Do You Believe?
I believe the way to care for your vehicle is to maintain it, with a strict standard on preventive maintenance. It seems that today preventive maintenance has become tainted by the manufacturers, with their desire to lower the cost of ownership on paper. They boast about their fluids lasting forever and major components such as transmissions and differentials never require anything.
Some manufacturers even state if you put chemicals into a transmission on the fluid flush, the warranty will be invalidated. I was talking to a client that wanted to improve battery sales, stating they bought a tester and every vehicle that comes into the dealership will be tested for condition.
How you present maintenance items
I thought today we would look at some observations about these trends with one common question in mind “Do You Believe?” You see, it’s my business to study labor op frequencies and how well dealerships present maintenance items with feature benefit advantages. I admit that most dealerships don’t even look at labor op frequencies or listen to feature benefit presentations by their advisor staff. This is a sad testimony as to how we treat the customers that enter our dealership.
Dealerships tend to be results driven so they look at the key performance indicators stating this number is good or this number is bad compared to others in their 20 group. The truth is, that I could state to you key performance indicators are no longer a factor. What really matters isn’t the number on a piece of paper, it’s the process your dealership follows on a daily basis. If your advisor staff doesn’t recommend preventive maintenance items there is absolutely 0% chance of your key performance indicators being good.
I was at a dealership a week or so ago and the alignment machine didn’t have an up-to-date specification in the computer. So technicians would have to enter the information individually or use older vehicle alignment specifications to keep it simple for them.
Either way, with this piece of equipment not having the latest update on software, does anyone believe technicians would want to do alignments? Do you think the alignment labor operation has a high frequency rate? Likely, every time the advisors sell a newer vehicle the technicians grumble about it because it will take longer for them to do that labor operation.
It might come back a few times for the technician to retry the alignment making the customer feel the dealership is incompetent. It all starts with that question I titled this newsletter “Do you believe?” If you believe in preventive maintenance, you would have your software updated every year on your alignment machine. Your advisors would recommend transmission and differential services at a regular interval to keep the customers cars at peak performance and safety.
All advisors would understand the importance of preventive maintenance and not be bashful about recommending these items to a customer. If your advisors or technicians believe preventive maintenance is not necessary, I promise you your key performance indicators are below standards. If you don’t believe in preventive maintenance I challenge you with one question. What’s the downside of having clean fluids, a fresh battery, and a car that is safe?
Rob Gehring, President
Fixed Performance Inc.
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Rob is President and Founder of Fixed Performance Inc. which he began over 15 years ago. His passion for customer care and helping others has assisted hundreds of dealerships with their fixed operations performance. His common sense coaching and training lifts people up as individuals and team members. With over 30 years of dealership management experience, he understands and respects the daily challenges of fixed operations. Placing a strong value in people and best practice processes always provide growth. His articles have been published regularly in national publications and weekly newsletters are read by thousands.