In traveling all over the country I hear more negative comments about the Multi-Point Inspection (MPI) than anything else. Service Advisors don’t trust the technicians are doing them properly, technicians complain that they don’t “get paid” for them and if they do them the service advisors “won’t sell off them anyway.” The MPI is a great way to build a trusting relationship with the customer if they are presented properly and not used as strictly a tool to sell the customer something.
Sell the value
One of the biggest things I see is that the service advisors do not put any value on doing the MPI to the customer. Many customers are in fear of taking their vehicle in because in their mind all the dealer is going to do is try and sell me something I don’t want or need. This is because the only time we mention the MPI is when the customer needs service. A properly performed and presented MPI starting at the 1st service is the key to building a long and valuable relationship with the customer. At every write-up we must sell the customer on the value of the service we are performing. After the prime concern is established we must get the customer’s permission to perform this valuable service for them. “Mr./Ms. Customer after we determine what is causing your prime concern (fill in the blank) we would like to perform an in-depth inspection of the various systems on the vehicle and report back to you if there are any other concerns that need attention. Is it Ok if we perform this complimentary inspection for you while we have the vehicle in for service today?” Many times I hear “Oh, and we will look it over and let you know what else we find” The customer interprets this as they will find something else to sell me. The MPI needs to not be something the customer fears. Make sure the customer knows you will have an update for them and give them a time you will call them with that update and stick to it.
Don’t make it a sales tool–make it a relationship builder
I preach to every service advisor I work with about “selling the green” when discussing the MPI with the customer. Be just as enthusiastic about telling them that everything is OK as you are when you are trying to sell them brakes, tires, etc. Also, let them know that something is getting a little dirty or a little worn, but it can wait until the next service. This builds confidence and trust in you as an advisor and your dealership. Showing a general progression in wear as the vehicle ages also sets up the customer so they are expecting that possibly with the next service they will be needing brakes, tires, filters, etc. The worst mistake you can make is not checking the service history and having brakes or tires get better with age. Make sure all the inspections make sense as they are done.
The inspection must be done properly
It is management’s responsibility to ensure the MPI is done properly and completely on every vehicle when they come in for service. Having technicians that pencil whip the inspection leaves the dealership wide open for liability if something fails that was marked as OK. This action also leads to the advisors not wanting to sell anything because they have no confidence in the accuracy of the inspection. A written policy regarding the accurate performance of the MPI should be drawn up and signed by all personnel. There should be specific guidelines for Red, Yellow, and Green standards. I suggest taking a random used car and have 3 or 4 different technicians perform the same MPI on it and then compare the results. You might be surprised at what you find out about one technician’s view compared to another.
The MPI can be your best confidence and rapport builder with your customers. In this day and age of the recall of the day it is also a way to wow that customer that has not been in your store for a long time if it is presented properly and sincerely. Used wrong and it can drive the customer away and potentially keep them from coming back in the future.
If you would like further information on MPI presentation training or any other service advisor training that M5 has to offer please do not be afraid to give me a call or drop me an email and I will be happy to discuss what M5 can do to take your business to the next level.