Issue Date: Service Advisor Feb 15, 2011, Posted On: 2/28/2011
Advisor Skills Time management tips for service advisors When you're trying to manage 20 - 25 repair orders a day, field calls from customers, call customers to get approval for recommended repairs, and keep a bunch of technicians in line, there never seems to be enough hours in the workday. And there aren't.
Time pressure is one of the leading causes of workplace stress and we know that stress leads to all manner of negative behaviors both on and off the job.
Most time management advice breaks down into variations on two themes: "Make a list of things to do" and "Set priorities and stick with them." But according to time management consultant Ruth Klein, these off-the-shelf approaches rarely work because each of us is different. We each need a different prescription.
Here are some tried and true time management ideas gleaned from corporate training managers:
Which tasks can I ignore? Chris Peters of Microsoft says prioritizing tasks is OK, but doesn't go far enough. The trick is to separate the things that must get done, those that can be "blown off." His advice is to concentrate on only those tasks that are high priorities for customers or your service manager.
Learn to delegate. An inability to delegate usually indicates a lack of confidence in others. If you really can't rely on your co-workers, it's time for a team meeting to discuss the reasons why.
Concentrate. Set aside a little time each day (at least an hour) to when you accept no phone calls or interruptions. Encourage the use of voice mail and email.
Learn to say "No." Capable people who show a willingness to help others will soon find their days filled with requests for assistance. Define your limits and stick with them.
Control the unexpected. That sounds like an oxymoron, but it really isn't. Jim Malinchak, a sales trainer, suggests using a receptionist or phone operator to filter out unexpected requests. The receptionist should be trained to ask, "Is there something I can help you with?" Frequently she can. If not, take a message and get to it later.