What would be the one word to describe what a Service Department needs these days to compete?
There are so many to choose from. However, the one word that keeps coming up when I visit Dealerships across the country is adaptability.
The Dealerships that are doing well, adapt to changing market conditions and Customer demands.
Even if this is your first day in a Dealership, you know that the ability to adapt is the key to Exceeding Expectations.
The dictionary tells us that it means to “adjust to new circumstances.” Boy, if that is not the definition or guiding principle of the Service Department these days, I don’t know what is.
If you think about it, the Service Department is the only “gray” area in the Dealership. Everything else is black and white.
We have the part in stock or we don’t. We have the car on the lot or we don’t. We can fund you or we can’t. We are open extended hours or we are not.
In the Service Department, they don’t have those hard and fast rules because Customers and the situations that Service Advisors deal with are seldom written in stone. It’s more like an “etchasketch.”
This requires a person that is adaptable, flexible and understanding with the backing of an organization that is adaptable, flexible and understanding. Having either without the other won’t work.
And if you have Service Advisors who do not understand this concept or cannot adapt to a Customers Expectations, you will have problems.
When you have staff that are rigid and inflexible, you end up with Customers getting service that they would describe one of several ways. They say things like “Functional, yet cold” or “They helped me but they were somewhat unfriendly” or “I had to yell at them to get them to listen to me” and lastly “What the %$&^ is wrong with you guys?”
On the flip side, if you have personnel that are really trying to work within your Dealership system and are not “Empowered with Authority” you end up with comments like “I have used you guys in the past and I’ll continue, but not as much as I used to” or “I don’t know if I’ll come back, even though your Advisors are great” and “They were ok, but if I find someone else that is closer or cheaper, I’m going to go with them” and lastly “What the *&^% is wrong with you guys? Don’t you want my business?”
The Service Department that has “Empowered with Authority” all of their Advisors will consistently outperform and outsell any other Dealer that has not taken that step.
This means Advisors are Trained to be adaptable and flexible and they do what is in the Best Interests of the Customer.
This leads to a Customer experience that can only be described as “Exceptional at Exceeding Expectations” and “spontaneously helpful.” And of course results in unsolicited referrals and an increase in business.
Learn to adapt, be flexible, change as needed and Empower with Authority and your Customers will respond with feverish repurchase loyalty and unsolicited testimonials.