We have all read about employee turnover, and the challenges the industry faces with hiring needs. A recent article in Automotive News cited "Two of every five service advisers leave each year. How can dealers keep their best ones from burning out?"
What struck me the most, and should be a red flag for the Dealer and his/her Fixed Operations Director are the reasons cited by advisers for quitting their job and leaving the industry all together. The following list is per the Automotive News story.
• Long workdays and oppressive schedules, including weekend shifts, that play havoc with family life.
• Inadequate pay, especially when their income depends too much on commission sales.
• Ever-increasing and demanding duties, coupled with disrespect and verbal abuse from bosses, shop colleagues and customers.
• Automakers and dealers relying too much on rigid customer-satisfaction surveys to judge the advisers' performance and set their pay.
• Feelings of powerlessness and lack of appreciation.
• Pressure from managers to lean on customers to buy service work and products they may not need in order to meet dealership profit targets.
There are numerous reasons for the aforementioned list cited by advisers for leaving, however, I'd like to address some not so obvious concerns as it pertains to the cited reasons.
I would encourage every Dealer and Fixed Operations Director to drive a five mile radius around your dealership any day of the week, and take note of how many aged units are sitting at independent repair facilities...it's astounding. Every one of those lost customers represent an opportunity, an opportunity to gain a lost customer, gain additional customer pay, locate a valuable trade and even sell a new car.
Out of warranty vehicles are vital, and drive every department within the dealership. OEMs and dealers promote sub-vented leases, 0% APR, and thousands off in an attempt to drive traffic and sales. OEMs and dealers promote Express LOF and aggressive service pricing in an attempt to drive traffic and sales. Dealers and their department heads utilize third party aggregators to drive sales and service traffic. It's a vicious circle that never addresses the underlying problem...too few out of warranty vehicles. How much would your dealership save in advertising each month if you didn't have to constantly chase the elusive lead?
How do you drive out of warranty vehicles to your dealership? Take your dealership to the customer, provide Service Customer Pick-up & Delivery, with the ability to schedule, dispatch, track, monitor, utilize company drivers or your own, and provide a very turnkey uber=like system to manage the process. Consumers have made it very clear that they would prefer not to visit the dealership, why not support the customer and give them what they really want...Service Customer Pick-up & Delivery. The majority of consumers want to service their vehicle at the dealership, they just don't have the time, nor want the inconvenience.
Ken Hite is Senior Vice President at RedCap. RedCap's technology and drivers are utilized by OEMs and dealers for Service Customer Pick-up and Delivery, as well as Consumer Test Drives. Ken has 25 years experience within the automotive industry, inclusive of retail, OEM, after-market and start-ups. The auto industry must learn to exceed customer expectations and implement business processes based upon customer convenience.