What’s The Number One Complaint?

I realize human nature is that people like to complain and want to blame someone for their inefficiencies. What do you think the number one complaint is I hear from sales management when I’m in dealerships?

Yep, you’re right, the service department. Sometimes it’s subtle, sometimes it’s blunt, often tempered with an excuse or apology to dare complain about it.

Early in my career my attitude was, “Shut up, go to work and control the things you can control, because it’s not going to change.” Well, I’m here to tell you it does need to change and sooner rather than later.

If you review history, you know that the reason dealers charged full retail from the service department to the used car department is very much the same reason they implemented packs. Sales managers have historically worked from cost up and so charging full retail and having packs has worked very well over the years.

You can think what you want, but as time has progressed, the used car department has become an easy mark for the service department. Though there are other factors involved, never forget the fact that the hours per RO on a used car ticket vs. a customer pay ticket is more than double.

It’s not only the amount they are charged, but also the time it takes to get the car in and out of service. Almost everyone in the business today understands how crucial speed is to being successful. The lack of speed and efficiency in your service department is killing your ability to do volume and make the money you have the potential to make.

Creating speed and becoming more efficient should be your number one priority as you move into the selling season.

I like relating our business to sports. Name a sport, any sport and today’s athletes are bigger and faster than they have ever been. With profit margins decreasing, your business needs to emulate sports. You have to get bigger (sell more cars) and become faster and more efficient than ever before.

Today the big buzz is how can we make the customer experience easier, better and faster? Even if you can improve the selling process you will never maximize your potential until you tackle the amount of time and cost tied to getting the used car to market.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. The greatest thing about being the dealer/owner operator is you have the power. You have power to fix whatever it is you want to fix. That’s all I’m gonna say, Tommy Gibbs