Your Departments Must Work Together Toward a Common Goal - AutoSuccessOnline

Your Departments Must Work Together Toward a Common Goal

Let’s look at some ways your dealership can fix dysfunction between departments and keep your three-legged stool standing.

Each of your core departments — sales, F&I and service — play key roles in helping your dealership be profitable and successful. Your departments are like the legs on a three-legged stool, with each performing a critical function that keeps the whole thing standing. If one leg fails to do its part, the entire stool fails.

However, I’ve seen many dealership departments that exist in their own bubbles and don’t always see themselves as working together toward a singular goal. Each department focuses on its own sales and functions instead of cohesively holding up the stool.

While dysfunctional departments might work well enough for a short time, an inconsistent and negative customer experience will ultimately start costing you customers and money. Everybody in your dealership needs to have the same goal and understand the roles they play in keeping the whole dealership moving forward regardless of their department.

Let’s look at some ways your dealership can fix dysfunction between departments and keep your three-legged stool standing.

Promote Each Other
Have you ever dealt with a salesperson who accused the F&I department of ruining a deal? After the sales team has carefully negotiated a deal for a specific price, the handoff to F&I could be a disaster if they immediately start trying to sell the customer on a high-dollar extended warranty. This is what happens when departments are too insular and aren’t focused on working together.

The scenario I described above could be managed by better cooperation. The sales team could alert F&I to the precarious nature of the deal before the handoff, and they could also inform the customer about the add-ons F&I will offer and their benefits. F&I can also use the opportunity to promote the quality of your service department and the value of certain maintenance plans.

When customers later come back for service, the service department should notify that customer’s salesperson so they can visit and continue a rapport that will pay dividends down the road. The service department can also refer customers with older cars to the sales department to promote new sales. When departments look out for each other, customers get a better experience and everybody wins.

Address Inefficient Processes
From the moment a new car gets off the truck to the day a customer drives it off the lot, your inventory must go through several steps of make ready, cleaning and demos. Inefficient processes that don’t ensure your employees enter cars in your CRM, add new listings to your website, and secure and account for keys can lead to lost sales or even theft.

No matter what happens to a car during its stay on your lot, you need a quick and easy way to know where it is, who has it and that it’s properly accounted for in all of your internal tools. Is a salesperson unable to demo a car since the service department is washing it? Did a customer ask about a car you don’t see in your CRM but you know is on the lot? Were the keys to a vehicle not returned to the pegboard after a demo? Where’s the key for a car that was supposed to be done with make ready two days ago?

Avoiding mistakes like those above takes a commitment to adhering to better processes and the use of proper tools that help integrate your departments. Better securing and tracking keys is one step you can take toward improving the management of your inventory and how your departments interact with each other. A system that automatically tracks key activity and integrates with your CRM saves time and holds your employees accountable.

Make Smart Hires
Good hiring practices are critical to any business, and you probably know pretty quickly during an interview whether a prospective employee can move inventory. But sometimes the high-pressure, commission-driven nature of car sales attracts certain types of people with me-first attitudes. Sure, they might find success on their own, but how do these people mesh with the rest of your team?

Whether it’s salespeople, F&I managers or even service advisors, your employees need to work together to understand their roles in the bigger picture. They should be the type of people who will do what’s best for the team and not simply what’s best for their commission or bonus checks. Putting an emphasis on providing a great customer experience and following important processes in your recruitment procedures will help you build a team that wants to be a team.

Whether you’re dealing with millennial or Generation X employees, your whole team needs to buy in to your policies and processes and commit to working together. Visit to find out more about fixing inefficiencies in your dealership.

You May Also Like

How to Boost Appointment Conversions with Positive First Impressions

It’s crucial to equip your staff with effective phone handling strategies that can make a lasting impression and persuade callers to choose your dealership.

Your dealership only has seven seconds to make a positive first impression with potential buyers. Oftentimes, a first impression is made before your leads walk through your doors. Prospective buyers typically invest a significant amount of time conducting research and reaching out to different stores to determine where they’d like to purchase their vehicle. Therefore, it becomes crucial to equip your staff with effective phone handling strategies that can make a lasting impression and persuade callers to choose your dealership. By implementing these proven strategies, you can help your dealership stand out against the competition and greatly enhance customer experience.

Why Data Security Must Be a Priority in Today’s Automotive Retail Market

Dealers who gain a better understanding of data security and how data relates to industry trends will ultimately find themselves in a better position to achieve long-term goals.

The Digital Dilemma: How to Rethink Sales and Delivery to Drive a Successful Car Buying Future

By taking the right steps, traditional car dealers can still compete, win and flourish, even as digital sales become more prolific.

Revolutionizing Auto Service: How Digital Tools Are Transforming the Auto Dealership Landscape

Remote diagnostics, over-the-air updates, faster service appointments and less vehicle downtime all represent the emerging reality of remote automotive services.

147,348 Reasons Why Customer Experience & Dealership Loyalty Matter – The Power of a Point

That’s the annual average revenue increase a dealership can expect to realize by raising its customer satisfaction score by a single point.

Other Posts

How To Build an Unstoppable Dealership in a Bad Economy

Dealers’ challenges seemed to flip overnight. Here’s how they can use this period to get ahead of the curve.

Back to the Fundamentals of Selling, Post-COVID

Has your sales team gotten “COVID-lazy”? Here’s what you can do to turn them around.

Executive Spotlight with Cindy Allen of StoneEagle

Cindy shares her insights on trends in the F&I industry, how EVs are affecting F&I and much more.

Road Trip! Help Your Customers Control Costs This Summer

In addition to maximizing mileage, cleaning the fuel system improves vehicle power, performance, drivability and throttle response, making the trip a lot more pleasant for the driver.