Richard Holland's Blog (96)

Service Departments Need Tune-Ups Too

The service department tends to be the busiest place in a dealership, and service managers must stay in tune with what’s going on. While meetings and discussions can be useful, at times they only result in vague ideas the service staff never acts upon. Just like in any organization, a service department is only as good as its leader. Sometimes, you have to get in the trenches…

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Added by Richard Holland on June 25, 2015 at 9:08am — No Comments

The Pursuit of Happiness: Creating Engaged Employees

Today's market dictates that to succeed as a dealer, you have to create a great customer experience. You have to provide value and give the customer a reason to come back. A great customer experience is now one of the strongest value propositions any dealership can use to increase customer loyalty and retention.

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Added by Richard Holland on June 18, 2015 at 8:29am — No Comments

Service Dilemmas: What Would You Do? The Results

In a previous article, I provided two very real scenarios that occurred right before Memorial Day weekend and asked readers how they would have handled them. For convenience, I’ve repeated the scenarios again with the actual outcomes attached:

Scenario #1:

A customer…

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Added by Richard Holland on June 11, 2015 at 8:51am — No Comments

Car Buying Trends Show Service Is the Future of Dealerships

No one doubts the average age of vehicles on the road has gone up. The current average vehicle is 11 years old and trends in consumer purchases indicate this statistic isn’t going to change any time soon. In fact, indicators suggest average vehicle age might increase.

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Added by Richard Holland on June 4, 2015 at 8:37am — No Comments

Service Dilemmas: What Would You Do?

Every dealership has seen this customer—the one who demands to be reimbursed for damage they claim happened while the car was in the dealership’s care, or because of faulty service work. You might find it challenging to deal with these customers, especially when you don’t believe your team is at fault. So what is the best way to handle them?

 

To help answer…

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Added by Richard Holland on May 28, 2015 at 9:23am — No Comments

Why Technicians and Service Advisors Need Marriage Counseling

Life in the retail automotive industry is taxing. Managers and employees work long hours and, in many cases, are with their co-workers more than they are with their families. Miscommunications, tension or arguments can detract from the efficiency of the dealership, and thus decrease overall profitability.

 

Technicians and service advisors work very closely…

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Added by Richard Holland on May 21, 2015 at 8:45am — 4 Comments

Overcoming Resistance To New Technology

As part of doing business in today’s fast-paced world, inevitably we all have to adopt new technology to make things run more efficiently.  Whether it’s a CRM, a call-tracking system, or a new DMS, it’s not usually met with a big welcome from all employees when the time comes to implement it. Most people don’t like change. Not necessarily because they are afraid of it, but…

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Added by Richard Holland on May 14, 2015 at 12:18pm — 1 Comment

Offer Value Above a Paycheck To Increase Employee Retention

Automotive News recently reported that FCA will offer free college tuition to all FCA dealership employees. It will begin immediately in the southeast region and roll out to the rest of the U.S. by the third quarter.…

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Added by Richard Holland on May 7, 2015 at 8:25am — No Comments

Who Owns Your Cars? Automakers Say They Do

The Digital Millennium Copyright Act is a law enacted in 1998, enforced and administrated by the U.S. Copyright Office. Every three years, the U.S. Copyright Office is tasked with holding hearings to determine what new technology should, or should not, be exempt from copyright laws. According to…

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Added by Richard Holland on April 30, 2015 at 8:07am — No Comments

FCA US Dealers: Service Revenue Just Got A Lot More Important

FCA US CEO, Sergio Marchionne, recently announced plans to reduce the profit on new cars sold within the FCA brands by increasing the invoice prices, while keeping the MSRP the same. This will result in less potential profit for its dealers. The move, as reported by Automotive News, is FCA's attempt to increase its profitability. This, of course, will probably…

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Added by Richard Holland on April 24, 2015 at 8:33am — No Comments

