How to stay consistent in your work – Service Drive

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Steve Hall on how to train advisors and how to find high quality employees – Service Drive

Home / Service Drive News / Interviews / Steve Hall on how to train advisors and how to find high quality employees

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Steve Hall on how to train advisors and how to find high quality employees – Service Drive

Home / Service Drive News / Interviews / Steve Hall on how to train advisors and how to find high quality employees

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How To Make Service Advisors More Effective – Service Drive

Home / Articles / How To Make Service Advisors More Effective

How To Make Service Advisors More Effective

They need to pick their spots for when to go for the sale. BY DAVID LEWIS

shutterstock_249682324This month, we asked leading service and sales trainer David Lewis for his thoughts on several issues that dealerships frequently have with their service advisors.

What are effective ways to instill a genuine belief in a service advisor in the products and services he is selling?

David Lewis: “The most important thing that dealers have to do is, they have to provide for a service advisor with better leadership and better training. That’s what it all boils down to. If a service advisor doesn’t believe in the product or service he’s selling, it’s because he or she has not been sold it by their leader.

“A lot of times, we take these service advisors and we make technicians into service advisors, and we don’t continually work with them and we don’t continually train them. This is a function of leadership. Just like a salesperson, they need to be trained on a daily basis. Every service manager should be having a 10- to 15-minute session every day with his service advisors going over certain things and certain aspects of the job, the products and the customers.

“If I feel as a service advisor that you as a leader don’t care, then I won’t care. If I don’t feel that you have confidence in the products and services, then I won’t have confidence in the products and services.

“If I feel your entire role is just to make money, make money, make money – that you don’t truly care about the customer – that’s the attitude and approach I will take. This is a big issue with service advisors. They have very, very little training, and their leadership has even less training.”

What are the biggest weaknesses you see in the ways service advisors try to establish trust with their customers, and how do you suggest addressing them?

David Lewis: “The first thing everyone in a service department has to understand is that the customer does not want to be there. No one wakes up in the morning and says, ‘Hey, I’ve got a great day planned. I’m going over to the car dealership and I’m going to get my oil changed and my tires rotated. This will be a lot of fun.’ So, the customers don’t want to be there.

“The second problem that we have is that throughout time, we have always tried to upsell our customers, and we try to upsell them at two opportunities. First, we upsell them in the walk-around. They arrive, we do our meet and greet, we take them out to the car, we bring along our pad and iPad and we do a walk-around. Most customers realize what [service advisors] are doing. It’s two parts – yes, you’ve got to make sure everything’s good and correct, but it’s always to upsell us. The second time we’re upselling the customer is after the service technician does the multi-point inspection. Now we’re selling while the tech is talking to the customer, or we’re calling the customer on the phone later trying to upsell them again.

“This is driving our customers to our competitors, the secondary repair facilities. The reason the secondary care facilities are doing so well these days is because of the perception that they are less expensive than the dealership, that we are constantly trying to upsell them. In a dealership, we’re looking for an upsell rate where we are upselling them $200, $300, $400 for every car that comes in. When you go to the secondary repair facilities, their upsells are usually $60, $70 or $80 per vehicle.

“For example, say I bring my car in to [a dealership service department] for an oil change and tire rotation. You always seem to find something wrong with my brakes or my front-end alignment, or I will have a leak here or a leak there. When I go to Jiffy Lube to have work done, Jiffy Lube only upsells me certain things. Their average upsell is about $80 per car; that’s what they’re looking to get. So, a customer doesn’t feel they’re getting taken advantage of, because it’s all maintenance-related items.

“That being said, how do we address [the trust weaknesses]? The first thing we need to do is, we need to understand the customer, to understand that they don’t want to be there and they have a fear of us. The second thing we need to do is, we only need to do our upsell one time. We either upsell everything in the walk-around, or we upsell everything after the service technician does their multi-point inspection.

shutterstock_132040601“Number three, it’s a very good technique to always get a takeaway item in your upsell. So I might say to you, ‘You know, the technician noticed a couple of things. He noticed that your front brake pads are down to the ribbon, and this is a dangerous situation. He also noticed you have a situation with a ball joint. It’s not that bad, it doesn’t need to be corrected today, but it’s something we need to look at down the road.’ Let the customer know that there are issues but don’t try to sell them everything. Let them know you care.

“And finally, this is the most important thing: Whenever you upsell a customer anything, you must create visuals. Customers think that we’re doing things in their car that don’t need to be done or that we’re not doing them at all. It’s like if you go to the dentist and he tells you you have a cavity, but you don’t have it drilled at the time. Then you go back a couple of years later, he looks at the film and tells you everything is fine. You say, ‘Wait, I thought I had a cavity!’ It’s the same with your customer.

“If you want to build trust with your customer, whatever you’re going to upsell them, you’ve got to show them – whether it be visually in person or be a picture or video. So, when your customer needs front brake pads, I’m going out there and I’m either going to show them a quick 10-second or 15-second video, or I’m going to take some pictures and show them what their brakes look like and what a new set of brakes should look like. They can see for themselves that the pads need to be replaced immediately.

“Visuals will help you create more trust and help you create more sales.”

