R this and R that. Which one is the right R for our Dealership? If we concentrate on ROI, what do we lose in ROR? Is it possible to have too much focus on ROR?
Wait. I didn’t explain what I am talking about very well. Ok. ROI is referring to Return On Investment. This “Investment” can be anything. Time, Money, Parts, Labor…anything. And when we “Invest” we have a perceived “Return” we would like to get back.
ROR is Return On Relationship. And this too requires an “Investment.” Of ourselves. That’s why ROR is a little more important (IMHO) than ROI. Because we put “ourselves” in the building of the Relationship, when we don’t get a “Return”, we feel bad about the decision.
If we put a part on a car or give a discount, and the Customer goes sideways or doesn’t come back, we feel the loss of revenue. And when it doesn’t work out, we might mutter under our breath, but we can move past it because we don’t have a piece of us on the chopping block. We can “write it off” as a “bad investment.”
When we start building Relationships we put some of ourselves into this Relationship, and the last thing we want is our Customer to go someplace else to have Service work performed on their vehicle. Our “Return On Relationship” suffers and we have a difficult time “writing it off” because it is about us.
Yes, we need ROI. Profit is important. Revenue is important. We work for MONEY! But, the Relationships we build with our Customers is even more important. Without ROR, every Dealership will fail.
So, what do we do different in Service to build a Relationship that is different from every other department in the Dealership? Not much.
In Sales, do we not strive to build a Relationship or a connection with the Customer as they come on to the lot, call us on the phone or send us an email?
In Sales, do we not have a Sales process to guide the Customer from the initial Meet and Greet through the Sales transaction to delivery and then
In Sales, do we not advertise for additional business using every media available to us?
In Sales, do we not have a process that every Sales Customer is taken on a tour of the Dealership and introduced to every department so they can make the transition from “Here is a New Sales Customer” to “Here is OUR New Customer?”
In Sales, do we not have one meeting a week at a minimum to generate excitement, introduce upcoming Sales events, reinforce best practices, go over aging inventory, describe specials and define Goals for the coming week/weekend?
So, if we do all of these things in the Sales department, and it is part of the Standard Operating Procedure to build a Relationship with the Customer, why would we do something different in Service?
We wouldn’t. In building Relationships with our Customers, we need to be consistent and Send the same message to our Customers from the initial contact to the initial Service appointment.
In Service, we need to start the ROR process from the moment we first meet the Customer. The strongest message we can send begins with a proper Greeting, a friendly outgoing attitude and a complete and thorough walk around every time they come in for Service.
In Service, we must have a Sales process to efficiently guide the Customer and ADVISE them as to the proper way to MAINTAIN their vehicle so they get maximum life and value from their purchase.
In Service, we must have an advertising budget to keep in contact with our Customers in a manner they have come to expect and taking into account how they want to be contacted. We must be as media savvy as any other Dealership department.
In Service, our ROR process must include a “How to” of the Service department. Everything from “How to make an appointment” to “How will the Advisor advise me on needed services and repairs?”
In Service, we must conduct weekly meetings with our personnel to generate excitement, describe specials, discuss service issues, reinforce best practices and define Goals for the week.
If our Standard Operating Procedure was the same for every Department in our Dealership, would we not have an EXCEPTIONAL Return on Relationship which would give us an EXCELLENT Return On Investment?