Hold On to Your All Star Service Team to Keep Customers Coming Back!

As anyone in the auto industry knows, having an excellent service department is key to driving customer retention and revenue for any dealership. But building the right service team is only half the battle the other crucial component is keeping those talented employees long term.

High turnover rates among service technicians, service advisors, and service managers can be an absolute killer for customer loyalty. Think about it from the customer's perspective: you've been taking your vehicle to the same dealership for years, working with the same friendly faces who know you and your car's history. But then your go to service advisor or technician leaves, and you have to start from square one with someone new. 

Beyond just the personal relationships, constantly having to train new staff means a steady churn of  new employees working on customer vehicles. Tenured technicians have seen it all and can correctly diagnose and fix even the most obscure issues quickly. A revolving door of new technicians leads to more quality of work concerns, comebacks, and can negatively affect CSI. 

The same goes for service advisors, who are the key conduit between customers and the technicians. A seasoned service advisor who has been at a dealership for years knows how to translate customer complaints into specific instructions for the techs, accurately set expectations around repair costs and timelines, and all around provide reassurance during what can be a stressful experience for customers. Constantly churning through green service advisors, on the other hand, means more misunderstandings, delays, and unhappy customers.

At the management level, it's absolutely crucial to have service managers who are experienced in the automotive industry and know how to keep a complex department running smoothly through effectively deployed processes, people management, and customer service excellence.

So how do dealerships reduce the kind of debilitating turnover that erodes service department quality and customer satisfaction?

1) Compensation - Make sure your pay plans for technicians, advisors and managers are complete competitive and rewarding for top performers. Regularly review and adjust if needed.

2) Growth Opportunities - Have a clear path for advancement and continued education. High achievers will leave if they don't see room for upward mobility.

3) Recognition - Celebrate successes, individually and with the team, through acknowledgments, bonuses, and awards to make employees feel valued.

4) Training - Invest in comprehensive initial and ongoing training so employees feel supported and empowered to do their jobs well.

5) Culture - Create an environment of accountability, open communication, and teamwork. Root out toxic negativity and politics.

Visit Robertvillanueba.com for more valuable training for your service department.

Final thoughts:

The bottom line is that customer retention is the lifeblood for auto dealerships, and customer retention is deeply intertwined with employee retention especially in the service department. By prioritizing and investing in keeping your employees, you'll reap the rewards of genuinely raving, loyal customers who keep coming back year after year.

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