What makes a service advisor effective or ineffective in conducting the walk-around, which is widely regarded as an important sales opportunity?

David Lewis: “I believe an ineffective walk-around is when you create pressure on the customer to buy something. Pressure can be determined differently by each customer. Everybody has different thresholds of when they feel pressure gets to them. I am not a huge fan of selling in the walk-around presentation. I think people expect it, I think the items we sell in the walk-around are nickel-and-dime items, and I believe that it takes away from selling the bigger items.

“Because when you do a walk-around, you can’t tell if the brakes are bad. So, what exactly are we doing? We’re selling things like tires, wiper blades and headlights. We do make money on tires, but here’s the problem: If I tell you that you need new tires, and if the customer is dropping the car off, guess what that customer is doing between when they leave and when you give them a quote? They’re shopping tire prices online, and the reason why I know this is because that is what I did.

“I bring my car in religiously for an oil change and tire rotation every five to six months. The last time I was in, the guy does his walk-around and found that my tires were getting very low. He showed them to me. I agreed with him. He said, ‘Let me get you some prices on tires,’ and I said, ‘Great.’

“What I did was, when he walked away I took out my phone and took a picture of my tires to capture the model and size, and then when I got back to my office I went online and priced tires. He called me up later and told me four tires were going to cost me $1,280. I said, ‘Well, I think I will pass because I can get them installed for $890 somewhere else, with a front-end alignment.’ He said, ‘Let me see what we can do’ and then called me back to say they would match the price. When I went back to the dealership to pick up my car, I chatted with the service manager, and he said, ‘We made a whopping $17 selling you those tires. But, I didn’t want to lose you.’

“The thing is this: If he had waited until after the multi-point inspection, if he had called me or shown me a picture, I might have said, ‘Yes, do it right then.’ By doing the service walk, the walk-around, he prompted things in my mind and he allowed me to do my homework because I was given the extra time that was needed for research.

“I believe in the walk-around. The walk-around is a very important thing. A walk-around might plant a few seeds, but it’s more there for safety [issues] and to make sure there are no scratches or dents or dings in the car, to make sure the customer doesn’t need anything in the back seat. It’s for me to create dialog with the customer.

“I am just not a big fan of doing selling in the walk-around. If we do our research, we’re going to find we sell very little [in the walk-around], and the little we do sell we don’t make a lot of money on.”

Source: Service Drive Magazine, December 2015 Issue

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Learn how to make service advisors more effective. – Service Drive

Home / Articles / Learn how to make service advisors more effective.

Learn how to make service advisors more effective.

In Service Drive Magazine, David Lewis, President Of David Lewis And Associates, tells you how to make service advisors more effective.

The most important thing your management can do is provide an advisor with better leadership and better training. If a service advisor doesn’t believe in the product or service he is selling, it’s because he or she has not been sold by their leader.

It’s important to understand that customers don’t really want to be at your service department. Now when it comes to up-selling, do it only one time. Do not up-sell at both the walk around and multipoint inspection. Pick one.

Whenever you do up-sell a customer, you must create visuals. Either in person or through videos. If you’re up-selling during the walk around, make sure you create plenty of back and forth dialogue between you and the customer.

Ineffective walk arounds consist of creating pressure for the customer to buy something. Let the customer know that there are issues but don’t try to sell them everything. Let them know you care.

Learn more about in the video above.

 

Source: Service Drive Magazine

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What are you missing to make your dealership the best? – Service Drive

Home / Service Drive News / Interviews / What are you missing to make your dealership the best?

What are you missing to make your dealership the best?

There are many aspects to making a dealership an award-winning store…one of those (and some would say the most important aspect) would be the service drive.

Matt Miller is the GM for Lexus of Edmonton, the top luxury car dealer in all of Edmonton, Alberta Canada and knows one thing that makes his dealership the best is involving the service drive in every move.

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Four easy ways you can keep your customers, and they are steps you can implement today. – Service Drive

Home / Articles / Four easy ways you can keep your customers, and they are steps you can implement today.

Four easy ways you can keep your customers, and they are steps you can implement today.

With the new year right around the corner, it’s important to take time to build a strong customer retention strategy. Luckily, there are four easy ways you can keep your customers, and they are steps you can implement today. The advisors are on the front line of customer retention. Advisors are who your customers interact with, and unfortunately this position has a high turnover rate.

You want permanent employees, especially in this position, because advisors can build longtime relationships with customers. When it comes to labor times, be sure to use a standardized labor time booklet. It’s critical that your techs never quote different customers different labor times.

The service department and parts department should use the manufacturers suggest retail price for parts, and if you can’t do this, use the matrix price so you are consistent.And when it comes to menu pricing, use a printed menu to show that you charge everyone the same amount. Reward every customer’s business with honest, quality service, and you’ll make them customers for life.

View the video above to learn more.

