Welcome to your new role as an integral part of dealership operations!
Fixed operations are enhanced by the service manager working hand in hand with the parts department. The service lane can generate new revenue, boost CSI scores, and increase accessory sales when run properly.
As the service manager, you’ll become the most indispensable aspect of a well-run store. You’ll wear many hats, and be required to change them often. Here are some tips to ensure your success!
Getting the service lane into a timely flow can be a tricky dynamic. Overloading the schedule leads to irritated customers, while too much spacing leads to idle technicians. Trial and error will come into play to an extent. Look at the history of the workflow and take advice from long-standing techs. During the growing pains process, have open communication with your customers, showing transparency and courtesy. Additionally, make sure to work on other tasks like inventory management, vendor returns, and fluid replacements so you don’t end up behind the service desk until 8 pm each night.
Proper Expectations for Service Techs
Set the right expectations with your staff as soon as possible. Never assume your technicians, parts, or sales associates know what you need and expect if you haven’t been clear. Put expectations and agreed-upon terms in writing—consider displaying those in your service lane as well. Detail what each person’s job entails so there is no discrepancy. Leave no room for “We’ve always done it this way…”. Train and retrain your staff, regardless of tenure, on what every customer and vehicle should receive, while also holding your employees accountable. Regarding customer service, set the right expectation on the amount of time it will take to perform each service. Remember, it’s always better to estimate higher and be done sooner. Try taking a video of the car and any issue found to show the customer what you’ve seen, and explain your findings in layman's terms.
Stellar Customer Service
Set yourself apart with customer service and you will make a serious impact on the dealership’s bottom line. There are plenty of ways to do it; and, you can get creative based on your location, brand, and client. A few universal ideas are to offer coupons regularly, follow up to make sure the customer is satisfied with their service, and utilize an oil change loyalty program. Try contests along with giveaways through social media and email campaigns. Offer the customer a chance to get to know your service drive by sending personalized texts or cards thanking them for visiting. Don’t forget the waiting area either! Comfortable seating is just the beginning. Why not provide coffee, snacks, toys, books, or television to make it a nice place to be?
Dealership Service Software Review
Make sure your systems are working for you. Do an overview of everything you use to run the service lane. Be it inventory management, customer management, accessory catalogs, or training models—they should fit your needs. The GM may not even realize something is being paid for unnecessarily or that the systems are archaic. There are too many options on the market today to be using anything less than the best.
Continue to train yourself and train your staff. The best service lanes focus on continually improving and increasing revenue rather than growing complacent. Provide continual training for technicians as an opportunity to hone their skills. Train on customer service and best practices in selling accessories. As well as any new software that might be used. Never stop getting better. This will help you keep techs and make it easier to find new ones when they leave. We know that a tech shortage can lead to many annoying issues like further turnover or a lot of overtime.
Success Tips for Your Auto Service Department
As you put these best practices in place, you’ll start working towards a well-oiled machine. Become the powerhouse of your dealership by creating a thriving service department! One of the integral parts of an efficient dealership is an effortless accessory sales process. Schedule a demo with us to elevate your accessory sales, or keep the dusty catalog customers push to the side–your choice.