Downturn predicted in car sales—will you be ready in your service department?
A blog by Sheila
Woolsey, President/CEO, Woolsey Performance Experts, Inc.
There have been several
articles written and industry leaders or experts quoted as predicting that a
downturn in automotive sales is on the horizon.
If history repeats itself, that may lead to more business in the service
department. Will your service department
be ready to capitalize on that business?
Do you have capacity in the shop to do more work?
More business doesn’t
necessarily mean more cars coming into the service drive. It can instead mean more customers are opting
to repair and maintain their older cars instead of replacing them. In order to determine if you can handle the
extra repairs, you should be proactively measuring the productivity and
efficiency of your technicians. This information
can provide a guide as to how much more work can get done in the shop. Also you should evaluate your equipment to
ensure everything is in good working order to help technicians get the work
done more efficiently.
Do you have service advisors who can sell more work?
When deciding to keep their
older cars and maintain them, customers want trusted advice. Now is the time to brush up the selling
skills of your advisors. Sometimes
advisors get comfortable selling things they know, and not recommending things
they may not see the need for. Reviewing
benefits for the customer of needed repairs and services, and role playing
presenting them to customers can be a great confidence builder even for the
most seasoned advisor. Remember the best
teams practice between game times!
Does the manager make time to observe customer
behavior and coach employees?
When things are going
smoothly it is easy as a manager to feel like the employees are capable and
don’t need supervision. Making time to
observe employees daily with customers is not about supervision but instead
about growing a strong team. And it is a
big time commitment. Observing employees
in action and providing immediate positive feedback, helps the manager start to
build a team of employees who want to serve the customer.
Are your processes consistently applied?
Create a process that works
for the customer then begs to be consistently applied. When employees are allowed to shortcut the
process steps, or not complete the ones they don’t feel are necessary, not all
customers are treated the same. For
instance, contacting the customer with a status call and completing an active
delivery are not negotiable processes.
Therefore, monitoring the process, and the employees’ consistent
application, is necessary.
Let Woolsey Performance
Experts, Inc. help! We can evaluate your
service department and recommend steps to take to be ready for an increase in
business without a loss in customer satisfaction and loyalty.
Sheila Woolsey is an automotive sales
and service operations expert who spends her time consulting and coaching in
dealerships, and training in the classroom.