Life in the retail automotive industry is taxing. Managers and employees work long hours and, in many cases, are with their co-workers more than they are with their families. Miscommunications, tension or arguments can detract from the efficiency of the dealership, and thus decrease overall profitability.
Technicians and service advisors work very closely together. Communication between them needs to be smooth and efficient. A company culture filled with friction can easily prevent a dealership’s service department from living up to its full potential.
A recent article in Ward’s magazine does a really good job of covering the need for improved relationships between technicians and their service advisors. Technicians are paid by how efficiently productive they can be. The more work they can complete in a day, the more money they make. Service advisors, on the other hand, are paid primarily on commission. According to the article, this can cause problems between the two groups
Service advisors need to be able to effectively relay the customer’s vehicle problems in order to provide the necessary information to the technician. However, in many cases, service advisors don’t have the level of knowledge needed to get this across in the repair order. This then increases the workload of the technician, and decreases the amount of billable hours they can accomplish in a day.
To help alleviate this problem, consider implementing training on a dealership level. Ask the service directors to sit down with their technicians and find out what pain points they are experiencing, if any, with the advisors and vice versa. Once the initial meetings are completed, simply implement training designed to bridge the gap between these two groups and improve their relationship.
A dealership can only be as efficient as the performance of its employees. You can install all of the technology you want to increase efficiency, but if your service advisors are writing up erroneous repair orders, this then forces your technicians to spend their valuable time investigating the problems so as to complete the repair properly. The result will be unhappy service advisors, unhappy technicians, lost revenue, poor CSI scores and, most importantly, unhappy customers. This is a steep price to pay for something that could be alleviated through better communication and training.