Notifications & Messages

Jared Hamilton
From: Jared Hamilton
Hey - It’s time to join the thousands of other dealer professionals on DrivingSales. Create an account so you can get full access to the articles, discussions and people that are shaping the future of the automotive industry.
×
Jason Unrau

Jason Unrau Freelance Contributor

Jason Unrau Blog Posts

Making Mass Service Campaigns that Commands Personal Responses

Making Mass Service Campaigns that Commands Personal Responses

As a service manager or fixed operations director, this information is for you. There has been much to do about email interactions and direct market…

There’s a Name on the RO but Does the Customer Feel Like a Number?

There’s a Name on the RO but Does the Customer Feel Like a Number?

In the previous several weeks, we’ve had plenty of discussion about the customer experience. There’s a realization that customers are no longer…

Watch for These If You’re Sending Email Campaigns!

Watch for These If You’re Sending Email Campaigns!

Contrary to popular belief, email marketing is not dead. It isn’t even dying. For the service industry, it’s still one of the best ways to elic…

Only 2 in 5 Customers Receives a Sales-to-Service Handoff??

Only 2 in 5 Customers Receives a Sales-to-Service Handoff??

DealerRater recently polled over 16,000 new car buyers on behalf of Fixed Ops Journal. The question was straightforward: "The last time you bou…

The Problem with Pandering to the Customer Experience

The Problem with Pandering to the Customer Experience

A couple of years ago, there was no such thing as the abbreviation (CX) or the buzzword it represents: Customer eXperience. And now, you can’t …

Being a Relevant Service Department

Being a Relevant Service Department

The latest news out of the auto industry is that Amazon, everyone’s favorite online retailer, is investing $700 million into the electric truck a…

The Experience Customers Want from the Service Department

The Experience Customers Want from the Service Department

From the sun-soaked east side of Hawaii’s Big Island, I have the pleasure of writing about the preferred customer experience. And what doesn&rsqu…

Are Your Brand Promise and Customer Experience Aligned?

Are Your Brand Promise and Customer Experience Aligned?

Think of a recent experience with retail that you’ve had, or perhaps a few. It doesn’t matter what it is – Walmart, Lowe’s, Ame…

How an Entrepreneurial Approach Makes the Service Team Better

How an Entrepreneurial Approach Makes the Service Team Better

Everyone says it: “There’s no ‘I’ in ‘Team’”. It’s one of the phrases that draws eye rolls and exaspera…

Use the Service Department to Build Trust on Your Website

Use the Service Department to Build Trust on Your Website

Check out some of the most popular websites in the world. According to Alexa Internet traffic rankings for North American sites, it goes Google, Y…

Mirror the Service Department Online

Mirror the Service Department Online

Ever browse a retailer’s website, completely awestruck by the professional appearance, a wide array of available products, and helpful content, a…

Getting Technicians into the Service Team

Getting Technicians into the Service Team

Us versus them. In many dealership service departments, that’s the relationship between the service advisors and the technicians. Is shouldn&rsqu…

Advisor Selling Skills: Are You Overthinking the Sale?

Advisor Selling Skills: Are You Overthinking the Sale?

The Christmas season is upon us, closely followed by New Years. It’s a magical time of the year that’s full of Christmas cheer, time spent with…

Want Happy Service Advisors? Give Them the Pay Plan They Want

Want Happy Service Advisors? Give Them the Pay Plan They Want

You learn a lot about yourself in the service drive. You quickly find out if you’re truly an extrovert or an introvert-in-disguise, you discover if y…

Where Will the Service Department Take Your Store in 2019?

Where Will the Service Department Take Your Store in 2019?

December is in full swing, hopefully off to a strong start. In the blink of an eye, it’s going to be New Year’s, and a blank slate will be …

When You Just Don’t Feel It

When You Just Don’t Feel It

“Do something you LOVE.” “Find a career that fulfills you.” Our culture today impresses upon students that they can do wh…

You Have to Plan for Growth…But How Much?

You Have to Plan for Growth…But How Much?

