More emphasis has been put on the service and parts departments recently than ever before. While there have been huge strides forward, it seems like fixed ops management is expected to have answers for every problem from the moment they take the hot seat.
It’s different for sales management, GSMs and dealer principals. The variable side is fluid and ever-changing, requiring continuous personal and corporate learning. The bulk of attendees to automotive retail training and seminars like DrivingSales Executive Summit is from this group.
But I’d contend that fixed operations managers, especially service managers, would benefit even more from attending DSES.
The service and parts departments have more cogs turning at any time than most people – even other dealership staff – usually think. It’s commonly thought that it will just keep earning, no matter what happens locally, nationally, or globally.
Things change more than most people expect in the service and parts departments. It can include:
Status quo on these issues will have your service and parts departments eating the competition’s dust. Sessions from keynote speakers and breakout sessions on specialized topics will help fixed operations managers keep their head and their department in the game.
It used to be black-and-white newsprint was the way to stay in touch with current business trends and new tech. Today, that can be done online in many ways, but it’s even better in person.
While there are automotive publications available specifically for fixed operations like Fixed Ops Magazine, the content is both advertorial and sales driven. Sure, there’s an aspect of that at DSES but that’s outweighed by the thought leadership and innovation that you’re exposed to.
AutoBahn Academy reports that 9 out of 10 leads from your websites are new potential customers, and poses the question: “Do you ever tell them why they should buy from you other than price?”
On customer retention, the Cox Automotive 2018 Service Industry Study reports that 74 percent of those who returned for service within the past 12 months are likely to return to the dealership of purchase for their next new vehicle versus 35 percent of those who did not return for service in the past 12 months.
Think With Google reports in their 2017 Fixed Ops Study that more than 40 percent of auto service shoppers need reactive versus routine maintenance.
These statistics begin to develop thoughts and mental processes that can drive fixed ops managers to excel in the coming year. Should they focus more on advertising the benefits of servicing at the dealership versus matching prices? Maybe driving hard toward higher customer retention should be the target. And perhaps customer education on the importance of routine maintenance versus fixing problems can both lower cost of ownership and improve the customer’s trust in your dealership.
But engaging with people and companies that specialize in the automotive industry, fixed ops management are invigorated with new ideas and better processes that can drastically improve culture, satisfaction, and revenue.
It’s a fantastic idea for sales management to attend the DrivingSales Executive Summit, no question. But service and parts managers also belong at the event!