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How Responsible Are You for KPI Scores?

Do you want 12 to 15 quality tickets with high KPI because they were able to give your clients the time and attention they deserve, or do you want a higher ticket count with mistakes and missed opportunities because they went into survival mode?


Sally Whitesell is president of sw Service Solutions, which offers in-store training nationwide and Fixed Ops University; engaging online training for managers and service advisors. Sally brings over 21 years of on-the-drive experience to her training, seminars and books, which include her highly sought after “What Drives Women?” program and her book, “Words That Sell Service.” And new for 2019: the ultimate sales tool: the sw Service Solutions Maximizing Menu.

These days, you cannot walk into a supermarket or fast food restaurant without getting asked to fill out a survey. According to some, “You might even win a prize!” Most of us, however, do not take the time to fill out surveys unless we have had a bad experience or someone has really “wowed” us with excellent service — which brings me to my first point:

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The best way to have high KPI is to deliver exceptional service.

Sounds easy, right? But it takes time and dedication because it only happens when all of your advisors are trained to follow professional processes from the check-in through an interactive delivery. Once your team is trained, someone needs to inspect what you expect so shortcuts are not taken, even on your busiest days.

One of the biggest issues with surveys is that many dealerships do not understand what should happen to make each visit a truly exceptional experience. The customer may work with a different advisor every time they come in, which leads to mixed signals and messages when those advisors are not properly trained. It is difficult to fairly rate a process when no one has clearly demonstrated what it should be and then set the expectation.

I like to compare checking in your car to checking in at the airport. Did you ever notice how much more prepared and relaxed the frequent fliers are? They breeze right through security and relax at the gate because they have been given a consistent process every time they fly. Our goal should be to provide the same for our guest.


In order to unleash the power of consistency in your store, follow these strategies:

1. Put Your Policies and Procedures in Writing

A detailed job description that outlines your processes in detail is critical to making sure everyone is on the same page. Write out the steps so there is no confusion. For example: As a professional service advisor, you are responsible for the following:

To acknowledge guests quickly and deliver our professional greeting
To ask detailed diagnostic questions and deliver detailed ROs
To perform a walk-around with every guest
To check histories and deliver preventative maintenance presentations when needed
To walk guests to our waiting area and show them our amenities

The company’s job description should be reviewed with each employee and signed before they hit the floor. If you don’t have something like this in place currently, however, it is never too late to create and review with current employees.


2. Train Continually

Your team’s technical knowledge, communication skills and sales ability should be continually improving. Continual improvement is achieved by continual training. Training is not a one-hit wonder. Any employee who wants to advance their career should consider learning a lifelong process. Research shows that Millennials actually expect this.

3. Give Your Advisors the Support They Need

If your advisors are expected to perform duties that are not in their job description, they can’t focus on what you are paying them to do: wowing your guests. How can you hold them accountable to deliver a process, communicate effectively and learn new skills while they are finding keys, parking cars and writing too many tickets?

Do you want 12 to 15 quality tickets with high KPI because they were able to give your clients the time and attention they deserve, or do you want a higher ticket count with mistakes and missed opportunities because they went into survival mode? Even your best performers will burn out if you don’t keep their workload manageable.


4. Hold Regular Reviews and Reward Performance

We recommend that this happen every month. Your team needs to know that you are aware of their successes and shortcomings. After you have had a few of these one-on-one sessions, you will have a much better understanding of each person’s strengths and weaknesses so that you can mentor, role play and train.

5. Lead By Example

It is important that everyone sees you not only make the rules, but also follow them. Employees will respect leaders who play by the rules and will be much more dedicated to them.

So, are you responsible for your store’s KPI? The answer is yes. You must do your part to ensure your team’s success. These tactics will result in a consistent experience for your guests, which result in consistently high scores. Once you have checked these steps off of your to-do list, you can feel confident you have done your part to equip your team to create the “Wow” experience.

If you would like to receive a copy of a sample job description, please contact me at the address above for a complimentary copy.


Sally Whitesell

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