Dig Into Work Order Reviews

Tuesday, March 15, 2022 | March 2022

How to analyze past tickets—and what you and your staff can learn from looking at them


AS VITAL AS BEING A “NUMBERS PERSON” is as a shop owner, fully understanding the performance of your team needs to go beyond hard figures. Taking the time to sit down and review the small details within the past tickets of your shop will give a stronger picture of each sale—and will open up the largest window of opportunity for your business. Aaron Stokes, founder of Shop Fix Academy, has been encouraging shop owners to audit their past work orders through his coaching organization and conference speaking presentations.

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Owners should sit down and analyze tickets a week at a time. With a mountain of past work orders, it can quickly get overwhelming, so Stokes suggests spot-checking. Separate your tickets into three piles. In one, place all small tickets, in another, isolate your average tickets, and in the last, your large tickets. Now, ignore everything in the middle and focus on the large and small.

“You want to focus on the extremes or else you can get into an analysis paralysis, and it can get real boring, real quick—and that’s not the goal here,” Stokes explains. “The goal is to get answers, take action, make more money, make more customers happy, and provide more value to the marketplace.”


Looking at the large tickets, why were they so large? Who sold the biggest orders at your shop? What was the biggest reason this ticket was so successful? And why wasn’t the order even larger?

“A lot of people don’t notice that when you sell a $3,000 ticket, there’s probably another $1,000 that could have also been added,” Stokes says.

Now, switching over to the small tickets, was there potentially more success with this buyer? Was all possible work actually presented to the customer?

It’s typical that the biggest stack of tickets is your small tickets. But this is exciting to Stokes, and with proper systems, training, people, and attitude, this can present a large opportunity for growth.

“It comes down to identifying why the two extremes are happening in your shop,” he says.


The main red flag to look out for is signs that the advisor did not properly present all potential work to the customer. This red flag—and opportunity—arises when the items are not even presented to the customer, not if they have declined the work.

To further investigate this issue, Stokes suggests speaking with other team members who work next to the advisor with the low tickets. Build connections with your staff in order to learn more about your employees and identify opportunities that one may not realize they are doing themself to help the entire team succeed and grow.


You should also be communicating with the advisor responsible for the lower tickets. This way, you open up the conversation to possible issues that may need to be solved. “

Show the advisor the small, medium, and big piles and mention that you have been noticing a trend,” Stokes explains. “Let them know that a lot of the recommendations from the technician aren’t hitting the ticket, and ask if they have been bringing them up to the customer.”

Be open and ask questions—if you outright tell the advisor that their ticket average isn’t great, their defenses are going to go up, and you are not going to get a better performance from them. Then, ask them to present all possible work to the customer in the next few tickets to see how that may improve their—and the shop’s—average ticket amount.