So many of us are focused on the numbers the team generates as a measurement of performance. We review them daily, weekly or monthly and likely let the team know in some form or fashion how we are doing. Many dealership managers feel it’s productive to beat the team member up that’s not performing well demanding they “Get your numbers up” if they want to keep their position. These individuals generally are very brief in their demands and storm off leaving the employee discouraged and afraid of losing their job. They have commitments such as car payments or house payments that need to be met and the uncertainty of it all creates emotional distress. In the emotional distress the employee will start looking for another position with another dealership and that becomes the focus. Customer care and satisfaction are no longer a priority as their mind wanders into the next position so their comfortable in meeting their obligations. If this sounds like anything you’ve experienced let me flat out tell you that process doesn’t work. It’s counterproductive to long-term success of the dealer as customer retention will falter and the workplace remains toxic. Best practice is to understand what makes the numbers improve is to have highly motivated individuals caring for the customer. There total focus and attention needs to be on how to professionally exceed the expectations of the customer every time. The customer needs to feel as though they are dealing with trusted friends. The processes need to be excellent and consistent. The service team doesn’t need to be threatened instead being trained. Do they understand the customer’s maintenance needs and provide feature benefit presentations? The missing link in all of this is that many times service staff doesn’t even believe the maintenance is needed. The manufacturer might not recommend maintenance in the owner’s manual so they feel like a crook demanding the customer buy it. Dealerships have enough of a challenge in the public’s mind to have a position of integrity. Demanding advisors to sell items they don’t understand or believe in lessons their self-esteem. Those that know me understand I am a maintenance nut and go far beyond the recommendations of the manufacturer. I’ve heard their explanations that their fluids last forever and there transmissions are sealed making the cost of ownership a low number. The transmission might be sealed however, has parts moving around inside wearing metal and friction plates. There’s no way to determine the fluid level or condition illustrating in my view the need for improved maintenance. Performing a fluid exchange insures the level is proper and in excellent condition. It ensures the longevity of function in any component to be well-maintained. Instead of threatening staff and demanding they get their numbers up, focus on providing them the training that will make them believe in the product. If you don’t believe in the services you are providing study it. Make the call to only recommend what you believe in. And for you dealers believe in your staff and provide them the training that illustrates your commitment to do what’s right. I believe you will!
Rob Gehring, President
Fixed Performance Inc.
1 (888) 205-8718
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.