 

Source: 4 Ways to Keep Service Customers Coming Back

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Feeling Confident That Your Service Department Complies With Safety And Environmental Laws And Regs – Service Drive

Home / Articles / Feeling Confident That Your Service Department Complies With Safety And Environmental Laws And Regs

Feeling Confident That Your Service Department Complies With Safety And Environmental Laws And Regs

Non-profit group offers tools to evaluate whether your compliance and training are thorough and structured. BY JON MCKENNA

shutterstock_260029160Think of the potentially hazardous situations in which your dealership’s service techs and advisors work routinely – walking beneath cars on the lift and across slippery floors, etc. Ponder the containers of solvents and cartons of petroleum-based products stored in your workplace that must be shielded from careless use and the water supply.

Now, consider the myriad of federal, state and local laws, rules and regulations that govern safety and environmental protection. It’s seemingly impossible just to keep up with them all, let alone to act responsibly if you want to stay in good stead with OSHA but there is no federal standard about how often employees need to undergo lift training.

That everyday reality in automotive service and repair was the motivation for creating the non-profit Clean Auto Alliance in late 2014. Recently, the Alliance posted a free online risk assessment tool and updated performance metrics to help service departments feel compliant and prepared for government oversight.

Could You Pass Agency Audit?

“The idea was to put together a list of activities that, if you do these things, you will pass an EPA or [federal] DOT audit with flying colors,” said Alliance Chairman Eric Schmitz, who also is VP of product and business development at KPA, a Lafayette, Colo.-based provider of dealership management software and services.

The new or revised Alliance tools can be accessed at www.cleanautoalliance.org. Overviews are shown in the exhibits with this article.

Employees of KPA who were informally providing auto service clients with a standard for doing a good job on safety and environmental compliance launched the Alliance. Several dealership businesses – including AutoNation Inc., Chapman Automotive Group, Stead Automotive Group, Crown Auto Group, Voss Auto Network and Gengras Auto Group – signed on with the effort, are helping to fund the non-profit and have representatives on a metrics-setting committee.

Schmitz said the goal is to raise enough money by late 2016 that the Alliance can hire fulltime staff and let him step aside from running it.

The Certification Process

Service departments can log on at the Alliance’s website and answer a series of screening questions (for example, How many gallons of petroleum do you store on-site? Does your operation paint cars? Do you ship any hazardous materials? Do you keep a forklift on the premises?). These screening questions are intended to determine which of the service department’s activities must meet federal, state or local standards and thus are addressed by the Alliance’s standard or more rigorous metrics.

At that point, a service director can begin answering more detailed questions regarding those metrics that apply, and uploading procedures and documentation to prove the safety efforts his department has implemented.

“Every one of these criteria has a regulatory basis,” he said. “We’re not imposing on service departments anything that a regulatory agency hasn’t already said you have to do or that it will reward them for doing it.”

An Alliance team next reviews the service center’s answers and documentation and decides whether to grant an award, or certification. The administrative fee is $595 (free to KPA clients, however). Slightly more than 800 awards have been granted, Schmitz reported.

An initial group of metrics published just after the Alliance was created recently was revised, with some new safety activities and tougher benchmarks.

shutterstock_138250919First, A Quick Screening

As for the online risk assessment, Schmitz said it is a tool to help a service department quickly determine how much work it faces before it can apply for an Alliance award.

It quickly walks a service director through several safety categories and some quick reminders (for example, with regard to the AC 609 standard on handling AC refrigerants, applicants are advised they need to ask a new employee for a copy of his certification and make sure techs use only EPA-approved recover/recycle or recover-only equipment). The risk assessment produces a one-page checklist “that says you have done this, and these are the things you have to work on,” Schmitz explained.

Moving forward, the Alliance plans to next year establish a nationwide working group of 20 to 30 service techs to identify the biggest OSHA-related safety issues they face, he added. Those workplace issues will feed new training courses.

Source: Service Drive Magazine, November 2015 Issue

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Is your service department staff selling scared? – Service Drive

Home / Service Drive News / Interviews / Is your service department staff selling scared?

Is your service department staff selling scared?

What are you scared of? Are you scared to sell and make recommendations to customers, thinking it might make them upset?

I bet you can think of one or two people in your store that are selling scared. Fear not! Jeff Cowan, Host of the Weekly Tune Up has four ways for your staff to gain confidence and increase sales today . . .

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Does your shop get the front and center attention it deserves? – Service Drive

Home / Recent News / Does your shop get the front and center attention it deserves?

Does your shop get the front and center attention it deserves?

Mark Smith, Co-Founder of Principle Auto Dealership Group, spent 25 years at he wanted to change the auto industry.

Eventually becoming COO, Smith said, “We have an auto industry that treats technicians like second-class citizens, and it drives me nuts.” Smith started investing millions to improve stores in Texas and Tennessee. He remodeled locker rooms for techs, brought in new shop equipment, and spruced up the parts department.

One of his Infiniti stores wanted advisers stationed alongside the waiting room. Smith fought that saying advisers need to be where they can see their techs and communicate.

Smith also worked with BMW of San Antonio – helping the store go from selling 100 new cars a month to 200 in the span of just 60 days. And in 90 days the store went from selling 60 to 200 used cars.

Believing in the power of training, the company holds about 30 different classes for its staff. So what is your store doing to better your team and the auto industry?

Source: Does your shop get the front and center attention it deserves?

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