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In the service drive, we constantly are discussing performance metrics that measure how much is being sold on average to every customer. Although, these metrics are very practical and serve a purpose to determine who is selling additional services and recommending needed repairs, they might not be telling you the whole story.
“On paper” I had one of the most impressive service advisors that I have worked with over the last 20 years. However, spending some time out on the service drive I began to think; is he building our business or building his wallet? This is a typical question that I’m sure most of us have struggled to answer at some point in time.
I received some feedback from one of the other advisors that I took into consideration and started my investigation. I listened to recorded calls; I reviewed the multi point inspections and I discussed the issue with some of the techs. Taking all of this information in I came to a conclusion.
My service writer sees value in the maintenance recommendations he is making! In addition he is selling the value of the service instead of just selling the service. Here was the most critical thing I found. There were several times that the customer was advised of a recommended repair. My advisor went through his typical sales approach, he explained the benefits of the OEM pad and then explained why we are recommending it being done now. In this case there was 2/32nds left on the brakes and after he went through his technique the customer said, “not at this time”. The next step he performed I quickly implemented into our follow up process. Once the customer said no, my advisor explained that he was going to set a future appointment to remind him to follow up with her about a month from now. At this time he set an actual appointment in the system and did a brief explanation of the reason for the appointment. As I was listening to the call I quickly checked the appointment log and sure enough the appointment was set in there.
I called my service advisor in to get more info. He explained that when he calls the customer back they have had some time to think and now are more willing to confirm an appointment. He said in most cases they were really surprised to see that he remembered to call them back.
This is how building a relationship first is critical; the increased sales will soon follow. When a customer has trust in your brand or in this case your personnel you will be able to build a strong loyal customer data base that is happy to spend at your store. Review your staff, inspect the process used to sell additional services, verify the inspections are complete and thorough, and make sure their follow up is personal. This basic process will build lifetime customers and help generate bottom line profit.