At the 2023 NADA show, CEO Don Reed, Director of Sales Ken Barnes and other members of the DealerPRO Training team discuss how dealership service departments can best provide customers with safe, reliable vehicles.
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Speaker 1 (00:04):
Ken Barnes here from DealerPRO Training. What I’d like to talk to you about today is providing your customers with a safe and reliable car. JD Powers did a survey, Hey, ask customers, what are the top 10 reasons why you take your car into a dealership’s service department? The number one reason I want a safe car, the number two reason I want a reliable car price was also in there. It was number five, convenience, knowledge, trustworthiness. They were all at the top 10, but number one and number two is providing your customer with a safe and reliable car. So here at DealerPRO Training, this is one of our key areas that we spend a lot of time focusing on. So how do you do it? First off, to provide a customer with a safe car, we need to do a very good multi-point inspection at the dealership.
Once we do that multi-point inspection, we need to provide the customer with the information from that in a timely manner so that they can make a decision as whether they would like to get those items addressed or not. Providing a reliable car, how do we do that? That comes from your service advisor talking to customers about preventing maintenance. Preventative maintenance is a big deal. Most customers know they need to change the oil in their car as well as maybe rotate their tires, but that’s where it stops. So very, very important that a service advisor advises customers. Just like when you go to a doctor’s office, you go to a doctor’s office with a sore throat, he’ll advise you if your blood pressure’s high or you’re overweight. Same thing in our service departments. We want our advisors to give our customers good information, so therefore they make the decision that works best for them and their cars.
At DealerPRO Training, we train on processes and communication. We come to your location, or you can come to our training center in Columbus, Ohio. We’re going to teach advisors how to do great menu presentations using features and benefits to build value. So therefore, your customers feel as though the advisor’s just giving them great information. We owe it to our customers when they come in for our service work. Most of them leave your store feeling as though they’re driving a car that has been checked over and everything is fine. We owe it to them to provide a safe and reliable car. Your customers actually will appreciate the information that they get because it allows them to take care of that second largest investment in their life.
Speaker 2 (02:21):
What I’d like to do is speak briefly about the 88 or three of the 88 modules that we support training around here at DealerPRO Training. The first of which is going to be our phone training. The primary thing about phone training that we focus on is making it easy for the customer and making sure that we’re guiding them towards the correct scheduled time, as well as making sure that we make it as easy for them as possible. Help them to understand and set clear expectations as to what they’re about to receive are about to happen to them. So what we’re going to do is we’re going to talk about ways that we improve the phone sales process and making sure that we make that process easy for our customers. We’re going to talk about how to present the optional times to the customer in a way that’s easy for them and guide them into a, into a time that is best for the business.
We’re also going to help prepare the customer for what is about to happen. Help them to understand the timeframe in which it takes to service their vehicle and set a reasonable expectation because many people do not understand how difficult it is and how long it takes to service their vehicles. So that’ll be one of the primary things that we focus on. An example would be with this type of service, Mr. And Mrs. Customer, with this type of service, we do recommend that you leave the vehicle with us for the day as it’s difficult to know how long it’ll take to diagnose and repair. Now, we do have technicians available Monday or Tuesday, which one works better for you morning or afternoon, and then proceed to the correct time based upon their needs and what’s correct for the vehicle. We also want to make sure that the customer understands the importance of arriving to work or arriving to their scheduled appointment on time.
We do that through a statement similar to Mr. and Mrs. Customer. It’s extremely important that you come in at your scheduled time so we can spend the necessary time with you to ensure that we take care of all of your needs. That way, the customer’s going to be more prone to come in at their scheduled time, and you end up with less overlap of customers coming in late or early and all at one time. The second training module that we’ll focus around is going to be overcoming common objections. Most of the objections that come from our customers come from the fact that they don’t really understand what’s about to happen or the expenses associated with what is happening or the difficulties of the repairs that we’re performing. So the first thing we want to do is find out what kind of objection they have.
Obviously, we can ask them that. And then the ways to overcome those objections. Typically, we focus on two different techniques. The first is going to be a very similar one that you see a lot of times in normal sales training classes. That’s called feel/felt/found, and we’re first going to empathize with the customer’s position. Mr. Customer, I understand exactly how you feel. I’ve had a lot of customers that felt the same way, however, and now what we’re going to do is educate them on what we found. However, what we found is these newer vehicles are much more complex, making the repair much more expensive and time consuming. Now we can prepare them for what’s about to happen and help to build more value around the specific service that they’re getting. The last thing that we’re going to be focusing on is feature benefit selling. Most of our advisors in our stores do a great job feature selling.
We talk a lot about what we’re doing, Mr. business customer, we’re going to be exchanging your transmission fluid here today, something like that. While that is great for the customer to know, the main thing the customer’s interested in is, what am I getting out of this? The fluid, I don’t see it, I don’t realize, I don’t care if it’s dirty. The main thing I’m looking for is I’m looking for a safe and reliable vehicle. So what we do is we help to educate the customer. By performing these services, it helps to avoid premature failure or costly repairs. Those are the things that are important to customers, their budget their convenience, the reliability of their vehicle, and of course the safety of their vehicle. So we spend a lot of time talking with our customers about each of those items through the course of our training classes in Columbus, as well as in our stores.
