Most managers of today often seem to focus less on managing, and more on the glamorous and exciting work of the leadership title. However, the true leadership role of a manager is making sure that processes are being followed to get the job done correctly. Your service department is where you keep the customers you worked so hard to get, and in today’s environment, gain new ones! And while leaders may bring us great vision, inspiration and challenge, these things count for nothing without the efficient implementation brought about by good management.
To be a great manager, you must have an extensive set of skills – from planning and delegation to communication and motivation. In order to gain your long-term success, it’s wise to analyze your skills in all areas of management.
- Communication with your staff:
Communicate effectively and you’ll have a more fully engaged and more productive workforce, but it also requires being a great listener. The most ideal communication with your staff should always be a two-way conversation. Employee feedback helps managers decide if the communication has been received and understood. As well, employees have important operational information that can help to make the business more successful in achieving its goals. Regular staff meetings with your employees are a must. Your meetings don’t have to be a long & drawn out ordeal, but keeping your staff informed and up to speed on performance, productivity, and any departmental changes, has been proven to be very effective. Posting or sharing departmental numbers in these meetings would increase a little competitive momentum among the Advisors, as well as the Technicians (No one likes to be at the bottom of the charts). It gives the chance for everyone to hear the same message at the same time & your staff has an opportunity to ask questions and receive answers. Also, any recognition and/or rewards should be presented in the presence of their peers.
- Communication with customers:
Keep customers involved and satisfied at all times. Ensuring that your Advisors are keeping regular interaction with your customers will help build trust and loyalty. If your customers believe that you are communicating with them openly, they will feel their relationship with you is one of mutual trust. The level of service may be excellent, but the customer experience can be undermined by late delivery, sloppy invoicing or an off-hand employee. As well as telephoning your customers, to keep in touch. You might email your customers regularly with useful information, but make sure you have permission to contact them in this way. Standards of service are constantly improving, so keeping customers satisfied is a continuous process.
“The single biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place.”
– George Bernard Shaw
The 7 P’s is an old British Army adage for “Proper Planning and Preparation Prevents Piss Poor Performance”, which just simply means, if you don’t have the proper process in place, you will cripple the level of growth you are trying to obtain for any successful business. Planning your time wisely is the first step to effective management. It is also a good idea to evaluate regularly how you are spending your time. Make a list from your “most important” to “least important” and address them in that order. Having a specified job description document and organizational chart is a must as well. Whether it is something as simple as the role of a lot attendant, to the manager, everyone should have a clear outline of what is expected of him/her in that role.
As a manager having the correct people in place for the job is very important. A good manager would either provide training and coaching, and/or would have clear and straightforward conversations with his/her employees about what you need to be doing differently. Just keeping someone around and being abusive? That screams “bad manager who doesn’t know how to do his/her job.” If there are other people available who can help you with your work, ask them to help you.
“Empower them to make the decision and take you out of the loop. If you train employees to think that every little detail needs to be run by you first, you haven’t delegated anything. Not only that, but you’ve sent the message that you don’t really trust them to complete the task.”
– Laura Roeder | Founder, LKR Social Media
In order for your service business to truly become successful and grow in any store, it has to be consistently monitored & measured. “Accountability” from all personnel involved in the process will be critical. Most people are not receptive to change, once they are comfortable with a routine that has been created. So, it is important to monitor and address any issues immediately to eliminate any excuse or reason for any employee not adhering to the processes that are put in place.
Always remember; “It may not be our fault, but now it’s our problem!