Five Questions to Ask on a Service Walk-around

By Ted Ings, Executive Director

A service walk-around is undoubtedly the best tool a service advisor can use to increase sales at write-up. 

The benefits carry throughout the service visit, opening the door to estimate sales and needed services later on. It’s often not done at all, or it’s done poorly, used only as a tool to gather vehicle information. That’s a significant opportunity that’s being missed.

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For a walk-around to be most beneficial for the service department and the customer, it must be interactive.

And getting interactive is as easy as asking simple questions. Here are five questions that enhance your service walk-around in the service drive. 

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1. “Can you show me your concern today?”

Nothing eliminates misunderstandings and ‘no fault found’ diagnoses like a thorough walk-around. Have the customer point out the issues on their car to prevent the disconnect that causes poor CSI scores and upset customers. 

2. “Would you like this issue addressed today?”

Did you notice a scratch, ding, nail in the tread, or something else on the walk-around? While you point it out to the customer, ask if they want you to get it corrected for them.


Not only is it excellent service, but it’s more difficult for a customer to logically say no. 

3. “If I understand correctly, the concern is _____. Is that correct?”

Repeat the customer’s concern back to them on the walk-around. It’s a great way to avoid miscommunications and demonstrates that you are listening well. 

4. “Is there anything else I can do for you today?”

Always, always, always give the customer an opportunity to add issues or concerns to their work order. Some customers are hesitant to add more than what’s pre-booked on their appointment. Providing the opening to add concerns can decrease one-line ROs and increases service sales. 

5. “Do you need any valuables from your car?”

It’s all too common for customers to leave personal items in their car, whether they are waiting or dropping off their car for the day. It could be a wallet, purse, briefcase, cell phone, or just their coffee mug.


Help them avoid frustration by simply asking if they need any valuables from their car before they head home or the car heads into the shop.