Think your technicians can only turn wrenches? Think again!
You think your technicians can only turn wrenches? Think again, they can drive sales and profitability!
Average vehicles on the streets of this great country of ours have 150,000 miles on them and are 11 years old. There are close to 84,000 registered independent repair companies available in the market to serve these vehicles. Also fully 63% of the US population cannot address a $500 repair bill. What do all these statistics point to? For one, people are keeping their cars longer and those cars need to be repaired and secondly, as the cost of repair is hard for them to swallow, the customers will choose the repair shop that truly is transparent to them and serves them to the fullest extent. The concept of “my technician will treat me right” becomes even more relevant here as the customer does not see the technician as yet another salesman trying to sell him something but as an advocate trying to only diagnose a difficult problem at the least cost.
This becomes a tremendous opportunity for a franchised dealer as well to make the fixed operations more profitable. But with every opportunity there is a price to pay and with that I do not necessarily mean financial but rather a change of mind set. You see this level of change is not achieved by just handing people in the service department some tablets using the same old technology of the past. As mentioned above the consumer of today faces very different challenges than those of their predecessors and the dealership of today needs to be able to address those needs. In short, the auto dealer of today has to portray their service department not only as a place where you “service” cars, but a place where, you most importantly, “serve” the consumer. If your dealership truly makes these transitions, the rewards are outstanding and long term. Actually the financial burden of this project can be quite minimal as there is already new technology available that links the technician into the “chain” of people at the dealership that serve the customer. Consider techWALL of Gratis technologies, this tool has been in the market for a while and it simply uses the old inspection report the dealerships and customers are used to except it is now totally electronic. Once the vehicle is in front of the technician, he then initiates the “vehicle health report” which is then forwarded to parts for pricing and availability then to advisor for final scrutiny and then submitted to customer for final approval. Once the customer approves the report and “submits” to advisor, the technician is notified who initiates service., then, once the service is complete SPOL, the online payment system, communicates to the customer’s phone that the vehicle is ready and sends n invoice to that phone. The customer pays thir invoice, again on their phone and comes in to pick up thir car easily and quickly – no lines. The whole project addresses the need for transparency and time saving. All declined services and future needs are also recorded on client profiles for automatic followup.. Also this portrays the fact that in every service there are a “group” of people serving that customer. the technician, in its own right, becomes a tremendous selling factor against the independent repair shops. You see at the auto dealership of millennium it’s not just the technician that is “working” on the car, but parts counter is trying to find the best part and advisor who really knows this customer and his “condition” is trying to find the best fit for the service needed. By that we mean that if the service needed at the time might be more than the customer can swallow the advisor might be more aware of that fact than others and by communicating thru the same system the advisor, parts, the technicians and the customer might be able to choose the best solution readily.
In short, the tools that the dealership needs to incorporate must be those that address transparency, communication with the customer and most importantly be easy to install and easy to use for people of the service department. this is the time for change and the opportunities are too great to ignore for the service department of millennium.