Three Surprising Ways You’re Killing Service Lane Profits…And What to Do About It
According to recent statistics by the National Automobile Dealers Association, a dealership’s fixed operations department generates 50% of its total gross profit – which puts a lot of pressure on advisors to drive service lane revenues. But you already know that. After all, you feel the stress of finding new ways to write more hours per RO every day. What you might not know is that, more often than not, many profit-making opportunities die during the customer write-up process. Yes, you heard it right. The write-up process.
Having an efficient write-up is often overlooked as a way to increase service lane revenue. As a result, service departments have developed some profit-killing habits. Here they are.
1. You focus too much on getting the RO completed instead of the customer relationship:
While writing maintenance and repair orders is an important aspect of the job, service advisors should also be evaluated by their ability to “wow” customers from the minute they pull into the service lane. Customer satisfaction naturally leads to more RO dollars, trust, and retention. So, play the long game. Perfect your customer intake process and offer your service advisors more customer service training. Profits will follow.
2. You’re too focused on your tablet or clipboard during write-ups
Remember the last time you were talking to someone, and they were looking at their phone the whole time? Did you feel they were listening? Probably not. Tablets and clipboards, while useful for recording information, should take a back seat to eye contact and personal communication. We recommend using a hands-free system that automatically populates vehicle information and OEM data into one report. If you use a tablet to collect or input other information, make sure to balance tablet use with eye contact. Input some information, and then look up, explain repairs, and ask if there are any questions. That eye contact goes a long way toward customer satisfaction!
3. You’re ignoring the customer during the multi-point inspection
MPIs are an opportunity to engage the customer. However, as previously mentioned, service advisors are too focused on manual data entry to truly connect with a customer. Service advisors should walk customers around their vehicles, physically showing them any issues while also addressing their concerns. At this stage, emphasize customer engagement. Though this takes more time, the customer will appreciate feeling informed.
If you haven’t noticed already, generating more profit for your service department is all about improving the customer experience through efficient processes. If you’d like to explore how eAdvisor can help improve your service department, please contact us!