A look back on the past eleven months is going to put you in one of three categories. You’re right on pace to finish 2018 on target, and yo…

Low-Cost Service Marketing Tactics for December

Low-Cost Service Marketing Tactics for December

Inevitably, the service department in December is a frustrating enigma. It’s next to impossible to predict the ebbs and flows, the staffing schedule …

Where is the True ROI in Fixed Ops?

Where is the True ROI in Fixed Ops?

Everyone is talking about KPIs and measuring the past ten months to plan for the next calendar year. It’s critical stuff. A dealership would stru…

Is your BDC for the Sales or the Service Department?

Is your BDC for the Sales or the Service Department?

Last year, I was shown around a local dealership by the dealer principal, someone I had worked for elsewhere in my past. He walked me through the parts dep…

Set Unconventional Goals for 2019

Set Unconventional Goals for 2019

Every conference, webinar, training session, and manager’s meeting you’ll be a part of focuses on the business side of a car dealership. Th…

What You Should Focus On Instead of Service Sales in the Final Quarter

What You Should Focus On Instead of Service Sales in the Final Quarter

Well into the last quarter of 2018, most service managers are looking at the DOC and wondering if they’re going to achieve their target. And if n…

What 2018 Has Shown About Retail Automotive…So Far

What 2018 Has Shown About Retail Automotive…So Far

It’s been an up and down ride, folks. What’s happened so far in 2018 has stirred up the automotive industry, from the sales floor to the wash b…

People are Silently Dissatisfied with Their Jobs in Your Store

People are Silently Dissatisfied with Their Jobs in Your Store

Ever felt unhappy with your career? Of course, you have at times. But we’re talking today about a deeper type of job dissatisfaction than having …

Smooth Out the Wrinkles Between Interdepartmental Staff

Smooth Out the Wrinkles Between Interdepartmental Staff

In every dealership I’ve worked for – and several others I’ve had the pleasure of visiting – the customer experience in the ser…

Copy Wall Street to Diversify Your Marketing

Copy Wall Street to Diversify Your Marketing

Ever invested in the stock market? I’m not talking about relatively safe investment portfolios, bonds, or a few shares in Google. The type of inv…

Service Content is Responsible for Driving Dealership Traffic – Here’s Why

Service Content is Responsible for Driving Dealership Traffic – Here’s Why

Think with Google always provides interesting tidbits. From an August 2018 insights report, their research tells us that “84% of Americans are sh…

The Call You Don’t Make Today WILL Affect Traffic

The Call You Don’t Make Today WILL Affect Traffic

In sales and service, there are times you know a customer just isn’t going to buy. There’s no way. Sometimes you can tell by reading their …

Turn Your Advertising On Its Head

Turn Your Advertising On Its Head

For those who still have cable TV, manufacturer and dealer ads continue to dominate the commercial breaks. Video advertising makes sense – there&…

What’s the Excuse This Month?

What’s the Excuse This Month?

Dealership service departments slow down during the summer months. Kids are out of school. Summer holidays happen. Overall, there’s just a sense …

Why You Don’t Have to Be the Best in Service

Why You Don’t Have to Be the Best in Service

From CSI scores and online ratings to Google search results, everyone wants to be first. The service department is expected to be perfect and keep a pe…

What’s the Biggest Challenge You Face as a Service Team Member?

What’s the Biggest Challenge You Face as a Service Team Member?

With more than 15 years of experience in the service department, I had more than my share of ups and downs. Part of it was to do with me personally, and o…

How to Take Vacation – It’s Not as Easy as You Think

How to Take Vacation – It’s Not as Easy as You Think

Everyone deserves a little time off. It’s something to look forward to and provides much needed rejuvenation. And whether you’re a service advi…

Auto Tariffs (and Threats) Make Fixed Ops More Important Than Ever

Auto Tariffs (and Threats) Make Fixed Ops More Important Than Ever

‘45’ keeps everyone on their toes, there’s no denying that. The hardball tactics for NAFTA negotiations, steel and aluminum tariffs, and …

Skills to Look For in a New Hire

Skills to Look For in a New Hire

Look across your service department’s front line, then in the shop. If you’re one of the average American dealerships, you have a vacancy in at…

Three Tips for Slower Summer Service Departments

Three Tips for Slower Summer Service Departments

School’s out, and the weather is phenomenal. It’s the time of the year when the flow of customer traffic into the service department slows …

What Do Your Customers Do After a Service Visit?

