Start growing your fixed op's department

 

 

What do you need for the Growth on the Fixed Side of your business?

Do you know what is keeping you from achieving what you desire from the fixed side of the business? Is it people, processes, marketing or retention? Or, is it all four; It can be anyone of these areas. Now how do you identify the cause or causes? Once you have identified the cause do you fix it? Do you have the resources or the knowledge?

[People/employees] It amazes me when going into a store I find more times than not, the cause are the employees. Either the person is in the wrong position, doesn’t care, wants to do it their way, has never been trained or just wants a pay check.  The sad fact is the fact that they are tolerated. One of the first things I suggest is to evaluate your current staff. Ask yourself these questions; are they in the right position, do they care about your customers and the store, do they do whatever they want no matter what is policy or procedure and lastly, have they been trained.

Processes; is there a set game plan or process in place or is it open the doors and wait to get run over by a BUS and just hope it doesn’t back up to do it again. Without a defined process on how the store will operate. Without every employee being trained and held accountable, you can expect that your goals and objectives will never be achieved.

Why spend a pocketful of money on marketing and not grow your retention numbers?  Stand back one day and just watch how your people conduct business, but I warn you – make sure you have a battery and jumper cables ready; you will probably need a jump start. You will also see where you’ve spent money in the wrong places.

Marketing; is there a monthly budget suggesting how much can be spent? This is where you want to start; the BUDGET.  Next step is to decide the best use of this money to get the biggest bang for your buck. What and how often have to be defined. Marketing fixed needs must be above all, consistent. Next, are you utilizing all forms media that are available, like e-mail blasts or charitable avenues? In today’s market you have to think outside the box to attract customers to your place of business.

Retention; is there a retention program in place? If not, what is being done to drive the new and used car sales back into the store? Retention programs are not in itself a cure-all to say the least without first fixing the employees or processes.  With most manufactures going away from the old CSI standards and now basing standards on retention this area is becoming critical.

Here’s a thought: Collect e-mail addresses, make it a priority now. E-mail blasts are either free with the right CRM or you can have it done for pennies per e-mail. You can reach people faster and more often for little to no cost. A little slow in service or on the sales floor, you can do an e-mail blast and people receive it within minutes. I do recommend only doing it twice monthly like clockwork for Service. Think outside the box, what is a flush? A better line would be a cooling system service save $0.00, regularly $0.00. Dress it up and make sure there is an expiration date.

If you need assistance in any areas mentioned,  please contact me. Receive an assessment for half-off regular price now through April 30th, 2011.

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