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What Make the Great Service Managers Tick?

From the Ed Kovalchick Notebook: Service Manager Personalities

From over 35 years of intense and face-to-face experience here are Ed's observations on what make Service Managers tick...

Where do Exceptional Service Managers come from? The good news is that they are not born (mostly) but are motivated average managers that have been guided and mentored into developing the habits and practices that turn them into stars.

There is a distinct difference between a common “Manager” and a true “Leader”. There are leaders in the service management field and a select few who excel beyond just “good” and “acceptable” – these winners set an aggressive pace for continuing accomplishment, and their people would gladly go to the mat for them.

What do they do to create such a winning environment?

Service management is arguably the most sophisticated job in an automotive dealership, and in some ways the most important, particularly when it comes to customer retention.

For over 35-years Ed has closely examined how “leaders” approach the complex issue of management, how they conduct daily business, and most importantly, how they lead their people to maximum success.

He describes the three dominant service manager profiles below:

The Service Manager that "Makes It Happen"

The "Coaster" who goes along to get along

The "Pain in the Ass" who is gruff, argumentative and it's always someone else's fault when things do not function well

Get it Done Dan

This Service Manager earns respect rather than demands it. This is an enthusiastic & aggressive manager, who continually inspires and leads his or her subordinates and is continually seeking a better way.

He or she makes everyone around them feel better about themselves and high performance is a way of life for all, especially for “Dan”.

Let it Go Larry

This is a “Get-By” manager who might have the capability to be successful, but lacks the energy, focus, and desire to attain success.

These managers are sadly “rut bound” individuals who waste their potential. They tend to surround themselves with the same type of marginal performers for job security. He or she dreams of being somewhere else... their head is not in the game!

The sad part is they could be so much more. However properly motivated they can still become a winner. They need guidance or will ultimately fair.

Blame Game Bill

Is a so-called manager who takes no responsibility for bad results of any type, blames everything on everyone else and whose employees do not look forward to coming to work.

These managers also tend to tell lies to support their failures. They are unhappy folks in general. They are often completely unmanaged, not recognized for what they are not providing, or worse supervised by the

same type of management failure.

Ed's 9 Categories of Service Manager Success

1. Employee Communication

2. Internal Training & Coaching

3. Managing team members

4. Marketing & Merchandising the department

5. Relationships with Other Managers

6. Facility Management & Upkeep

7. Building Positive Customer Relationships

8. Setting & Attaining Financial Objectives

9. Knowing How and When to Celebrate Success

Each of which is feature in a more detailed DealersEdge Guide – The Fixed Operations Management Skills Guide. See below for info on how to get a copy for your desk.


390 Pages of Fixed Ops Management Wisdom... and Tabbed for Easy Reference

Financial Analysis Tools for Fixed Ops Mgt

Pricing Formulas for Service and Parts

Service Advisor Coaching

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Plus What Fixed Ops Managers Need to Know About the Entire Enterprise

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