Amazon Enters the Auto Repair Business… Sort Of

At the end of March, Amazon announced the launch of what they’re calling “Amazon Home Services.” This new service by Amazon enables customers to order services for their homes without the inconvenience of having to search for these service providers, obtain references and obtain pricing. Services range from television installation, painting contractors, electrical work and……

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Added by Richard Holland on April 16, 2015 at 8:18am — No Comments

GM Warranty Cuts: The Good and Bad News

An article last month in USA Today, revealed that General Motors plans to dramatically cut the warranty coverage on Chevrolet and GMC vehicles beginning with 2016 models. Additionally, GM is halving those brands’ maintenance-free programs. According to the…

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Added by Richard Holland on April 9, 2015 at 9:12am — No Comments

How Customer Training Leads To Retention

With almost everything consumers purchase, there’s an owner’s manual or set of instructions for them to use.  For decades, car manufacturers have included an owner’s manual with new vehicles. Sadly, it is no secret that this tidy three hundred-page booklet is one of the least read publications produced in mass quantity. 

 

Some car dealerships require that their…

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Added by Richard Holland on February 26, 2015 at 8:35am — No Comments

What Does Cheating Teach Your Employees?

Automotive News recently carried a story about a lawsuit filed by Subaru of America against one of their franchisees. The lawsuit accuses a Southern California dealership of falsifying 224 CSI surveys in an effort to increase their CSI scores. This was after…

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Added by Richard Holland on February 19, 2015 at 9:20am — No Comments

The Four Buckets of Customers

We all have a myriad of contacts that we consciously (or subconsciously) place into separate categories in our relationships. These categories include family, close friends, business associates, colleagues and acquaintances. Most people tend to act differently depending on which group they are surrounded by at any particular moment. People may relax a little, be more…

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Added by Richard Holland on February 12, 2015 at 8:05am — No Comments

Season of Change?

With a steadily improving economy and declining unemployment rates, the automobile industry is geared up to experience another year of expansion and progress. While this is great news, it would be wise to consider that just as customers now have more choices when it comes to buying or servicing their vehicle, employees (and prospective employees) also have more options than they did just a few years ago.  In general they no longer feel quite so loyal to their position, nor do they fear…

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Added by Richard Holland on February 5, 2015 at 9:20am — No Comments

Is Going Above & Beyond Really the Path to Customer Loyalty?

Most executives believe that providing an excellent customer experience will increase customer loyalty. Many companies are known for it and stand out as examples of how to win business and loyalty – Nordstrom, Zappos and Apple come to mind. While providing an excellent customer experience is certainly more likely to increase a loyal customer base than providing a poor one,…

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Added by Richard Holland on January 29, 2015 at 10:02am — No Comments

Time Isn’t of the Essence

Imagine a customer that is in for a routine oil change at your dealership. As part of the complimentary inspection your store provides, it is discovered that the vehicle’s brake pads are severely worn and it would be unsafe to continue driving the vehicle much longer without replacement.  The service advisor brings this to the customer’s attention. Rather than making the…

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Added by Richard Holland on January 15, 2015 at 8:49am — 2 Comments

Will Service Technicians Need Computer Development Skills Soon?

Each year OEMs add more and more advanced technology to their vehicles. As a result, the skill set demanded of today’s technician has transitioned from one that is purely mechanical, into one that is more technology-based. Up until now, technicians have had access to master techs at their respective manufacturers to help diagnose and repair vehicles, and that was enough.…

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Added by Richard Holland on January 8, 2015 at 8:30am — No Comments

Volvo Boldly Goes Where No One Dares Go

While most businesses analyze budgets and shift money towards digital advertising, video and branding, Volvo has taken an interesting strategy: to decrease marketing. While it isn’t planning to cease all activities, Volvo has decided that, rather than attempt to take on any rivals with bigger budgets, it will shift money towards providing a more personalized customer…

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Added by Richard Holland on December 29, 2014 at 8:05am — 1 Comment

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