Unlocking Service Drive Revenue: The Critical Role of Technician Inspections

Unlocking Service Drive Revenue: The Critical Role of Technician Inspections

The true potential of service consulting lies in recognizing the nuanced art of quality inspections and leveraging it to drive success for both advisors and technicians.

In my extensive years of service consulting, the phrase “money left on the table” has been a constant rallying cry for both consultants and technology products urging clients to optimize their revenue potential. While numerous processes aim to minimize this financial oversight in modern service drives, I contend that a significant portion of the solution lies within the often-underestimated realm of the multipoint inspection (MPI).

Having encountered nearly every electronic MPI product on the market, I must assert that, with one exception, they all fall short in evaluating the performance of advisors and technicians accurately. Most systems predominantly focus on metrics such as the number of recommendations, approval rates and closure percentages per advisor. While these metrics hold value, I propose that the technician’s quality of inspection, specifically in identifying Cautions and Fails across categories, stands out as the most crucial statistic.

Over a monthly timeframe, analyzing why one technician might caution 20 and fail six vehicles in the brake category, while a neighboring technician cautions seven and fails two with a similar report volume and mileage, becomes pivotal. This brings to light a fundamental challenge — the fear among both advisors and technicians that overwhelming customers with too many recommendations or presenting high estimates may result in the customer declining everything. Consequently, certain high-priced items, such as tires, oil leaks or major suspension components, might be conveniently left off the inspection report estimate.

Furthermore, technicians may not always recommend items they dislike addressing, leading to omissions in the inspection process. To illustrate this point, I conducted an eye-opening exercise at a large Lexus store involving 45 technicians. Each technician provided a unique inspection report for a used car with worn components, resulting in a staggering lack of uniformity among the reports. This exercise exposed a critical issue inhibiting gross profit growth in our parts and service departments — technicians were not consistently aligning the advisor for success.

Implementing a system to monitor the quality of inspection reports and sharing this information monthly with the entire group led to remarkable improvements. Technicians began self-critiquing and refining their performance, resulting in advisors having more comprehensive information to share with customers. The outcome? Increased approvals and, subsequently, enhanced commissions for everyone involved. Emphasizing the completeness of the MPI not only educates customers on their vehicle’s genuine concerns but also positions the advisor as a trustworthy guide in addressing those needs. By leaving the decision in the hands of customers after presenting all concerns, the natural outcome is increased sales, even if the advisor’s closing percentage remains constant. The true potential of service consulting lies in recognizing the nuanced art of quality inspections and leveraging it to drive success for both advisors and technicians.

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