ACTIA is boosting the volume capacities of its diagnostics hotline. This support service is aimed at all customers of Multi-Diag, ACTIA’s multi-make diagnostics and repair tool. This community represents around 13,000 customers. They include independent garage owners of course, but also technicians in major multi-make networks that are Multi-Diag customers such as: Midas, Feu Vert, Euromaster, Autodistribution, ERCS, etc.
With the technical nature of vehicles and manufacturers’ OBD locks, Sylvain DUREY, Hotline and Business Expertise Manager at ACTIA, explains why ACTIA is boosting its online assistance for multi-make repairs.
WHAT TRENDS ARE YOU SEEING IN THE USE OF THE DIAGNOSTICS HOTLINE SERVICE BY PROFESSIONALS?
“Network calls concern both help with using Multi-Diag and assistance with repairing a vehicle. In qualitative terms, we get good feedback as 96% of tickets are resolved in less than 45 min*. We are therefore truly able to respond quickly and efficiently to maintenance professionals.
In 2020, ACTIA’s online technical assistance processed more than 12,000 online requests for assistance with repairs. This volume of calls illustrates the need that repairers have for assistance with troubleshooting vehicles that enter their garage. We have therefore increased our capacity to respond to this call volume and expanded our service on a European level in order to process calls from Spanish and Italian users in particular.”
WHAT TYPES OF CALLS DOES THE ACTIA REPAIR ASSISTANCE HOTLINE RECEIVE?
“In addition to their increase, the calls are also changing in nature and this is not surprising considering the rapid developments in the auto repair industry in recent years.
This is explained, above all else, by the increasing technical skill required to diagnose and repair vehicles these days. With the development of on-board electronics, the profession is becoming increasingly technical, and the level of questions is becoming more complex. They are now IT questions.
For example, a few years ago the majority of calls mainly concerned the location of the diagnostic socket and reading fault codes. Nowadays garage owners need assistance with interpreting the detailed data provided by the diag tool, as well as support with fault finding and assistance with the repair.
The online assistance guides them step by step in their auto troubleshooting, and sometimes through to the operations to be performed after replacing parts.”
WILL AUTO MECHANICS BE OVERTAKEN BY THE GROWTH OF ELECTRONICS IN VEHICLES?
“Quite the opposite. Auto mechanics are increasingly adept and will therefore take their experience and knowledge of automotive electronics a step further.
Diagnostic tools such as Multi-Diag offer many advanced diagnostic functions. As a result, auto mechanics who are trained in the tool are able to analyse more ECUs, access more electronic functions and resolve more complex faults. Their ability to diagnose and repair is therefore more accurate.
Online assistance with repairs helps to develop this business expertise. Through technical interactions with the professional, it guides them through their diagnostics and shares know-how with them from the whole community.
The database includes 150,000 cases of resolved faults referenced in the field. These cases will assist all the garages signed up to our service and enable them to see their repair through to the end, in order to satisfy and, above all, retain their customer’s loyalty with quicker and more efficient diagnostics.”
WHAT IS THE MAJOR CHALLENGE THAT MULTI-MAKE GARAGE OWNERS COME ACROSS THESE DAYS?
“At the moment, the biggest stumbling block for garage owners is the arrival of security gateways implemented by certain manufacturers through the OBD socket. This Security Gateway prevents the garage owner from accessing certain diagnostic functions, including entering the ECU program. This is even more obstructive when the ECU needs to be reprogrammed, or calibrations for parts or remote coding need to be initiated.
The ACTIA hotline draws on the PRP to assist the garage owner. This platform allows an expert technician to connect remotely to an ACTIA Passthru communication interface connected to the vehicle in a garage. In other words, it is a remote control platform on the Passthru VCI connected to the vehicle to update one or more ECUs that have been repaired or worked on, for example.
If necessary, the ACTIA expert technician remotely takes control of the tool connected to the vehicle and sees the diagnostics the whole way through troubleshooting with the garage owner. The online assistance is therefore in a position to provide comprehensive remote diagnostics.”
ONLINE ASSISTANCE FOR MULTI-MAKE REPAIRS: WHAT OTHER ADVANTAGES ARE THERE FOR MAJOR MULTI-MAKE NETWORKS?
“The ACTIA technical assistance really supports independent multi-make garage owners, as well as those in major maintenance and repair networks, Multi-Diag teams and the Hotline are of high interest for a network.
We allocate specific numbers for these maintenance and repair networks. The recent improvements to our online assistance enable us to generate monthly reports of call statistics. They provide valuable information about the network’s maintenance and diagnostics activity. Relevant analysis of the types of calls makes it possible, for example, to identify a need for training on a particular point, in general terms when recurring faults occur on mass-produced vehicles, or in a targeted manner for centres that require assistance.”
AND THE CLOSING REMARKS?
“While, as we have seen, online assistance with multi-make repairs helps to develop the business expertise of auto repair professionals, ACTIA is also looking to new technologies to offer its customers other services, including training.
In particular, we are working on a catalogue of e-learning modules, with an offer based on the needs reported through the hotline itself. These modules will be offered for sale, but some will be offered with the Multi-Diag subscription. These online training courses will enable garage owners to make the best use of all their tool’s possibilities independently.
Since the health crisis, online training has experienced tremendous growth and offers opportunities for quick and easy training at home. Learning about automotive diagnostics and repairs is ideal for this format.”
*For tool-level assistance.