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Here are three important realities every service staff needs to embrace today: 

  1. Customers bring the same set of basic questions with them to the service drive that they always have.
  2. Customers have a different set of expectations of what makes up service satisfaction than they did five years ago.
  3. With retention as the true measurement of success, the dealership that understands realities 1 and 2 above, and adjusts its culture to meet their customers’ needs and expectations, will continue to win repeat business.

It is most important that senior management and service staff accept these realities. Then, together, they can plot changes in how the dealership is going to deliver an exceptional service.

This measurement is not CSI rankings, though that is still important. Instead, the vital metric is the percentage of service customers that convert to repeat service customers and vehicle buyers. This is the true measurement of success - retention and loyalty having stickiness and measureable value.

If service staff is to achieve the level of professionalism and productiveness required of them in today’s service center reality, it would be most beneficial to them to having a clearer picture of what exceptional service delivery success looks like. Managers that define daily goals for staff will help set expectations and provide measurement and accountability for success.

Consider these: 

  • Technician Goals: These should include daily flag hour goals, and possibly meaningful inspection upsell. Meaningful upsell would include findings like leaks, loose tie rods and the like. Tire wear, 30,000-mile services and other recommendations are service drive goals, not technician goals.
  • Advisor Goals: These include flag hours sold per day. They might also include meaningful upsell products, such as tires, wiper blades, batteries, etc. Goals should also consider close ratios or opportunity versus sales. An 80 percent close rate should not include flushes, but meaningful product penetration – number of tires sold per RO or number of wiper blades per RO. 
  • Management Goals: These should include daily 15-minute meetings for advisors and managers that focus strictly on service excellence skills. Such sessions will help staff create consistency and integrity with customers. Role-play helps staff learn how to conduct more complete walk-arounds, introduce factory-recommended services, and address safety-related recommendations to protect the consumer’s well-being. 

The views expressed above are mine and not necessarily those shared by Xtime, Inc. 

Gregg Manson is Vice President, Field Services, for Xtime, the leading retention solution for the automotive service industry. He previously was Vice President of Fixed Operations for five years for AutoNation, responsible for 220 stores. He spent a total of 16 years with AutoNation. He can be reached at or via




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Tags: Xtime, check, customer, experience, in, realities, retention, service, up, write


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