“The customer is always right” has been the trademark phrase used by businesses in the United States for decades. By and large, most reputable businesses believe this philosophy to some degree, and put policies and procedures in place to make sure that their customers are treated fairly and effectively when concerns arrive. ..
Many auto dealerships have technology in place that allows sales managers to monitor what’s going on in their departments. CRMs and phone call recording services are used by sales managers to ensure that Internet leads are being followed up promptly and that salespeople follow up with shoppers that visited the dealership but did not buy. Many dealerships, however, don’t take advantage of these technologies to monitor what’s going on in their service departments. ..
Auto dealers know how important their service business is to the bottom line. There’s no doubt that service absorption is vital to the health and livelihood of many dealer’s financial statements at the end of the month. Automotive News recently reported that Honda has gone a step further. During a Honda dealer’s meeting in late June, Honda reportedly told dealers that they want them to increase their service facilities and capabilities as well as extend their hours of operation – some to the point of being open 7 days per week. This is all in an effort to make Honda dealers more competitive with independents and regain service business opportunities Honda dealers are currently missing out on. In addition, Honda feels that by 2018, service business will increase dramatically based on rising sales. While only a suggestion for now, according to the article, Honda dealers are feeling pressured by the factory to begin implementation of these changes including extending service hours, adding service bays and technicians, and remodeling flexibly in case more bays are needed later. ..
When developing an employee retention strategy, a business must ultimately consider salaries. There’s no doubt that a long-term employee will feel slighted if a new employee joins at a higher pay. Chances are they may even feel slighted if the new employee receives the same wage. In the automotive industry (and business in general), it’s increasingly acceptable to see applicants with multiple jobs in short time spans. It was not too long ago that hiring managers reviewing applications would frown upon these attributes, harboring questions of stability and suspicions as to why a person couldn’t keep a job. It also wasn’t that long ago when people had only a single employer their entire lives. ..
Working at a car dealership often takes its toll on employees. The demands of a fifty, sixty or seventy hour work week often leaves the employee exhausted, mentally and physically. Generally, these employees are not clock-watchers, they are your commissioned sales people, your technicians, your management staff and they are the bread and butter for your dealership. Are these long work hours the expectation that has been set by the organization, or it is part of the genetic makeup of these employees? Is their heart into it? Or are they only a cog that helps turn the wheel? ..
Finding a lost earring in the jewelry box, discovering the old autographed Tom Seaver baseball card when you clean out the attic, and learning that the shirt you are about to pay retail for is discounted, are all pleasant surprises. How about walking into your bank and having the ATM talk with you and then give you a gift for being a customer? Could that surprise highlight your day? Such was the case during a special July day at four TD Canada Trust branches, according to this article. Many customers received a $20 bill, but for some customers, the trip to the bank was much more rewarding. One lucky customer landed an opportunity to throw out the first pitch at a baseball game. And another got to take a trip out of the country to visit a sick family member. ..
There’s no doubt that customer satisfaction is important to all car dealerships. Whether a dealership actually cares about making the customer happy, or merely wants to ensure that their CSI scores stay acceptable to the OEM, these scores play a major factor in the overall health of a dealership. Poor online reviews can sway a buyer to go somewhere else. Poor CSI scores can affect allocation and have serious ramifications with OEMs. Dealerships go to great lengths to protect these scores including pre-emptively surveying customers; either in finance or via e-mail surveys after their visits; hoping that they can intercept any issues before they become public. The challenge most dealers face is that many customers don’t complete the surveys, depriving dealers of valuable feedback. ..
The adage “two brains are better than one” has long been used to think through matters and solve problems. And to take it even further, excluding the human element, often two computers with different programming can solve problems more effectively than a single device. ..
In May I wrote a blog article explaining how employee retention in service will become increasingly important due to many factors. Apparently, that’s becoming true faster than even I thought. Auto Remarketing published an article last week reporting that AutoNation and the Asbury Automotive Group are indeed discovering that skilled technicians are becoming harder to find. “In terms of roadblocks, obviously the biggest single roadblock, if you have facilities in place, would be the number of technicians,” said Michael Kearney, Asbury Automotive Group’s executive vice president and COO. Mike Jackson, AutoNation’s chairman and CEO agreed, stating that “it has proven difficult to hire qualified technicians.” ..
I am sure many of you have heard about the recent customer service debacle involving Comcast over the past week. In case you aren’t familiar with what happened, a customer called into their service center attempting to cancel his service after almost a decade. He was transferred to a customer retention department and, unfortunately, was connected with a person who did the exact opposite. The customer’s patience during this call is amazing. The Comcast representative hounds him for almost 18 minutes (only 8 of which were recorded) repeatedly asking the same questions in his efforts to either keep the customer or understand why the customer was leaving. The customer eventually succeeded in getting his services cancelled, while the Comcast employee succeeded in doing more harm to his company than good. You see, this customer recorded the conversation and posted it online. Since July 14, over 5 million people have listened to this recording. Countless articles have also been written during that time period. ..