What Do Your Customers Do After a Service Visit?

A customer stops in for their service appointment. They check in with the service advisor, have a work order written, and take the complimentary shuttl…

Seriously, Why Keep Training Advisors?

Seriously, Why Keep Training Advisors?

I have to say, as a former service advisor, one of the things I despised the most was training. Don’t get me wrong – I love time off. But what …

Struggling with Consistency? Five Tips for Service Advisors

Struggling with Consistency? Five Tips for Service Advisors

Everyone I’ve met who’s spent time in the service drive will confirm it: being a service advisor is exhausting. Just being ‘on’…

It’s More Important Than Ever to Hit 100% Service Absorption

It’s More Important Than Ever to Hit 100% Service Absorption

It’s a number some dealerships reach easily, while others work hard and never quite get there: service absorption. You know it as the fixed operatio…

Can an Unhappy Customer Be Convinced to Return?

Can an Unhappy Customer Be Convinced to Return?

Statistics exist all over about happy customers. The J.D. Power Customer Service Index Study is one that provides valuable insight into areas of improv…

A Singular View of the Customer

A Singular View of the Customer

Think with Google research is always revealing. Once again, a recent analysis of the automotive market has shown data that shouldn’t be a surprise. H…

Customer Loyalty Isn’t Guaranteed with an App

Customer Loyalty Isn’t Guaranteed with an App

Dealerships all over have recognized the benefits in using an app for their store. It’s true – customer engagement is much simpler when you…

A Four Score: Why CSI Won’t Ever Be Perfect

A Four Score: Why CSI Won’t Ever Be Perfect

Have you ever received a CSI survey result and been completely floored and ruffled that it wasn’t a perfect score? I know, it’s dredging up…

Where is Your Service Department Online?

Where is Your Service Department Online?

A quick snapshot of any dealership website reveals the exact same thing. The first thing that’s evident will be new car inventory, followed by us…

Get the Service Department Prepped for Summer

Get the Service Department Prepped for Summer

I’m willing to bet this scenario sounds familiar: The summer months have arrived. School is out and many of your staff are taking time off to …

How Do You Start New Service Advisors?

How Do You Start New Service Advisors?

Like any dealership position, there comes a need to fill a service advisor’s desk occasionally. There might be someone that resigns or you could …

Are You Still Giving Away the Farm on ROs?

Are You Still Giving Away the Farm on ROs?

For as long as I remember, I’ve been attracted to a good deal. How can you pass up something you’ve wanted or needed when it’s gone o…

After a Quarter, Are You Improving?

After a Quarter, Are You Improving?

The first fourteen weeks of 2018 have flown by. It’s a time frame where some self-reflection is a good idea. Pull out the measuring stick and com…

It’s a Mental Game for Advisors

It’s a Mental Game for Advisors

Anyone who’s been in the service drive for the morning rush knows the chaos and stress service advisors face daily. I’ve been there and don…

The First Impression for a New Service Customer

The First Impression for a New Service Customer

  Statistics all support retaining current customers as opposed to bringing in new first-time customers. It costs seven times as much to earn a…

Own the Phone! Show Up Better on Mobile

Own the Phone! Show Up Better on Mobile

Need a morning java? Grab your smartphone and Google the nearest Starbuck’s. You can pace a mobile order in seconds and pick it up on the fly. Wh…

Here’s My Number – Call Me Maybe

Here’s My Number – Call Me Maybe

Now that you have a six-year-old pop song from Carly Rae Jepsen running through your head… this post has nothing to do with dating. It IS, howev…

What are the Limitations of Texting for Business?

What are the Limitations of Texting for Business?

