It's interesting to me that the focus of day-to-day business operations in the dealership cover so many topics. The focus might be on customer satisfaction, parts loyalty programs, repair order performance, and the list could go on forever. What I find intriguing about this is that many times we lose the focus on the primary concern the customer has that brought them into the dealership.
Someone Hits our service drive and we pummeled them with needed maintenance items or whatever were getting a spiff on that particular week. Our efforts and energy goes into that process and we lose many customers because they desire our attention on their concern.
Many of you might be puzzled when I start up a conversation on diagnostic worksheets. In my travels I find that very few dealerships know what this is or use them in any form or fashion. Diagnostic worksheets should be filled out by the service advisor along with the customer analyzing their concerns. How can the dealership technician duplicate this concern? How often does it happen? Does it happen hot or cold? There are different diagnostic worksheets by most manufacturers that are available on their websites.
These worksheets assist technicians in getting to the core issue of the problem. I recall a time when I was at the dealership watching the technician turn a car off and on repeatedly. The technician stated it was a comeback due to an intermittent hard start. The technician originally found the positive battery cable extremely corroded with the battery case cracked allowing sulfuric acid to leak onto the cable. The technician had no doubt that this was the cause for an intermittent hard start developed an estimate and sold work. Although the battery was legitimately replaced along with the cable it wasn't the cause of the intermittent hard start. The customer returned thinking the dealership bill for the $300 was a joke.
If there was a proper customer intake where the advisor showed the battery and cable concern to the customer they wouldn't have felt cheated. If the estimate and approved repair took care of that primary concern the customer wouldn't feel cheated. The fact in this example is that if the advisor had filled out a diagnostic worksheet with the customer they would've determined the issue only occurs when the vehicle is hot.
If you're dealership visit using diagnostic worksheets I strongly suggest you research what's available and make it a standard practice. FIX IT right the first time he means we get all the information possible.
We must improve the communication between the customer and the dealership at every level. Your dealership communication skills are the path to improved efficiency, customer satisfaction, and profits. We must improve focus and FIX IT!
Rob Gehring, President
1 (888) 205-8718
Fixed Performance Inc.
To receive more stories like this one, subscribe to my newsletter by clicking here!
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.