I Don’t Get No Respect
The comedian Rodney Dangerfield used this line often in his monologue getting untold millions of people to laugh. It’s much more serious when it gets down to our dealerships. Let’s look together in more detail about not getting any respect.
From Your Customer
If your customer believes your dealership disrespects them, I promise you that they are not going to spend their money with you. There are many ways to show respect for your customer, starting with their time. The most important thing any of us need to manage begins with our time. If the dealership doesn’t schedule appropriately it shows no respect for your customer, when you force them to wait an hour and a half to two hours for a standard oil change service. I promise you they do not care one bit that two of your technicians are off today being trained and another phoned off with illness. I have heard so many times when the customer tracks down an advisor for an update on their vehicle the excuses flow out of the dealership employee’s mouth. I’ll say it again they frankly don’t care about your issues, they only want to get their task completed and go on about their day.
Another way your customers are commonly disrespected in dealerships is to not take the time to understand each concern that they have. They show up at the dealership and get processed like cattle into a slaughterhouse, without the advisor even looking at their issue. This generally leads to loss of technician time, as they try to figure out what the advisor meant on the repair order. Many times the customer will have to return to the dealership again to repair the item they wanted fixed in the first place that wasn’t explained correctly on the repair order. Then we show the customer disrespect while we are interrupted by the telephone several times as the repair order is being written leaving them standing in front of you. Show your customers respect for their time!
From Your People
If your dealership employees believe they are not being respected, they surely won’t show the customer’s the respect that is deserved. It should be a common practice that employees are told when they do a great job. When they only hear about things that go wrong, a negative culture spreads and can’t be hidden from your customer. When your employees are appreciated and valued with their compensation your customers are always treated better. We must show our employees respect as well by listening to them. Seek out their advice and input as to what the dealership can do to improve. Openly and honestly ask what can be done to make their experience as an employee better. Never hold any of these conversations about viewpoints against them in any fashion. The culture must be based on a foundation that truly cares about improving the quality of life of every dealership employee.
Make a promise to never allow your customers or employees to feel like Rodney Dangerfield, always show them the respect they deserve!
Rob Gehring, President
Fixed Performance Inc.
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.