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How Service Advisors Get the Day Started on the Right Foot

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To say that dealership Service Departments are busy is an understatement with managers in virtually every dealership… complaining about the “good” problem of too much demand for their limited supply of technical expertise.

But capacity problems, even “good” ones can turn bad when the Customer Experience turns sour. It is estimated that 85% of customers who perceive that they received a good experience report that they will purchase their next set of wheels from that dealer.

But 59% will walk away after several bad experiences and 17% after only one such episode (source PwC/PricewaterhouseCooper).

With so much at stake, how do we make sure that balls don’t get dropped and customers consistently receive that high level of service? Service Consultant Greg Criss offers his observations on how Service Advisors can use a simple checklist to get the day started on the right foot.

Once you nail down an excellent service drive process, the trick is to make sure that everyone follows it to the letter. When steps are skipped everyone loses, and checklists are great tools for keeping players on task. Checklists are especially helpful for Service Advisor success and in the Service Department in general.

Daily Checklist for Success….Before You Begin Your Day

Preparation is the key to a smooth day. A bit of time getting ready for your customers pays BIG dividends in reducing wasted time, increasing sales, and delivering a consistently positive customer experience.

Review Carryovers and timelines

  • Carryovers can have a huge impact on how well jobs flow through the shop AND your ability to deliver an acceptable customer experience.

  • If the parts needed to complete it are on hand, how can the job be finished that day?

  • If parts are not available, then it is a good time to alert the customer so that they can better plan their day.

Review Today’s Schedule

  • Are there any comebacks? What options do we have to ensure that the customer has a great experience?

  • Does the booking schedule reflect a good customer experience?

  • Remember we can only truly wait on one customer at a time.

  • Discuss double bookings with management.

Is your area and the write up area clean, neat, and consistent with a great customer experience?

  • If not, do what you can to prepare the area, and get management involved to make other improvements.

  • "You can tell a lot about a business by the condition of their restrooms.” Think about how you felt when you were faced with one that could use some attention.

Review Service Histories and maintenance needed

  • You will be on stage! Prepare for your advisor role. Spend time reviewing customer histories, even if you are using a tablet. This little bit of extra prep can pay huge dividends in capturing additional maintenance and previously declined services.

Write up Early Bird Drop-offs

  • As you are writing them up, reach out to the customer to assure them that you received their drop off.

  • Review their information, Prime Items, and contact preferences to ensure clarity.

  • Discuss needed maintenance and promise time.

  • Provide a video via email or SMS text of the walk around and any supporting documents for recommended maintenance.

Determine where you are currently vs. the plan and KPI’s.

Ask yourself: “What will make a difference today, and what do I need to produce today?”

There is a lot more to delivering great and memorable customer service, but getting the day started the right way is the perfect set up for a successful day to follow. Few winning races start with a stumble out of the blocks... get your day started right and give yourself a better than even chance.

The above is just one checklist for Service Advisors included in a single chapter of the DealersEdge – “Checklists to Keep Your Team…On Time… On Task… and On Target”. Details on how you can acquire this powerful DealersEdge Guide can be found below…


How Highly Successful Dealership Managers Stay On Task… On Track… and…On Time

Successful auto dealerships are run on well-thought-out processes, executed by diligent and conscientious managers. Checklists can assist managers by helping to assure that no steps in the process are skipped or neglected. This DealersEdge Guide contains multiple examples of checklists… recommended by a team of DealersEdge Expert Industry Contributors… each a recognized authority if their management speciality.

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