Speaker 3 (06:23):
I know that whenever we have a customer comes in, sometimes their expectation’s a little higher than what we can achieve. And how we handle that has a direct reflection on our CSI for the store and the customer’s perception. So we say when the customer’s expectation’s a little bit too high, how do we change that? Okay, well, we change it with a positive note. We change it by telling them what we can do for them. For instance, I’ve got a problem. I need to diagnose it. Once I diagnose it, then I can call and give them an estimate on the repairs and when I expect to have that completed form, okay? That’s pro true in warranty and in customer pay. So both of them can set up a expectation we can’t meet. So when we’re talking about the expectation for the consumer, how do we change that?
Again, always telling them what we can do, not what we can’t do. This will help you with your CSI going into the expectation for the customer. Best thing to do is call ’em with a estimate and a quote when we get done with it so we can give them some ideal when we can complete the whole job, when the parts will be there and so forth. Cause all these things have to play with the customer’s expectation. Most service advisors, their expectation is, I’ll try my best or I’ll do my best. The customer only hears okay that they’re going to do their best. So whenever we can’t meet that expectation, then the consumer thinks we failed. Okay? Then it goes on our CSI as we didn’t complete it in a timely manner. Looking at the quick service stuff, things like that. We gotta be realistic with the people when we expect to have it done. When we expect to have that oil changed tire rotation and the multi-point inspection completed by car wash, they want one. We have to add time to it. So these are all things that we, minor things we can do to help with the customer’s expectations.
Speaker 4 (08:33):
And one of the things we get a lot of questions about is how do we provide excellent customer service and guarantee that the customer will return to the dealership after they’ve visited the service department? And quite frankly, it comes down to really one thing. It’s processes. If a service department’s been trained properly and everybody’s following the same process, the customer gets a better experience and they feel confident that every single time they come back into the dealership, that they’ll get that same experience over and over again. The other way to provide that is to train your advisors how to follow that service sales process and treat that customer exactly the way they should be treated every single time. One of the things that we like to talk about is how we take an advisor and train them on how to not only greet the customer, but conduct a proper walkaround present A menu also described a multi-point inspection so that customer understands the entire process from receipt to the time that they pick up their vehicle and they know that they’re getting the best service experience possible. It’s through this that you will drive customer retention and increase the value that the customer experiences from coming into your service department. Hey, we have some exciting news for the N A D A this year. We’ve introduced new training that we’re going to take your D level technicians and turn ’em into C level technicians, increasing your sales productivity and gross profits. We’d love to talk to you about that and how we do it. Please give us a call at (888) 553-0100. Go online to www.dealerprotraining.com.
Speaker 5 (10:20):
I wanna talk to you a little bit about what’s coming up for 2023 and for most of us in the automobile industry, and I hope you’re one of those, that we find that 2023 was pretty much a record year when it comes to profitability, and we see that trend continuing here. At DealerPRO, we specialize in fixed operations training. And since COVID we’ve seen a, a major shift towards dealers starting to focus more and more on their service and parts operations. And one of the things that we’re seeing for 2023, we need more technicians. Everybody knows that. But one of the things that we like to work with you on is how we can take your lower skill level D level technicians and how we can train those technicians to get up into C level so they can start performing maintenance work.
Because many of you out there are booked out for, for days, if not a week or two in appointments. That means that you need more productivity. And one of the best ways to get more productivity is out of the technicians that you already have. So that’s going to be one of our main focuses for 2023. You know, it’s all about how you take care of the customer. And our training is all about putting the customer first. Putting the customer first all starts with the phone call and how we sell more appointments and how we schedule those people in properly in a better dispatching product. And, and lastly, we want to talk about that we train, yeah, I mean, train your retail customers, how to properly maintain and service their vehicles, okay? How to properly maintain their vehicles. And it works extremely well and the customers are very appreciative of the fact that we’re taking the time to educate them on how to maintain a safe and reliable vehicle.
So that’s what we’re looking at for 2023. We’re also looking at some new creative pay plans for our technicians and our service advisors that are a little bit more performance based, okay? Where we, we still give ’em a guarantee, but we want to give them an incentive to produce more hours. Because the fact of the matter is, is that most of the stores that we go into, technician productivity is just not where it should be. And it’s certainly running below that a hundred percent mark. So if we can put in proper pay plans, that comp motivates them through performance based compensation, well the dealer’s going to get a big pay raise because we’re going to sell more hours. The technician’s going to get a, a pay raise because he’s producing more hours. And it’s clearly a win-win situation for everyone. So hope you had a great 2022. I’m assured that 2023 is going to be even better. And let’s get your service and parts team trained properly on how to put your customers first and keep ’em coming back.