We asked managers: As new-vehicle sales fall, what are you doing to boost service and parts revenue?
"It is not a question of getting more business, but of finding efficiency in production to handle the business we have. We are going to extended hours on weekdays, starting at 6 a.m. and staying open until 7 p.m. Saturdays are now full days with bigger staff. One of our locations will soon go to rotating lateral support groups to allow for full staff, full service, six days a week."
BOB CAWLEY, fixed operations director, Horne Auto Group, Gilbert, Ariz.
"We have always spent a lot of time and effort training our sales force. But we never spent any time training our [service] advisers. We've invested our time and money now in training our advisers in the meet-and-greet; doing a good walkaround; doing a good, active delivery; making it a good experience in the customer service department."
MIKE WILLIAMS, general manager, Yark Automotive Group, Toledo, Ohio
"We are building the best customer service team possible and teaching them how to get it done. Advisers need to know their goals [set by the business development center]. Technicians understand the endgame for the guest and take full responsibility for it. The parts department works with the team instead of fighting them. Our fixed gross is up $35,000 a month on average from 2016 to 2017, and we have hit two record months this year."
KEVIN STUCKEY, director of fixed operations, Starling Cadillac, DeLand, Fla.
"Online [service] appointments are available throughout the day and updated continuously. We have the highest-speed Internet connection available to allow streaming for our customers or to accommodate business requirements. We review the shop load based on demand and adjust technician availability when slots fill up, rather than inconvenience our customers."
KEITH DRAKE, fixed operations director, Toyota of Plano, Plano, Texas
"Warranty repairs are declining. So the dealer has to do a much better job of eliminating one-line customer-pay repair orders; do a better job at the point of sale; do excellent walkarounds; use the technology that the OEMs give you to be able to generate the revenue necessary to sustain the dealership. It's maximizing stall capacity. It's getting the right number of technicians with the right skill sets and being able to provide that customer experience. I think we're all late to the party on that."
CHRIS WILSON, COO, Friendship Automotive Enterprises, Bristol, Tenn.
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