We asked fixed ops managers: What single move has brought you the biggest increase in customer satisfaction?
"At write-up, give customers a second business card. Explain to them that: 'I will be providing you a level of service today that hopefully will allow you to pass this card on to a friend or relative.' The best employees you can ever have are your customers. When they start working for you and sending their friends and family, you are doing it right."
TONY PERKINS, Fixed operations director, Evergreen Ford-Lincoln, Issaquah, Wash.
"Changing our employees' perception of what it is we sell. Being Toyota and not Lexus, there's the assumption of selling price and not service. My move was not to sell price but to sell the experience. Price is only an issue in the absence of value."
PAUL MEDINA, Fixed operations director, San Francisco Toyota, San Francisco
"Bringing advisers together with opposing strengths. This allows the entire team to feed off each other's strengths, which makes a fun working environment. Our customers pick up on the positive atmosphere and automatically start to feel comfortable. Comfort leads to trust, and trust leads to higher customer satisfaction."
ED ROBERTS, Fixed operations director, Bozard Ford-Lincoln, St. Augustine, Fla.
"We started a fixed ops training session every Tuesday and Thursday from noon to 1 p.m. All customer-facing service and parts staff must attend — we provide lunch. We train on customer service skills, process and any new company initiatives, and everyone hears the same message. CSI has never been higher."
TODD McCALLUM, Fixed operations director, Walker Automotive Group, Alexandria, La.
"Adding all of our locations into a centralized service [business development center]. Our customers receive the benefit of more attentive service advisers, as they no longer have to field all of the department calls at the desk. We are also utilizing this department to make all of our post-service visit satisfaction calls. That has helped raise our satisfaction levels across the group."
JAY GALLIGAN, Fixed operations director, West Herr Automotive Group, Orchard Park, N.Y.
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