PHILADELPHIA — Bolt On Technology L.L.C., which has offered technology solutions to nearly 10,000 independent repair shops for a decade to communicate repairs with customers, is planning to expand its platform to include all of the automotive aftermarket.
Bolt On's software offers digital vehicle inspection reports to give shop customers the ability to see photos of repairs and read technician notes on a mobile device, as well as automatic text message service reminders, next-appointment scheduling and text-to-pay functions.
Bolt On will now offer its services to new and used car dealer service centers, auto body shops, parts vendors, air conditioning specialists, import car specialty shops, truck, RV, motorcycle and marine repair specialists, fleet managers and other sectors of the automotive aftermarket, the company said in a recent announcement.
"We've had tremendous success with independent auto repair shops, giving them the tools to add transparency and improve communications, giving customers peace of mind and keeping their repair bays humming while enhancing revenue," Bolt On Founder and CEO Mike Risich said.
"With the launch of NextGear, based entirely in the cloud, we can now help every sector of the auto aftermarket, whether you're fixing transmissions, replacing fenders or servicing trucks, motorcycles, high-end imports or RVs."
Formerly available only to traditional repair shops using compatible third-party shop management programs, Bolt On's full capabilities are now available via the cloud through NextGear, making it possible for any customer-facing repair operation with an internet connection and a mobile device to improve communications, strengthen relations and increase business with customers, the company said. And there's no need to buy new software or hardware.
NextGear includes the full suite of capabilities every establishment doing repair work needs in a single product, available month-to-month with no long-term commitment.
Dealer service centers, for instance, can send customers multimedia updates after the service advisor takes their keys, and collision centers can provide photographic evidence of vehicle damage in real time, for speedier approval of repairs from the insurance carrier.
For sectors where future work such as regular maintenance can be anticipated, drivers can schedule those appointments and receive service reminders on their device.
NextGear can also prompt customers to leave a positive review of their experience, helping shops and service centers to manage their online reputations, the company added.
Specifically, NextGear delivers all the following capabilities in a single platform:
- Vehicle condition photographs and videos;
- Bolt On's red-, yellow-, green-light vehicle health reports;
- Two-way texting between customers and the shop;
- Speech-to-text note taking;
- Canned recommendations and notes, standardizing a professional polish to every diagnosis and communication;
- Complete vehicle maintenance profiles;
- Ability to clearly track progression and wear of parts over time;
- Future appointment scheduling;
- Text-To-Pay and payment financing, through Bolt On Pay;
- Review Manager; and
- Cloud storage of all data, for protection and easy access.
Bolt On's three-year revenue growth rate of 85.5% helped the company land on Inc. magazine's 2020 list of the fastest-growing companies in America — its fifth year in a row on the list. The company said it tapped into the growing need to provide more transparency to vehicle owners, who increasingly use their mobile devices to manage every aspect of their lives in real time.
"When customers can see photos of worn or dirty parts, they're more likely to believe what the technician is telling them — and more likely to approve the work quickly, typically within minutes instead of hours," the company said.
Bolt On said its research shows that seeing and better understanding the problems can generate stronger customer trust, repeat business and increase average repair orders by up to 39%. To date, independent repair shops across North America have used Bolt On's platform to send more than 50 million repair photos to vehicle owners, the company said.
To learn more, visit boltontechnology.com or call 610-400-1019 to speak with a customer service adviser.