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 Using Tablets for Write-Ups
Remember the last time you tried talking to someone, but they were busy scrolling through their phone? Did you feel like they were listening? Probably not. Well, that’s how customers feel when service advisors are heads down in a tablet – and that is a huge profit killer. While tablets have the benefit of mobility, data entry is awkward and often requires re-entry of data on a PC, which prevents customer interaction. Instead, switch to a hands-free system that automatically transmits vehicle information so that all information is at the advisor’s fingertips. An automated write-up system is not only faster, but it also allows service advisors to communicate with customers face-to-face. You can learn more about the challenges of using tablets here.
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!