Monthly Archives: August 2011

Exceeding the Expectations

What would a Service Professional do?

A Professional understands their Customers Expectations.

Now this has got to be the easiest “no brainer” post you
have read in years! You would think that every person who works in the Dealership has heard of Customer Service (here’s a little hint: WE ALL DO) and would take the time to understand their Customer expectations. And then try to EXCEED them!

You would think.

And every day in the field at a Dealership there is a couple of moments where  there is the “I have no idea” look on people’s faces when asked about what their Customer came in for, what was the reason for their visit, why are they
here, how are we helping them, what’s the story etc….it’s like a mystery novel.

The reason is they have become order takers. This new
breed of Service Advisor has been trained by corporate America all of their lives with “instantology”,  which  translated means “Those who use technology to communicate by using the smallest amount of brain activity required to actually have meaningful interactions with their Customers.”

This in turn has led us to a new Training term called “youdon’treallyneedtoknowhow” in which Customers are regularly greeted and serviced by non-communicators who cannot distinguish between a request for service or a statement of concern unless it’s printed on the touch screen menu in front of them.

This collection of “Service (aacckkkk, cough cough)
Professionals” are then left to founder and fumble with your Dealership Customers (you know, the “lifeblood of the Dealership,  our main focus, why we are open”…etc…you’ve heard all of that before, right?) with more skills in “instantology” than in COMMUNICATION and CRITICAL THINKING!

This has reduced our once world renown model of Service Excellence we
called the “American Way of Doing Business” to a misdirected application called “Someone told me to stand here and talk to you.” In turn, this has increased our Customers chances of having to do business with
someone who has little desire and are completely clueless how to deliver Exceptional Customer Service because it does not come with
instructions on the box.

And because we choose to do business this way we find ourselves in constant need of reminding our Service “Professionals” what they are supposed to do and why they are supposed to do it.

The true Professional Service Advisor not only knows what his or her
Customers expectations are, they EXCEED them. They are anticipatory because
they have taken the time to study their product and their Customer. And they truly understand Service. More importantly, they understand how the Customer could EXPECT to use their vehicle in their daily lives. Lastly, they understand their Customers EXPECTATIONS when they come in for Service.

How do they know these “magical things?”

The true Professional Service Advisor has taken the time to become an
excellent COMMUNICATOR and only relies on “instantology” for storage and
processing of the Customers information as a means of assistance and not as a
means of conveyance.

Basically folks, no matter how good you are at “instantology”you can’t get the computer to pull out its wallet no matter how hard you try.

When you have taken the time to really understand and
anticipate your Customers Expectations by asking if they have been met one on one and by becoming a true Communicator through study and application will you become a True Service Professional.

Be Professional.

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Was Last Month Defined By Two Simple Words?

Was your last month defined by these two words…”If only”?

“If only…”

The Dealer Principal

“If only” I had asked my Managers “What is your plan for
increasing Profit this month?” and held them accountable for their replies.

“If only” I had taken a walk every day and made it my
mission to talk to Sales and Service Customers, introduce myself and say “Is
there anything I can do to help you today while you are here at our
Dealership?”

“If only” I had walked through the Dealership and asked
my personnel “What is there about your job you like to do?”

“If only” I had walked through the Dealership and asked
my personnel “What is there about your job you don’t like?”

“If only” I had asked the Service Manager “What is your
daily routine when you come into work in the morning…in other words…walk me
through the first 10 things you do every day.”

“If only” I asked the Service Manager “What is your plan
for getting Labor Margins to 75%?” and the Parts Manager “What is your plan for
getting the Parts Margins to 45%?” and held them accountable for their actions.

“If only” I had asked the Service Advisors “How do you do
a Walk-a-round?” and let them demonstrate it to me.

“If only” I had asked the Service Advisors “What does it
mean to ask for a Pre-authorized amount when writing a repair order?” and then
observed them doing it.

“If only” I asked my shuttle drivers to take me with some
Customers on a shuttle ride so I could see how they were treating the most
valuable asset I have…My Customers.

“If only” I had been more involved in the daily business of my Dealership. What would have happened? Would I have been able to influence the outcome?

“If only…”

General Manager

“If only” I had held a meeting in which I asked the
Service Manager and the Parts Manager “What is your plan for increasing Gross
Profit…increasing Repair Order Count…increasing CSI?” and held him/her
accountable for their actions.

“If only” I had held a meeting in which I asked the Parts
Manager “What is your plan for increasing Item Transactions…Gross Profit
Margins…Wholesale Item Transactions?” and held them accountable for his/her
reply.

“If only” I had walked through the Service Department
once a day and introduced myself and asked my customers “Is there anything else I can do for you today?”

“If only” I had walked through the Service and Parts
Departments and asked Dealership personnel “Is there something preventing you from doing your absolute best?”

“If only” I had weekly meetings with my Fixed Operations
Managers and asked them “How are we doing in meeting our monthly objectives and what can I do to help you get there?”

“If only” I had taken the time to have a monthly meeting
with the Fixed Operations personnel and congratulated them on something that
they did well.

“If only” I had been less tied to my desk where I only
hear what people want me to hear. Would I have been able to prevent a bad  month from happening.

“If only”

Service Manager

“If only” I had been in the Service Drive every day
especially during the busiest times to work with my Advisors and help them
become more Professional.

“If only” I had taken the time to be available to the Technicians
and Advisors especially during the busiest times and help them overcome
problems with production.

“If only” I had coached my Advisors every day on the
previous days results using the reports from the DMS.

“If only” I had coached my Technicians every day on the
previous days results using the reports from the DMS.

“If only” I had taken the time to introduce myself to my
customers and asked them “Is there anything else I can do for you today?”

“If only” I had asked my Service Advisors to demonstrate
an ASR presentation and then coached them on the results…again and again.

“If only” I had reviewed the Customer Pay Repair Orders
with the Advisors and Technicians and coached not only on what was wrong, I
also coached them on what was done right.

“If only” I had taken control of my month.

Everybody

“If only” I had accepted responsibility for my actions,
held myself accountable for what I needed to do, made changes when necessary
and reviewed my progress, what kind of month would I have had?

Don Reed in the UK!

http://www.motortrader.com/industry-news/don-reed-heads-ase-aftersales-conference/