An automotive service advisor is the liaison between the vehicle owner and the mechanic at an automobile dealership. When the customer brings a vehicle in for service, the service advisor writes down a list of the customer's concerns about the vehicle and relays them to a mechanic. The mechanic will asses the vehicle's condition and make recommendations for service. The service advisor will relay the mechanic's advice to the customer and attempt to have the customer authorize all of the needed repairs. If a customer is not able to complete all of the repairs at once, the advisor will prioritize the repairs and assist the customer with finding the best starting place for completing the repairs.
One of the largest sources of revenue for a car dealership is in the service department. The dealership typically will employ an automotive service advisor to aid every customer who visits the service department. He or she must highlight the worst-case scenario for every repair that is suggested by the mechanic but is refused by the customer. Using sales tactics, such as showing the customer how failing to complete a repair might alter a warranty, the customer sometimes rethinks the repair and authorizes the mechanic to make the repair.
Along with dealing with the customers who stop by the service department for unscheduled repairs or service, the automotive service advisor will make phone calls and send email messages to customers whose vehicles are nearing a scheduled service date. The customer will often be asked to make a service appointment to avoid the unwanted wait of an unscheduled service call. All of this special attention to the customer meets two objectives: it makes the customer feel important and cared about, and it makes the dealership money. The service advisor is often authorized to give coupons, such as free oil change vouchers or tire rotations, to occasional customers in an attempt to win over their loyalty.
Many customers are alerted to a potential problem only because of the careful inspection of their vehicle by an automotive service advisor. This can often save the customer money as opposed to having the vehicle break down and damage other components in the process. Occasionally, an astute advisor will spot a customer who is ready for a new vehicle and will be able to convince the customer to make a purchase rather than a repair. In this instance, the automotive service advisor typically will turn over the customer to a salesperson, and the two will share the commission from the sale.