Bob Cawley is the Director of Fixed Operations for the Horne Auto Group located in Arizona and is our guest writer this week.
A strong, positive self image is the best possible preparation for success.
– Dr. Joyce Brothers
There is an old proverb that says, “As a man thinks in his heart, so is he.” It is my contention that much of the poor performance that shows itself from time to time on our service drives is due primarily to a poor attitude, spawned by a poor self image. If you see yourself as just another guy out on the drive writing repair orders and pushing flushes, that negative self image is going to come across to the customer and produce the “self-fulfilling prophecy” that you believed. For the life of me, I just don’t understand why we minimize and degrade the role of the Professional Service Consultant.
If you don’t see yourself as a winner, then you cannot perform as a winner.
Now if you are the guy that is just doing this job until something better comes along or you’re filling time until everybody wakes up and makes you the next service manager, you don’t need to read another word. However, if you actually enjoy your work, need an ego boost and possibly be challenged to improve, read on. I believe that a PROFESSIONAL SERVICE CONSULTANT is a position to be esteemed. Gone are the days of Service Writers, Service Advisors, and Assistant Service Managers! What people want, and always have wanted, are Professional Service Consultants to help them keep their vehicles safe and well maintained. We all have professionals that help us. Our dentist, doctor, tax man, realtor, spiritual advisor, plumber, heating and air conditioning, and even our barber/hairstylist and gardener are all PROFESSIONALS that we depend upon to help us take care of our belongings and the people we love. You might not consider them as being all that important until you have a toothache, have a heart attack, get a letter from the IRS, need to sell or buy a house, the basement is flooded, you live in Phoenix and the air conditioner just quit, and yes a bad hair cut ruins my day! We need each and every one of these folks to help us and we need them to be PROFESSIONAL SERVICE CONSULTANTS. Why would we think less of the person that helps and guides us through the care and maintenance of our second greatest investment? That is right–you are an indispensable part of every customer’s life and we seem to be the only ones who don’t get that.
Whether you think you can, or you think you can’t, you’re right.
To fulfill the role of PROFESSIONAL SERVICE CONSULTANT you must make sure to do the following:
- Professional – exhibiting a courteous, conscientious, and generally businesslike manner in the workplace (Webster’s Dictionary). The way we conduct ourselves really goes back to my opening statement. You must believe that your work is important and that you serve a necessary function in the life of your client. You need to make a connection with your customers and genuinely care about them and their vehicles. If you are an actor and a phony, people will see through you sooner or later and the end result will be a lost customer. You have been given a wonderful opportunity to help other human beings! The concept of a professional includes all of the following; personal hygiene, grooming, a neat pressed uniform, orderly desk, processing of the customer quickly and accurately, remembering the customer’s name (stop asking them three times before you remember or call the guy Todd when his name is Bob), have all your information before you present any additional service requests, do a quality presentation of the multi-point inspection, and thank them for their business. In other words, look, talk, and act like a professional. BE A PROFESSIONAL!
- Service – 1 a: the occupation or function of serving <in active service> b: employment as a servant <entered his service> 2 a: the work performed by one that serves <good service> b: help, use, benefit <glad to be of service> c: contribution to the welfare of others d: disposal for use <I’m entirely at your service> (Webster’s Dictionary). This is where I may lose some of you. The concept of becoming a servant to others is not all that appealing to most but I feel that it is the word that bothers us, not the concept. When we put ourselves in the role of serving another we are actually the one in control! The service that we provide our customers is to protect them, their family, and their investment, as well as to preserve the “like new” performance of their vehicle and give them many miles of safe and enjoyable motoring. The majority of our customers know little or nothing about the care and maintenance of their vehicles. I have more news for you–they don’t want to know! They want to have a trusted consultant who will put their needs and welfare first and help them make good decisions concerning their vehicles. Your customers want to become clients (Loyal Customers) who are more than just the next write-up. They want and deserve a Professional Service Consultant who is able to make them feel like they matter. GIVE GOOD SERVICE!
- Consultant – one who gives professional advice or services: an expert (Webster’s Dictionary). When we are in unfamiliar territory and trouble comes calling, we all feel a little uneasy and unequipped to handle the problem. We need someone, a knowledgeable consultant, to help guide us through the trouble and reassure us during the trip. As far as product knowledge goes, we need to be able to answer most questions or be able to find the answer. The one thing we don’t do is “blow smoke up the customer’s skirt”. You either know or you don’t know! When you don’t know, you find out. The one thing you don’t do is give bad information. The role of a consultant is all about trust. People don’t just trust everyone; you have to earn a client’s trust. This comes through months and years of consistent, honest, fair, and reliable service. BE AN EXPERT!
People don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.