Top 5 tactics to create successful fixed ops employees, from Dealertrack.
From adding service bays and express lanes to extending hours, many dealerships are investing heavily in fixed operations. However, the impact of that investment to the bottom line could be minimized if your fixed ops employees are unhappy. Dissatisfied employees lead to higher turn-over, higher costs, reduced service capacity, and decreased customer satisfaction. If you’re thinking, “But I have an employee retention plan to take care of all that!” you may not be doing enough. Retention plans assume there will be dissatisfaction and attrition. Instead, create an employee success plan to proactively keep problems from rearing up, and to help you attract the best talent. Get started with these five tactics:
1. Commit to a training plan
If you want your employees to feel good about themselves and the work they are doing, start by giving them the training they need to be successful. There’s nothing more frustrating than wanting to do your job well, but feeling hampered by lack of training. Today, cars are more high-tech than ever so well-trained employees give you an important edge over the independent shop down the street. After all, the technology systems you have in place are only useful if your employees are properly trained to utilize them. Also, don’t limit your resources to only automotive education and improvement; cross industry trainings can lead to improvement in many aspects including customer service. Learning about what your employees’ interests and goals are can help in identifying the perfect training for them.
2. Promote better communication between advisors and techs
You may not know it, but poor communication could be costing you money and employees. A 2014 survey by Carlisle & Co. of 9,000 techs from 15 major automakers found that 43 percent of repair orders required additional clarification from service advisors, costing each tech 30 minutes per day of follow-up time. They went on to extrapolate that a typical dealership with 12 techs at $60/hour, each losing 30 minutes a day, would result in approximately $90,000 in lost revenue per dealership per year. It’s not hard to see that this lack of clarity and clear communication can lead to frustrated employees, and lost revenue. It’s important to invest time in developing processes to streamline both internal and external communications, and to also invest in the technology that helps supports it.