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When it comes to running a successful dealership, the sales and service departments often operate in distinct silos. However, by taking a closer look at the time-tested practices that consistently drive results in sales, service managers can uncover valuable insights to enhance their own department’s performance. In this article, we’ll explore several key strategies that service managers can borrow from their sales counterparts to boost efficiency, customer satisfaction, and ultimately, the bottom line.

1. The Power of Daily Service Kick-Off Meetings

One of the most enduring rituals in the sales world is the morning kick-off meeting. At dealerships across the country, salespeople gather near the showroom, fueled by caffeine and ready to tackle the day ahead. Service managers can harness the power of this practice by implementing their own daily huddles. Here’s why:

  • Enforcing punctuality: Kick-off meetings underscore the importance of arriving to work on time, setting a professional tone for the day.
  • Focusing the team: These meetings provide an opportunity to set clear goals and priorities for the day ahead.
  • Addressing key issues: Managers can discuss factors impacting daily shop capacity, scheduled appointments, CSI scores, and week-to-date and month-to-date performance metrics like labor sales and flat rate hours.
  • Keeping it concise: An effective kick-off meeting starts on time and wraps up in under 10 minutes, ensuring maximum impact without disrupting the workflow.
  • Providing training opportunities: These meetings offer a platform for ongoing training, which leads us to our next point…

2. Prioritizing Continuous Service Training

Salespeople typically receive far more training than service advisors, often on a monthly basis. This disparity should not be allowed to persist in your dealership. Training is an investment in your team’s future, equipping advisors with the skills they need to:

  • Conduct engaging walkarounds that captivate customers
  • Ask the right questions to gather information for perfect repair orders
  • Present maintenance menus effectively
  • Confidently ask for the sale
  • Manage their time efficiently throughout the day
  • Execute active deliveries flawlessly

By dedicating time and resources to training, service managers can empower their advisors to deliver exceptional customer experiences and drive revenue growth.

3. Embracing Daily Service Performance Tracking

Sales managers are keenly aware of how many new and used units have been sold at any given point in the month. However, far fewer general managers and dealer principals can cite off-hand how many service hours have been sold yesterday, this week, or month-to-date. To bridge this gap, service departments should adopt the sales team’s penchant for publicly posting results.

By dedicating just a few minutes each morning to pulling sales and CSI numbers and displaying them prominently, service managers can foster a culture of accountability and celebrate wins along the way.

4. Designating a Service Sales Manager

Sales managers have a laser-focused role: getting rubber on the road. In contrast, service managers often wear many hats, overseeing advisors, handling customer complaints, addressing technician issues, managing loaner vehicles and warranty billing, and tackling myriad other tasks that arise throughout the day.

By designating a service sales manager, dealerships can alleviate some of the service manager’s burden. This individual can ensure that advisors are focused on their core responsibilities: selling service and delivering exceptional customer care.

5. Elevating the Importance of Sales-Type Delivery

In the sales department, delivering a vehicle to a customer is a momentous occasion. Salespeople invest significant time in ensuring a memorable handover experience. In service, however, we often rush through repair order reviews, hastily process payments, and send customers on their way without fanfare. It’s time to bring a sales-like focus to service redelivery:

  • View delivery as an opportunity to wow the customer, recognizing that reception and delivery are the moments that will linger in their memory when they need service again in the future.
  • Slow down to go faster. Taking a few extra seconds to thoroughly review the invoice and multipoint inspection pays dividends, as customers will depart with greater clarity about the work performed and the associated costs.
  • Walk every customer to their vehicle. Once payment is collected, advisors should take a moment to solidify the relationship. Accompany the customer, open doors, express gratitude for their business, and truly earn the right to serve them again – the essence of customer retention.

By implementing these proven sales strategies in the service department, dealerships can enhance efficiency, boost customer satisfaction, and ultimately, drive long-term success. As service managers embrace these tactics – from daily kick-off meetings and continuous training to performance tracking and elevated delivery experiences – they’ll be well-positioned to unlock their department’s full potential and contribute to the overall success of the dealership.

Elevate your Fixed Operations department with our custom-tailored solutions. Our team offers in-depth assessments and specialized training programs, crafting strategies designed specifically to boost efficiency, maximize customer retention, and ensure long-term profitability. We’ll work closely with you to identify areas for improvement and implement targeted solutions that drive sustainable growth for your business.

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