Service Writer or Advisor? You Better Decide What You Want! - AutoSuccessOnline

Service Writer or Advisor? You Better Decide What You Want!

Inspect what you expect by using daily performance evaluations of your service advisors’ sales productivity.

If you want to protect your dealership in a whipsaw economic environment, you can do it by increasing your “service absorption” — getting your service and parts departments to generate enough gross profit to pay for 100 percent of your dealership’s total fixed overhead expenses. That means that your sales department is left with covering only the variable selling expenses. Sound like “Fantasyland?” Please read on. — Don Reed, CEO, DealerPRO Training

What’s the Difference?
Most dealers come from sales, so they are “front-end” oriented. So, they really don’t know the difference between a writer and an advisor.

Think of a service writer as a secretary taking dictation, taking notes on what the customer wants done. But does the customer know what needs to be done to ensure the vehicle is safe? A service advisor does — and communicates with the customer using proven processes.

So, let’s take a “front-end” approach to making your dealership “recession proof” through maximizing your profits in the “back end.”

Putting Sales in Service
While a writer simply writes the customer’s concerns on a repair order and then turns it over to a technician, an advisor writes the customer’s concern on a repair order, walks around the vehicle with them, advises them of any obvious service needs, makes recommendations for a maintenance program and advises the customer that a factory-trained technician will perform a 27-point courtesy inspection of their vehicle at no charge. Simply put, a writer is essentially a clerk. An advisor is a salesperson.

Measuring Performance
In your sales departments and F&I departments you are probably measuring the performance of your salespeople and managers on a daily, weekly and monthly basis, right? Do you do the same for your technicians, advisors (writers) and managers? Most dealerships have sales goals for new and used vehicles and F&I products.

Do you have sales goals for customer pay repair orders, maintenance menus, and preventative maintenance? If your sales department has goals for gross profit per retail unit and F&I gross profit per retail unit, then why not have goals for hours per customer pay repair order, dollar sales per repair order and gross profit as a percent of sales for labor and parts sales?

How to Manage Performance Increases
If you believe in performance-based pay plans for your salespeople and sales managers then why not do the same for your advisors (writers), service & parts managers and all technicians? If you have minimum performance standards for your salespeople, you should also have performance standards for your advisors (writers).

Answer this question: “What would you do with a salesperson who averages five vehicle sales per month?” There are only two options. Train and show him or her how to sell 10+ vehicles per month or conduct an exit interview! Now answer another question: “What would you do with a service writer who only writes 1.5 hours per customer pay RO?”

Your options remain the same. Train and show him or her how to sell 2.5 hours per customer pay RO or let them join the five-car salesperson in the exit interview! If you hold your salespeople accountable for their sales performance, then why not do the same for your service advisors? By the way, you will most likely experience a higher CSI rating for your advisors once they learn how to advise.

Inspect what you expect by using daily performance evaluations of your service advisors’ sales productivity. Set realistic goals for them, coach them daily and get them professionally trained on how to be a salesperson (advisor). Now you are on your way to making your dealership “recession proof.”

You May Also Like

New Hunter University offers comprehensive online, in-person training

Global training platform consolidates dozens of courses in a single convenient location.

Hunter University offers comprehensive online and in-person training

Hunter Engineering is introducing Hunter University, its new global learning platform designed for easily accessible training for customers, technicians, technical school instructors, students and any other interested parties.

The platform collects all of Hunter’s extensive learning content in a single place, offering dozens of free online courses worldwide, as well as streamlined registration for hands-on, in-person courses at training centers around the United States.

Mayhew Extends Pry Bar Line

The new 36” orange and 36” green handled pry bars are now available.

Mayhew Extends Dominator® Pro Pry Bar Product Line with the Addition of New, 36” Orange and Green Handled Pry Bars- Now Available
Schaeffler Partners with Transmission Service Group to Support Technical Education

Schaeffler will provide ATSG members with ongoing education and technical resources, including in-person and online training events.

The Good Fight Against a Rising Tide

Managing the recon operation to manage holding costs is a car dealer’s best offense against margin compression.

ocean waves stock
Autel Approved for Nissan Central Gateway Access

Nissan Central Gateway can access AutoAuth with registered users to perform complete diagnostics on select late-model Nissans.


Other Posts

What The Q1 Inventory Management Data Means for Today’s Successful Auto Retailers

Explore how advanced AI and predictive modeling revolutionize inventory management for auto retailers, boosting profitability and efficiency.

Unlocking Positive Reviews: Five Strategies to Go From a 4.0 to 4.5+ on Google

Online reviews significantly influence consumer decisions in the automotive industry, with over 80% reading Google reviews.

How AI is Enhancing Vehicle Inspections

Learn how AI-powered vehicle inspections are revolutionizing car buying, selling and transportation in the dealer industry.

AI vehicle inspection, artificial intelligence
The Power of OEM Window Stickers: A Must-Have for Every Used Car Dealer

OEM window stickers detail a vehicle’s features, aiding buyers in making informed decisions and helping dealers boost sales by showcasing every car’s full value.

couple buying car in dealership-stock