians to service location.
- Contact drivers for eta's, troubleshooting delivery issues, contact customers, reset orders.
Prepare Your Resume
Finally, when you already have checked the skills and responsibilities for this role, you can start creating your resume. Everything that goes into creating a perfect resume can take hours, days, or even weeks. No worries, we created a resume builder to make this process as easy as possible with tips and examples of skills, responsibilities, and a summary.
Choose From 10+ Customizable Service Writer Resume templates
Apply For a Service Writer Job
- Browse job boards for relevant postings
- Consult your professional network
- Reach out to companies you're interested in working for directly
- Watch out for job scams
Service Writer Jobs
Average salary for a service writer.
What Am I Worth?
Service Writer Related Careers
- How To Become a Bilingual Customer Service
- How To Become a Client Service Specialist
- How To Become a Customer Service Advisor
- How To Become a Customer Service And Billing
- How To Become a Customer Service Clerk
- How To Become a Customer Service Consultant
- How To Become a Customer Service Representative
- How To Become a Customer Service Specialist
- How To Become a Customer Service Technician
- How To Become a Customer Service Trainer
- How To Become an Employee Service Officer
- How To Become a Guest Service Representative
- How To Become a Receptionist/Customer Service
- How To Become a Service Advisor
- How To Become a Service Agent
Service Writer Related Jobs
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What Similar Roles Do
- What a Bilingual Customer Service Does
- What a Client Service Specialist Does
- What a Customer Service Advisor Does
- What a Customer Service And Billing Does
- What a Customer Service Clerk Does
- What a Customer Service Consultant Does
- What a Customer Service Representative Does
- What a Customer Service Specialist Does
- What a Customer Service Technician Does
- What a Customer Service Trainer Does
- What an Employee Service Officer Does
- What a Guest Service Representative Does
- What a Receptionist/Customer Service Does
- What a Service Advisor Does
- What a Service Agent Does
Resume For Related Jobs
- Bilingual Customer Service Resume
- Client Service Specialist Resume
- Customer Service Advisor Resume
- Customer Service And Billing Resume
- Customer Service Clerk Resume
- Customer Service Consultant Resume
- Customer Service Representative Resume
- Customer Service Specialist Resume
- Customer Service Technician Resume
- Customer Service Trainer Resume
- Employee Service Officer Resume
- Guest Service Representative Resume
- Receptionist/Customer Service Resume
- Service Advisor Resume
- Service Agent Resume
- Zippia Careers
- Office and Administrative Industry
- Service Writer
- How to become a Service Writer
- Career Path
- Resume Keywords
- What Is a Service Writer and How to Become One
Table of Contents
What is a service writer, how to become a service writer, how do service writers get paid, how to be a good service writer, service writer job description sample.
As a service writer, you are an automotive professional who works as a liaison between customers and a variety of automotive service providers, including mechanics, dealerships, and other related entities. You work as an advisor to explain to customers the repairs that may be needed on their vehicle and the suggestions being made by the mechanic. It is your job to ensure the customer gets only the services they need while paying a price appropriate to the costs of labor and parts. You must be an excellent communicator and knowledgeable about cars and the automotive industry.
Most employers do not require you have formal qualifications or education to become a service writer, though a high school diploma or GED certificate. Some post-secondary education at a vocational or trade school will set you ahead of other candidates. With that as a foundation, you should seek to gain experience by working as an apprentice mechanic in a training garage or other mechanic shop. Grow your career by seeking out advancement opportunities and taking on available responsibilities. Your goal in this process is to enhance your automotive industry knowledge and your customer communication skills.
A service writer that works for a dealership will typically be paid an annual salary commensurate with their experience and the size of the dealership. If you they work independently, they will be paid for each successful engagement they broker. As part of your their duties, they write up the services that are to be rendered and list all parts that may need to be ordered to perform repairs. They then total the amount of the repairs and add a fee on top of that total. Service writers set their fees based on individual skill and the marketplace.
To be a good service writer, you must first have a thorough knowledge of the automotive industry, including extensive mechanical knowledge of how cars operate. You need basic business skills and an understanding of how mechanic shops charge for services. You help customers navigate the common pitfalls that lead to overcharging and extraneous repairs. In addition to automotive knowledge, you need excellent communication and interpersonal skills.
With this Service Writer job description sample, you can get a good idea of what employers are looking for when hiring for this position. Remember, every employer is different and each will have unique qualifications when they hire for a Service Writer role.
We are seeking a personable, motivated individual to join our auto dealership as a Service Writer. As part of our customer service team, you are the first point of contact for both walk-in and phone customers. You assist customers in determining their present repair or maintenance needs, provide education regarding the benefits of standard maintenance schedules, and make appointments for maintenance services. You take customer vehicle data, perform follow-up calls and communication, and assist in all aspects of customer care. Our ideal candidate has prior experience in an automotive sales or repair environment, and prior experience as a Service Writer is especially valuable. This position requires you to have moderate computer proficiency, strong organizational skills, and superb interpersonal and communication skills.
Duties and Responsibilities
- Greet customers and answer phones
- Help customers determine their service and maintenance needs
- Provide information regarding standard maintenance schedules and benefits
- Record all pertinent customer vehicle information
- Perform follow-up calls and emails
- Make, change, and cancel service appointments as necessary
Requirements and Qualifications
- High school diploma or GED certificate
- Bachelor's degree in marketing or sales (preferred)
- Prior experience in an automotive sales or repair environment
- Prior experience as a Service Writer (strongly preferred)
- Proficiency with common office and productivity software
- Excellent communication and interpersonal skills
- Service Writer Jobs
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Important Service Writer Skills. 1. Interact with People in a Friendly Manner (People Skills) Your Service Writer deals with people on a regular basis – from taking customer bookings ... 2. Communicate Effectively. 3. Correctly Interpret Customer Service Requests & Tech Recommendations. 4. ...
If you want to increase your shop’s sales and customer satisfaction, these 5 service writer training tips are the most important for you to consider… #1. In order for people to buy from your service writers, three things need to occur: they need to like your service writers, trust them, and view them as credible experts.
How to become an automotive service writer 1. Complete education. Becoming an automotive service writer requires a high school diploma or GED. Some high schools... 2. Consider earning an additional degree or certification. Some service writer positions may require additional... 3. Gain experience ...
Your automotive service writer also has immediate access to all of a customer’s vehicles listed by year/make/model as well as license, body color, and much more, with recommendations for each in a fully sortable and searchable program. You’ll know when a customer deserves extra attention and how to prioritize vehicles in your shop.
How to Become a Service Writer Step 1: Understand the job description and responsibilities of a Service Writer. What does a Service Writer do? A... Step 2: Learn best tips to become a Service Writer. Here are some tips to become a Service Writer. Correctly Interpret... Step 3: View best colleges and ...
How to become a Service Writer in 7 steps: Step 1: Explore service writer education Step 2: Make sure you have right skills for service writer Step 3: Complete relevent training/internship Step 4: Get service writer certifications Step 5: Service writer duties Step 6: Prepare your resume Step 7: Apply for a service writer job Education
A service writer works as a customer service representative to ensure that product management or service delivery runs smoothly. Their duties can include everything from managing timelines to collecting customer information.
How to Be a Good Service Writer. To be a good service writer, you must first have a thorough knowledge of the automotive industry, including extensive mechanical knowledge of how cars operate. You need basic business skills and an understanding of how mechanic shops charge for services.