How long does a typical service advisor last in your store? One year? Two?
I’ve found that in some cases, we haven’t given that employee the proper training or coaching.
I’ve also found that many employees received little to no feedback on their performance.
As a young service advisor in the 90s, I found myself frustrated by this also. Rarely did I receive feedback on my performance unless it was negative. Training consisted of “the guy next to you has been here a while, work with him today and tomorrow, then you can write repair orders on Wednesday.”
The service advisor’s role in your business is, in my opinion, the most important in the store. They touch more customers in one day than an average salesperson does in a week or two. Who receives the most coaching, training, and mentoring? The advisor or the salesperson? If the answer in your store is the salesperson, then we have some work to do.
Advisors now need to be at the highest level to achieve customer loyalty and satisfaction. Customer loyalty is what drives our business and brings our clients back to repurchase.
Technology has advanced over the years, but the basic job has not changed much. Communication is key.
If we are willing to invest our time in a new employee, really take a month to properly train him or her, and provide them an environment to excel in, we need to put the brakes on and mentor these individuals. Take the time to provide constructive feedback, review their performance daily, role-play their customer interactions, and give them all the tools needed to be successful.
The following is an example of how to set up a new advisor for success:
- The new advisor takes all online courses (manufacturer, M5 University, DMS)
- The new advisor shadows the parts counterperson for one day
- A new advisor works with a technician for one day
- The new advisor works in the BDC for 2-3 days (phone skills, setting an appointment in the scheduler)
- The new advisor completes walk-around and customer reception training with the Service Manager
- The new advisor works in express (as an Advisor Assistant)
- The new advisor shadows the senior advisor for the week and sets up his/her workspace
When we devote the time and resources to a new advisor, we allow them time to absorb the complexities of our business. We allow the advisor to learn within a time frame that allows the advisor to absorb information and see what each position is like.
While working with the personnel in each area of our business, the advisor gains a unique perspective of what takes place in parts, the shop, and with other advisors, and will receive a well-rounded education before taking his or her position at the service desk.
One of the things M5 is well known for is our in-store advisor training. We provide classroom-setting training along with one-on-one training on the drive.