If you didn’t look at your cell phone before climbing out of bed this morning, you’re in the minority. The Pew Research Center reported las…

Getting Your Emails Opened Shouldn’t Be So Hard

Getting Your Emails Opened Shouldn’t Be So Hard

There’s an important message you want to get across to your customers. The car they test drove last month just received hot new incentives that final…

Does a Cohesive Dealership Culture Hinge on Pay Plans?

Does a Cohesive Dealership Culture Hinge on Pay Plans?

If you want to stir up controversy, talking about pay plans is a great way to do it. The most common pay structure used in dealerships for both salespe…

Does Service Match Your Sales Approach?

Does Service Match Your Sales Approach?

Another satisfied car buyer drives away in their new Honda/Chevy/Ford/other make. They’ve just experienced the best car purchase in their life. They …

Service Advisor Training 102 – The Job Is Never Done

Service Advisor Training 102 – The Job Is Never Done

There is no shortage of bad online reviews, excruciating customer tales, and complaints to deal with about the service department. It’s easy to pass …

The Message Needs to Reflect the Experience

The Message Needs to Reflect the Experience

Branding is a hot button. It’s pushed as the best way to create an individual identity or your dealership. Whether it involves a slogan, a physic…

The Silent Killer of Authoritative Dealership Websites

The Silent Killer of Authoritative Dealership Websites

Your dealership website is often the first point of contact for new customers. It provides high-level information for shoppers and current customers. Y…

Why Your Online Shoppers Don’t Take the Bait

Why Your Online Shoppers Don’t Take the Bait

You think you’re dangling an enticing lure in front of your customers’ eyes. You plan to set the hook and reel them in. But what you don&rs…

A Better Website Experience Has Little to Do With Cars

A Better Website Experience Has Little to Do With Cars

Take a minute right now to browse your website’s home page. Just open a new browser window on your phone or your computer, check it out, then com…

How Far Will You Go to Make a Sale?

How Far Will You Go to Make a Sale?

Parts departments, the service drive, the sales floor – everyone has a sales target every month of every year. There’s a clear expectation from…

If You Do One Thing in the New Year, Do This

If You Do One Thing in the New Year, Do This

Overall, 2017 has been a success in the sales and fixed operations departments. We’ve seen a broader recognition of the service department’s im…

Opportunities from a Fully Online Car Buying Experience

Opportunities from a Fully Online Car Buying Experience

I can’t help but sense that most of the retail automotive world feels threatened by the push toward an online sales experience. It’s been c…

Prepare for the Electric Revolution in 2018

Prepare for the Electric Revolution in 2018

You might’ve had cause to be a skeptic at the beginning of 2017, but no longer. 2017 is the year Volkswagen committed to building an electric option …

When It Doesn’t Seem Like Your Staff Are Listening to You

When It Doesn’t Seem Like Your Staff Are Listening to You

You expect a certain amount of respect, and along with that, you expect to be listened to. Yet, every manager finds themselves in a place at some point whe…

Audit Your Service Process, You Likely Need It

Audit Your Service Process, You Likely Need It

As I sit in the customer lounge, waiting for my vehicle to be serviced once again, it’s evident that most dealerships have a hard time being in the c…

Without KPIs, Can You Track Success?

Without KPIs, Can You Track Success?

Ratchet and Wrench released details of the 2017 Shop Performance Survey. There aren’t many reports that focus on the service industry instead of sale…

Finetuning Your Leadership When Everything is Going Right

Finetuning Your Leadership When Everything is Going Right

A lot of times, we focus on how to fix things when it feels like your department is imploding around you. That’s often because running your servi…

Has the Automotive Industry Always Been Wrong?

Has the Automotive Industry Always Been Wrong?

You can’t browse retail automotive news sites today without seeing messages about revolutionizing the sales process or fixing what’s broken…

Staff Turnover: The Most Important KPI for Management

Staff Turnover: The Most Important KPI for Management

I know you’re thinking, “Great, another article on employee retention.” It’s a topic that has been quite popular since NADA’s…

Service Sales Lacking? Just Write More ROs.

Service Sales Lacking? Just Write More ROs.

