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If I wanted someone to just take my order and deliver, I would go to a fast food drive thru. When I go to have my car serviced, I want service. I believe that service advisors are more than just order takers or the message delivery system between a consumer and a technician. Think about it? An advisor according to dictionary.com is a noun for a person who gives advice. Therefore, by title alone, a service advisor should be the person who gives a customer advice on the service of their vehicle.
I am actually writing this blog as I wait for my car to be serviced at Coggin Nissan on Atlantic. I drove forty-five minutes across town to this service lane. I passed two other Nissan dealerships with service centers on my way. With the cost of fuel being as high as it is, why would I be so foolish as to spend my hard earned money to travel so far to have my car serviced? The answer is Chris Dhnpaul, my service advisor, and his expert advice on how to care for my vehicle. I feel like Chris actually cares about my car as much as I do. He understands that I am a "car chick" and speaks to me in that manner. When I call to make an appointment, he understands the demands on my schedule and the distance I drive and gives me options so I can choose the most convenient timing. When I pull into the service lane, Chris is always there to greet me personally right at my car. While at my car in the service lane, we talk about what is currently a concern and any expected maintenance for my vehicle. While I wait for my service work to be completed, Chris continues to communicate with me on any updates and this allows me to set my expectations for my experience. When the service work on my car is finished, the car has been washed and vacuumed. Chris reviews with me all the service work that has been preformed and we discuss future repairs and maintenance, including budget, so I can be prepared for my next visit. There are no surprises or gasps when I am presented with my service bill because all along Chris has communicated and helped me set my expectations. I always drive away from Coggin Nissan on Atlantic with a smile on my face and feeling confident about the care of my vehicle as I make my forty-five minute commute back home in my "little silver bullet". Before I even pull into my drive way, Chris has called my cell to make sure that the car is responding as I expect and that I am satisfied with my service visit.
There are so many negative stereo-types about dealerships services departments. In many cases, the reputation is well earned when your service advisors are not taking on the role of advising your service clients about the care and maintenance of their vehicles. Service advisors that are order takers are not only leaving money on the table by not up-selling services, but are not doing much to build clients for life either. They could also be placing the vehicle owners in jeopardy by not providing the necessary advice on the safety and maintenance of a vehicle.
Dealerships that roll out the red carpet over the grease stained concrete in a service lane not only enjoy higher CSI scores, but also create the pathway for repeat service and sales business. All of this affects the bottom line of any dealership's gross profit. Your dealership might have superstars on the sales team, but if you tolerate order takers in your service lane your dealership my find itself in the red before long. From a marketing budget stand point, not only is it easier to develop existing clients into repeat business but the return on investment is greater than creating new clients. Build the success of your dealership by building a service department that picks up were your superstar sales team left off, by creating service advisors that have the skill and knowledge to actually advise your customers on the care and maintenance of their vehicles.
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