It is an indisputable fact that everything that happens within the walls of the Service department is tracked and controlled by the repair order. Most personnel in the department are paid directly or indirectly by what happens on the repair order. The repair order is so crucial, that what happens in the shop can be completely different than what is represented on the repair order. However, when that repair order is closed, and the charges are posted to accounting, there is a very good chance that, right or wrong, the result will show on the financial statement. With this in mind, it is important to know as accurately as possible, when and how the facts and figures become what they are.
When completing a manual repair order survey, time is not your friend. Given the task to accumulate repair orders, review them, document each item and tabulate the findings, it may require you to implement a new structured process just to get started.
Now there is a better way. It is M5’s Repair Order Survey Evaluation - ROSE.
Your female customers make buying decisions based not only on how much they like your product or service, but how much they like you as a business owner. If you can make them feel comfortable about you and your company, you will break down some of the barriers selling to your female guests. Surveys reveal that a majority of decisions regarding vehicle repair are now decided by women, whether as single car owners or married household decision makers.
During my travels, I witnessed something that I thought would be of value to all of us. Let me paint you the picture. This store is a lot like many stores that we visit. The service department is losing money and the dealer wants it turned around quickly. If it was my store, I would too. There are four service advisors and fourteen technicians. The advisors are long term employees with the exception of one new hire. The performance of the advisors, or lack of, was very evident. The two service advisors are whiners; “poor little me, I’m not making any money; nobody cares.
I visit quite a few dealers in the course of a year. What Ii find at times is that the challenge is not only prescribing a plan of action for the department after the evaluation to become profitable, but simply how to just break even (sometimes you have to crawl before you can walk).
We’ve all heard this before. It’s 8:00 o’clock Monday morning, and the morning rush is in full force. Your service advisors are writing repair orders just as fast as they can, going from one customer to the next with determination. It’s now 8:45 and one of your customers is upset because he or she had an appointment for their vehicle with a “Check Engine Light” concern, however, their car hasn’t moved since they got there. They’ve been patiently sitting around the customer lounge waiting for the service advisor to report back on the needed repairs.
When is the last time you really looked at your service facility?
When we work in place every day, it’s easy to get “tunnel vision” and not notice changes in the surroundings in which we inhabit. We become so focused that we do not notice the changes in our environment that have happened slowly over time.
Does your dealership have a Collision Center? Of course in the olden days we called them Body Shops. How many of your customers know that your full service facility includes a Collision Center. My experience has shown it was not uncommon to survey customers in the service drive over a few days to find less than 50% did not know that we could offer body/cosmetic repair.
In today’s world, communication is now a matter of convenience. If a dealer or GM wanted to reach somebody in his or her service department, he would simply page them, contact them by email, dial an extension or call their cell phone. However, when was the last time you called your store? Try to put yourself in the customer’s shoes and call your service department. Call and make an appointment, or at least try to anyway. You may either be pleasantly surprised or extremely disappointed in the results. This is what your customers do every day.
On a recent visit to Minneapolis, it was so cold that if you threw a cup of hot water in the air, it instantly vaporized! So, imagine my surprise when I heard the service manager use the word “picnic” in a conversation with another employee at the dealership. It’s the middle of winter, I wondered, where’s the picnic?
So, I figured I would ask about the picnic discussion on such a cold day. The manager went on to explain that they were talking about a customer and their vehicle. The dealership’s definition of a picnic was: problem in customer, not in car. I thought I had heard every acronym in the car business, but then again, we all learn something every day. So what exactly does this mean, “problem in customer, not in car”?