It sounds ridiculous, I know. It’s not as easy as just writing more repair orders in a day. Yet, when your RO count is down, typically your gross…

Do We Over-Service Our Customers?

Do We Over-Service Our Customers?

Disclaimer: this post is NOT about over-selling. You might find that it resounds with you, or you might completely and wholeheartedly disagree with me.…

Become a Ferrari in Your Own City

Become a Ferrari in Your Own City

As I write this, I’m resting comfortably in the Tuscan hills. I’ve had the pleasure of seeing Michelangelo’s David at Galleria dell&rsquo…

How Do You Thank Your Customers?

How Do You Thank Your Customers?

As a service department, your day is filled with serving customers. That’s your purpose for being there, after all. You see familiar faces that v…

The Little Things Count the Most

The Little Things Count the Most

At the dealership level, the customer’s expectations are high. For the price your clients pay, they want an experience – even more so than …

Why Bad Service is Better than Average

Why Bad Service is Better than Average

I hope it caught your attention. The title certainly goes against the grain of every bit of training that you’ve endorsed or been a part of. Hone…

Throwing Darts Blindfolded – Missing the Target on Service

Throwing Darts Blindfolded – Missing the Target on Service

You arrive at the dealership in the morning, and you set down to your role. Whether it’s service advisor, cashier, service manager or even the lot at…

How to Profit from Vehicle Recalls

How to Profit from Vehicle Recalls

It is evident recalls aren’t going away. The scourge of the Takata airbag inflator recalls is just the tip of the iceberg. No manufacturer is exempt …

Same Yet Separate: Service and Sales Differentiation

Same Yet Separate: Service and Sales Differentiation

The topic of working together as a single dealership is often beaten to death, covered more often than the blundering Trump administration. It’s grea…

Your Personal Image Is YOUR Brand

Your Personal Image Is YOUR Brand

You might think of your role in the dealership as just a job or a career. It’s a vehicle that you use to pay the bills, live a comfortable life, …

Be Consistently You: Why Develop a Brand Image?

Be Consistently You: Why Develop a Brand Image?

We’re bombarded by advertisements all day, every day. Whether it’s Pepsi or Coca-Cola, McDonalds or Burger King, Geico or Progressive, or any o…

For the Parts Managers in the Room – Let’s Talk Idle and Obsolete Inventory

For the Parts Managers in the Room – Let’s Talk Idle and Obsolete Inventory

Rows upon rows of parts line your department, some are pristine and clean while others gather dust. Every month, quarter, semi-annually, or annually, y…

Keeping Up with the Joneses in Quick Lube

Keeping Up with the Joneses in Quick Lube

More than half of all sales customers will abandon your dealership’s service department in the first year. It’s a widely varying statistic &nda…

Remove Discounts from Your Sales Toolbox

Remove Discounts from Your Sales Toolbox

In all of manager-dom, there’s nothing as frustrating as someone discounting needlessly. It happens in several forms: making up for a mistake in the …

Can You Justify Your Labor Rate?

Can You Justify Your Labor Rate?

You hear about labor rates, rising costs, and a ceiling for how high labor rates will reach. It’s all fine and dandy…unless you’re t…

3 Tips for a Great Third and Fourth Quarter in Your Service Department

3 Tips for a Great Third and Fourth Quarter in Your Service Department

The automotive industry fell a little flat in certain areas throughout the first and second quarters, but that rarely applies to the service department…

Service Sales are Good, But You Can Do Better

Service Sales are Good, But You Can Do Better

The first quarter of 2017 is in the books and the second quarter is almost wrapping up. As service departments go, it’s always a steady flow of g…

Kickstart Staff Motivation…With Your Wallet

Kickstart Staff Motivation…With Your Wallet

I’ve been there, you’ve been there, we’ve all been there. The career you’re in has turned into a mundane task. Going to the off…

Demonstrate a Culture of Giving Back

Demonstrate a Culture of Giving Back

Can I be honest here? Nobody works to give it all away. The expectation is that you work hard to make a living; to support your family’s needs and, h…

The Workplace Roadmap: Plan for Tomorrow Today

The Workplace Roadmap: Plan for Tomorrow Today

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average person holds 11.7 jobs between the ages of 18 and 48. That’s an average tenure of just u…

Equipped for the Evolution of the Service Experience…or Not?

