Today’s service department is facing a supply and demand dilemma: increasingly busy service bays operated by increasingly less staff. A quandary which has led countless service department managers and directors to ask, “how can we do more with less?”
The answer: efficiency.
Calibrating your operations to make the most of the team you already have might just be the release valve you’ve been looking for. Because there will never be more hours in the day, but you can always do more with the hours you have.
Prepare for the 5 make-or-break moments that can cause service customers to start going elsewhere.
To that end, we’ve gathered nine tactics to improve efficiency and scale your service department business to meet demand and maybe even grow revenue.
Top 9 Efficiency Tactics
“Efficiency is doing better what is already being done.” – Peter Drucker
The power of efficiency is seen best in the improved productivity and overall output of your team. Removing the timewasters and roadblocks allows your team to work better and work faster.
- Training and Processes
No doubt your team has been thoroughly trained to do their jobs to the best of their ability, however, that doesn’t always translate to doing their jobs in the most efficient manner. By setting clear and precise processes (and then training your team accordingly) you can ensure that your entire team works to the same standard and productivity level – reducing inefficiencies by clearly communicating how every job is expected to be completed.
- Finding the Right Schedule
Picture this: the first hour of the day your service team is slammed with business, every team member working feverishly to complete jobs on time. A few hours later, and your service bay is only half-filled, team members catching their breath from the early morning rush. The problem is clear, and the problem is scheduling.
Scheduling correctly removes the peaks and valleys that result in harried works left increasingly burnt out, balancing the workload to make the best use of your business hours and your team.
Pro-Tip: Offering pick-up and delivery not only improves the customer experience but allows your team to control the entire process. Meaning you can be certain your service bays remain busy throughout the entire day.
- Removing Non-Billable Tasks
Your service team shouldn’t be wasting their precious billable hours on non-billable tasks. That helps no one. By reducing or completely removing these menial tasks you free up your service team’s day to focus solely on the jobs that will drive business and drive revenue.
- Using a Business Development Center
In line with removing non-billable tasks, investing in a BDC is one of the best ways to support your service team. Instead of taking hours to schedule appointments and follow-up with customers, your service team can redirect their efforts to the jobs they were trained and hired to do.
Plus, BDC’s are trained to efficiently manage and support your service team, scheduling new appointments and bringing in additional revenue to your dealership.
- Supporting Your Team with Technology
The right technology can be the difference between a team bogged down with tasks and one that continuously drives increased revenue. Whether that’s an improved system for tracking customers and their service needs or something as simple as a task management platform, finding the technology that enables your team to do their jobs better and faster is well worth the investment.
- Improving Your Organizational Skills
Ever lost your keys and wasted a half hour running through your house checking under every couch cushion and in every cupboard? That kind of inefficiency can be the ruin of a perfectly running service department. Creating an organizational system (and sticking to it) means your team members never waste time hunting down the necessary car part or tool.
And while that may not seem like a huge improvement, these small moments can add up to afford your team a huge amount of additional time.
- Streamlining Vehicle Pick-Up and Repair Order Close Out
Improving efficiency throughout the entire service process without improving the vehicle pick-up and repair order close out is kind of like running a marathon only to quit a mile from the finish line. Don’t let your team get hung up at the end by making the payment process a chore. Whether that means standardizing your billing or expanding the number of payment options you accept, your team and your customers will thank you.
Bonus: New technologies allow customers to pay remotely, removing the need to stop at the cashier altogether.
- Investing in Your Customers
Speaking of customers, one of the best ways to ensure your bays are busy and your service team is running efficiently is to keep your loyal customers loyal. How? Offering incentives that service customers want, like the ones they identified in our 2020 research report.
Renewable benefit programs with those incentives promote customer loyalty and regularly scheduled maintenance. The benefits of which are twofold because happy customers are easier to work with and schedule around. Making your service team’s work easier and more predictable.
- Reviewing Performance
Like any project, creating efficiencies in your team will require work and review. Check in to see how processes are impacting productivity. See how that new customer support system is being used by your service team. Analyze the scheduling to determine if you are still experiencing valleys of unused time. Continuing to look for new ways to improve will only help your team and grow your revenue.
Your service department has the potential to be a huge source of business and revenue. Don’t get bogged down with easy-to-fix inefficiencies – make the most of your team and see the revenue roll in.
Master These Moments to Keep Your Customers
Discover the 5 critical moments causing customers to abandon your dealership service department, and how you can overcome them.