Commitment of a Service Department

In times like these I often think of our great nation’s history, and of how lucky we are to call this country home. On the 4th of July in 1776, fifty-six brave men committed to a cause they believed in – they signed their names to a piece of paper and in doing so committed an act of high treason against the British crown. Fifty-six valiant acts, all of them punishable by death. Each man risked dismemberment, disembowelment, decapitation, and disposal simply to do what he felt was right.

That’s what I call commitment.

Nowadays our service departments nationwide struggle to make any commitment at all. As a manager I’m sure you’ve heard the following countless times:

  1. “Your car should be done around 3:00.” Why not make a commitment and say “Your car will be done at 3:00”?
  2. “Your total should be around $300.00.” Honor your word and commit to the number. “Your total will be $257.63.”

Commit to what you know to be true. Your forthright professionalism and your confidence will help your dealership in so many ways.

Have your advisors commit to making status calls with every customer, every day, for every vehicle in your service department. “I will contact you at 10:00 am to give you an update on your vehicle. Would you prefer phone, text, or email?” Eliminate noncommittal tendencies from your workplace environment.

I travel across our nation visiting all brands of car dealers. Time and again I hear words like “upsell”, “tear it down”, “diag”, “rip it apart”. All these phrases should be dismembered, disemboweled, decapitated, and disposed of. Service departments pay lip service to the vitality of customer satisfaction yet they often fail to commit to customers’ most vital needs.

As managers we continue to allow this type of behavior in our service drives countrywide. Why?! Doing the same thing again and again expecting different outcomes is insanity. Should we all be…committed?

We get complaints from advisors every day that they are being overwhelmed by phone calls – the same advisors refusing to make status calls. It’s no mystery why our phone lines are flooded in the late afternoons. Our customers are begging to be kept informed, yet we make them call us hoping, wondering, and wishing for their vehicles. No dealership can promise a Disney experience. But we can commit to keeping one of our key sources of income (the customer) reliably informed.

America’s Founding Fathers were playing a high-stakes game – so is every service department. We can take away life if we misdiagnose a vehicle…liberty if we neglect to make informative status calls…and the pursuit of happiness is brief and fruitless when we fail to provide quality service in a timely fashion.

Let’s commit to making our service departments all that they can be. Help me to make our customers – our countrymen – proud.

All of us at M5 Management Services can help you commit to your goals. If you would like more information you can reach out to me at:

Written by Gus Wadsworth

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