Equipped for the Evolution of the Service Experience…or Not?

In every industry, the winds are shifting. The products are evolving, but that’s not what it’s about. The level of service that’s given i…

Is Your Actual Customer Satisfaction Out of Focus?

Is Your Actual Customer Satisfaction Out of Focus?

A little story about my initiation into a new workplace a decade ago: I had some previous experience as a service advisor already – about thre…

Where Will Your Ambition Take You?

Where Will Your Ambition Take You?

I don’t think I’m all that unusual (although my wife might not agree). My automotive career in the dealership world was disjointed, broken up …

Underachievers, and What to Do About Them

Underachievers, and What to Do About Them

Every person you hire has an intended role to fill. In some fashion, you can determine their performance and compare it to the benchmark you’ve s…

You Have a Position to Fill – Who Do You Hire?

You Have a Position to Fill – Who Do You Hire?

As much as you try to avoid employee churn, you’ll always need to hire someone. It might be to replace a staff who’s moved on in their care…

What Motivates Your Employees to Perform?

What Motivates Your Employees to Perform?

Sorting through resumes, you find applicants who show potential. There are some with experience to walk on the job and set your service department abla…

How Do You Pay Your New Fixed Ops Hires: Commission or Salary?

How Do You Pay Your New Fixed Ops Hires: Commission or Salary?

Fixed operations careers aren’t the most glamorous. Some days are rewarding while others are like repeatedly standing before a firing squad. Customer…

Hiring Your Stores Top Earners – NOT the Sales Floor

Hiring Your Stores Top Earners – NOT the Sales Floor

There’s a sales job in your dealership that earns much more than your salespeople to the bottom line. In fact, it’s many times what a salespers…

Is Your Service Department Experience Hurting Your Car Sales?

Is Your Service Department Experience Hurting Your Car Sales?

Word-of-mouth is the best source of advertising there is, and it’s also the least expensive. On the opposite end, a bad customer experience is in…

The Practical Role Service Plays for the Sales Team – Let’s Talk Labor Rates!

The Practical Role Service Plays for the Sales Team – Let’s Talk Labor Rates!

In the past few weeks, we’ve covered topics like treating service customers and sales customers similarly, the supporting role service team members p…

Treating Service Customers as an ‘Up’

Treating Service Customers as an ‘Up’

Those who are familiar with the realm of car sales can relate to this: You drive into the car sales lot and see two or three sharply-dressed people hang…

Is the Rest of the Dealership Up to Par with the Sales Floor?

Is the Rest of the Dealership Up to Par with the Sales Floor?

Walk into any big box store in any neighborhood near you. Stop in the middle of the store for a moment – it’s not about shopping right now.…

The 12th (Sales)Man on the Team

The 12th (Sales)Man on the Team

In the NFL, armchair quarterbacks and spectators in the stands are known as the ‘12th man’. The term pays homage to the contribution fans m…

A NEW Way of Doing Old Things

A NEW Way of Doing Old Things

The sum of fixed operations existence is after-sales service and it always has been. There’s literally NO customer that comes through your door that…

Does Your Service Department Show Up On Google?

Does Your Service Department Show Up On Google?

In the United States alone, more than a million online searches happen EVERY MONTH related to car repairs. That isn’t taking into consideration b…

Why Online is Where Your Service Department Needs to Be

Why Online is Where Your Service Department Needs to Be

It’s been a hot topic for a little while now, and it’s time to re-evaluate how you’re doing. Go to Google and search for “[inse…

Why Should Shoppers Visit YOUR Website?

Why Should Shoppers Visit YOUR Website?

Because you stay abreast of current trends, you already know that Think With Google has conducted extensive research on the car buying experience. In the …

NADA 100 is in the Rearview Mirror – Now What?

