2005 Service Advisor Study

The Service Advisor

The first point of contact between an automotive service facility and the customer is the Service Advisor. The Service Advisors goal must be to provide quality service to the customer. Their responsibilities include: scheduling appointments, answering telephones, determining customers needs, preparing work orders, communicating to technicians, pricing and customer follow-up.

Professional Service Advisors have exceptional telephone etiquette, are very good listeners and ask important questions to obtain detailed information from the customer. He or she must be able to work with the public, manage different personalities and understand basic business and customer service skills. Some basic knowledge of vehicle maintenance and repair is an asset.

Internship Opportunities

The study indicated the majority of automotive industry employers want to have interns on-site during the winter season. Other responses include:

Winter 48% (67 Companies)
Fall 21% (30 Companies)
Spring 19% (27 Companies)
Summer 12% (17 Companies)

Number of companies responded: 118

Starting wages are dependent on candidate’s previous experience and transferrable skills. Many employers also indicated they have bonus incentives, excellent benefit packages and opportunities for advancement.

Labour Market Information

Of 149 automotive companies surveyed, 78% (116) employ 255 Service Advisors. An average of 2 per company.

Responses indicated 69% of Service Advisors are male and 27% are female. (4% N.A)

Survey responses reveal 44% of companies with Service Advisors are located in urban centres, and 56% are located in rural Nova Scotia.

Of the 255 Service Advisors, 70% are employed with Dealerships, 23% work for independent service and repair facilities and 6% are employed by Auto Body repair shops and Tire Dealers.

2004 NS Automotive Survey: Company Responses: 149

Employment Opportunities

16% of companies who employ Service Advisors, plan to hire another Advisor. within the next two years. Of those companies who do not employ a Service Advisor, 15% plan to hire.

56% of those companies represent dealerships and 44% represent Service & Repair facilities.

99% of employers will post their Service Advisor position on our website.

Industry Training Needs

Of 143 companies surveyed, 57% (81) do not have a formal in-house Service Advisor training program.

Companies who have an in-house training program include dealerships (85%) and Service & Repair facilities (9%).

80% (106) of surveyed companies said there is no known public or private training program available, and over 54% (72) of companies surveyed would send their employees for training.

Number of Responses: 133

Training Needs Identified by Automotive Industry Employers

    Very Important
  • Telephone Skills
  • Interpersonal skills
  • Building customer relations
  • Product/Service estimating
  • Assignment of work orders to technicians
  • Money management
  • Upselling products/services
  • Customer to Technician translation
  • Problem Solving Skills
  • Handling difficult customers
  • Introduction to Inventory Management
  • Industry Software knowledge
  • Work Order Forms
  • Basic typing/computer skills
  • Basic automotive mechanical skills

Labour Market Recommendations

  • Through the development of a National Occupation Code, HRSDC recognize the Service Advisor career.
  • A formal partnership between the Automotive Industry Associations and private/public training institutions be established to develop a Nova Scotia Service Advisor raining program.
  • Develop a formal Service Advisor career awareness campaign for youth, women, older workers and visible minorities.
  • Automotive businesses incorporate a mentorship component for new Service Advisors.
  • Automotive Occupational Profiling is encouraged for people entering the industry, changing careers or for career direction.

Labour market information was researched by the NS Automotive Human Resource Sector Council.

Source: Nova Scotia Automotive Trades Associations