How about support? In the sales department you need to have a solid, customer-oriented finance department to provide the financing support for putting the cars over the curb. A weak finance department will most assuredly have a negative effect on the performance of your salespeople. Similarly, in the service department, you need to have a solid, customer-oriented parts department to provide the replacement parts for getting your customers back on the road. A weak parts department will most assuredly have a negative effect on the performance of your technicians.
Why is it that the parts department in most dealerships will send a driver in a truck across town to deliver a part to a competitor (wholesale), but they won’t walk 50 feet to deliver a part to their own technicians (retail)? Since the technicians are the primary customer of the parts department, it would seem obvious that providing technicians the highest level of service possible ought to be a top priority. This level of service will have a direct effect on your CSI Report for “Fixed First Visit.”
To often this Fixed First Visit score is misinterpreted to reflect shop comebacks by the technicians. The fact of the matter is that Fixed First Visit has a lot more to do with the lack of parts needed to complete the repair properly; therefore, you must special order parts and ask the customer to return for a second visit to complete the repair. Hence, when the customer comes to “Fixed First Visit” on their survey, the answer is going to be, “No.” Are you evaluating the performance of your support department for your technicians?
Now, back to the salesperson who’s selling 10 cars a month and producing about $15,000 in gross profit. I bet you have processes in place to measure their individual sales opportunities such as the number of ups, demos, write ups, and TOs. You’re probably thinking “how can any of these processes possible apply to technicians?” To begin, measure the number of repair orders dispatched (UPS) to each technician. Every repair order, with the exception of new vehicle internals, should have an inspection sheet completed by the technician to ensure every customer is driving a safe and reliable vehicle. This is equivalent to the Demo. Of course, any needed repairs and/or services found should be itemized on an estimate sheet (Write Up) and presented to the service advisor for review with the customer.
Any customer who declines a technician’s recommendation for these needed repairs and/or services should be turned over (TO) to the service drive sales manager or service manager for a second review with the customer so they understand we are just trying to make sure they are driving a safe and reliable vehicle.
If you implement these processes and measure them daily, like you do in sales, you will immediately realize an increase in service retail sales because your technicians’ productivity will go up. It’s not uncommon for a good technician to reach 120 percent productivity or more. At this level of productivity your technician is now worth about $18,000 per month. CSI and customer retention are on the rise and service absorption just took a big leap forward, which sounds to me like the dealer just got a pay raise!
By measuring the efforts of your technicians daily, several things will happen with your entire service team starting on day one. First, you send a strong message that you care about service. Second, you are looking at their performance daily and comparing that to their goals.
Third, they will be held accountable for their individual performance on a daily basis. Fourth, productivity will increase significantly and so will your net profits. Finally, your service customers will like doing business with you and are likely to become return customers. So, don’t you think it’s about time you crossed over that line separating sales from service and give your service team the attention they deserve?
Vol 5, Issue 9