NADA 100 is in the Rearview Mirror – Now What?

Tens of thousands of automotive professionals began gathering at NADA 100 January 26th, pumped up to drive growth in their dealerships for the future. …

Must-See NADA 100 Expo Displays for Fixed Ops

Must-See NADA 100 Expo Displays for Fixed Ops

New Orleans is ramping up for the 100th anniversary of NADA, and the convention promises to be outstanding. You’ll be entertained at the NADA100 Carn…

Where Should You Spend Your Time at NADA 100?

Where Should You Spend Your Time at NADA 100?

You’re taking time away from your busy service or parts department, all on the company dime, to attend NADA 100 in New Orleans. You’d better ha…

NADA 100 Preview – What’s In It for You?

NADA 100 Preview – What’s In It for You?

In just a few short weeks, the National Automobile Dealers Association will host their convention from New Orleans. This year is the 100th anniversary …

Emphasize the Basics to Start 2017 Out Right

Emphasize the Basics to Start 2017 Out Right

You’ve spent the past year coaching your team and tweaking your process to reach your year-end goals. Countless one-on-one sessions and opportuni…

How Can Your Job Be Less Work?

How Can Your Job Be Less Work?

‘It isn't work if you love what you’re doing’. You’ve heard that phrase before, I’m sure. Whether you’ve been a…

Great Job, Now Do Better Next Year

Great Job, Now Do Better Next Year

At this point of the year, you have a pretty good idea how the numbers are going to pan out. This year has had its challenges for the automotive indust…

Why Must it Always Be a Fight?

Why Must it Always Be a Fight?

Your dealership is one big happy family and everyone gets along famously. Unless you’re a dysfunctional family with screaming, hair-pulling, and slam…

How to Destroy Customer Trust in Your Service Department

How to Destroy Customer Trust in Your Service Department

Ask your friends what they think of their dealership’s service department. You’ll get a range of answers, ranging from polite and positive …

Do Holiday Specials in Service Help or Hurt?

Do Holiday Specials in Service Help or Hurt?

Every time you turn on the TV, you see a car commercial with a Rudolph nose on it. Dealers capitalize on the hunt for hot buys on Black Friday, adverti…

Performance Reviews in Fixed Ops – Tell It Like It Is!

Performance Reviews in Fixed Ops – Tell It Like It Is!

During your onboarding or hiring process, you tell every new employee their roles and responsibilities. From their hours on the job and customer intera…

First Impressions in the Service Drive Are More Important Than You Think

First Impressions in the Service Drive Are More Important Than You Think

You walk into a well-known, Michelin-star restaurant. One where the waiter has a towel draped over his arm and a bottle of wine in his hand. You’re p…

Are Women Treated Differently in Your Service Department?

Are Women Treated Differently in Your Service Department?

Ouch. That’s a hot topic. No one wants to be accused of the sexist stigmas that have been tied to the automotive industries. Men and women are eq…

How Do You Deal With Declined Services?

How Do You Deal With Declined Services?

In our industry, every department is involved in sales. And although it’s called the ‘Service’ department, you and I both know there&rsqu…

Tech-Pocalypse Now!

Tech-Pocalypse Now!

There’s a shortage of technicians most dealerships are experiencing, and the drought has no end in sight. Unwittingly, well-trained technicians n…

Where Have All the Technicians Gone?

Where Have All the Technicians Gone?

There’s no need to rehash the vehicle complexities that are worked into every new model. Whether by regulation such as emissions standards or for…

Strike a Balance Between Your Best Customer and Every Other Customer

Strike a Balance Between Your Best Customer and Every Other Customer

You expect the occasional disgruntled customer or miscommunication when you work in ANY service industry. It’s a fact of life when you work with …

Contacting Customers on Their Terms

Contacting Customers on Their Terms

Like most of you that read this blog, I’ve spend years and years in the automotive industry. I’ve become immune to the sales techniques and…

Service Staff: The Commission vs Salary Debate

Service Staff: The Commission vs Salary Debate

A tight line to walk in the service department is your pay structure for service advisors and support staff. No matter who you are, someone is going to…

The Elusive Bump in Sales Dollars

The Elusive Bump in Sales Dollars

Can you increase sales in the service department without chasing away your customers? The goal of the service department at any dealership is the same a…

Have You Trained Your Replacement?

Have You Trained Your Replacement?

We all love to think we are irreplaceable; that the function we perform can’t be done any better than us. But let’s not kid ourselves. When…

Where Are YOUR Upsell Opportunities Hiding?

Where Are YOUR Upsell Opportunities Hiding?

You scratch out a living day-to-day, week in and week out. You push your service staff to accomplish as much as they can from every customer (within re…

I Learned Time Management the Hard Way

I Learned Time Management the Hard Way

There’s an old adage: “There aren’t enough hours in the day”. For some, that applies to recreation, like trying to stretch a fi…

Most Manage, Few Lead: Which One Are You?

Most Manage, Few Lead: Which One Are You?

Members of LinkedIn are bombarded with memes and motivational pictures. Between the Ned Stark photos and the cool car pictures, everyone seems to think…

Which KPIs Set You Up For Success?

Which KPIs Set You Up For Success?

When you go fishing, you have to measure the fish you catch. When you frame a house, you don’t cut the studs before marking the length. When you&…

Why Recalls Are Your Friend

Why Recalls Are Your Friend

Your store has a steady stream of customers with recall notices in hand, storming through your door. But unless you haven’t had access to the int…

Service Advisors: Is It Being Done, Or Is It Being Done RIGHT?

Service Advisors: Is It Being Done, Or Is It Being Done RIGHT?

There’s a great divide between going through the motions and getting the job done right. Are your customers getting the best from your staff? …

You Can’t Count On the Sales Department, and Here’s Why

You Can’t Count On the Sales Department, and Here’s Why

They’ve always been your biggest customer and always will be. In the franchised dealership world, new and used car sales are indirectly the bigge…

Acknowledging the Forgotten Department

Acknowledging the Forgotten Department

In medieval times, when a severe punishment was handed out, the convicted party was often sentenced to time in the dungeon. One such prison was known as an…

What Kind of Employees do YOU Develop?

What Kind of Employees do YOU Develop?

You’re not just their boss – you’re their mentor. At least, if you want to be. Whether you’re employed as a service manager, fix…

Why Cash-Paying Millennials May Change Your Department

Why Cash-Paying Millennials May Change Your Department

Just today, Bankrate.com issued a press release about credit card usage according to demographics. The results are rather intriguing, so here are a few…

Getting Back to the Basics...Again

Getting Back to the Basics...Again

After a recent conversation with a big fish in the Canadian automotive fixed ops industry, Walter Schirrmeister, VP of Fixed Operations at The Dilawri …

Sometimes the Best Service is a Sales Referral

Sometimes the Best Service is a Sales Referral

You have customers that come through your service drive every day with cars that have seen better years. Vehicles with hundreds of thousands of miles e…

Do Your Customers Like You?

Do Your Customers Like You?

It’s not a personality thing. You don’t have to swap family photos and go for dinner once a month. It’s important that your customers…

What Does Your Future Service Customer Look Like?

What Does Your Future Service Customer Look Like?

I think we’d all agree that the world turns much faster than we ever expected. In the blink of an eye, ten years go by and we wonder what we missed. …

Customer Retention Lessons from a Sushi Restaurant?

Customer Retention Lessons from a Sushi Restaurant?

I’ve developed quite an affinity for sushi as of late. I don’t know what it is, whether it’s the freshness of the ingredients, the cr…

Lessons Learned from the Other Side of the Desk

Lessons Learned from the Other Side of the Desk

Yesterday, I had an appointment for vehicle maintenance at the car dealership. It may not seem like a big deal and I didn’t expect anything of it at …

The Trouble with Shop Supplies

The Trouble with Shop Supplies

When you bring your vehicle to the service department for routine maintenance or repairs that aren’t covered under warranty, you know there is going to …

Suggested Posts

Recent Comments

 Unlock all of the community & features  Join Now