Discuss high impact items in the Fixed Operations Department And F&I. These items are the most important areas of focus for the Service and Parts Team. Tune in, submit questions, participate and gain a higher knowledge of the dreaded back end of the dealership.
This discussion typically last 15-25 minutes and will highlight these topics and others that are important to you! Send in your questions and comments to Corey today. firstname.lastname@example.org
23. Fixed Ops 5- Boost Customer Satisfaction with Earl "Sticks" Brown Found & CEO of Radiant Ride
Corey Smith thanks Earl "Sticks" Brown for sharing his story and jumps into discussing boosting customer satisfaction. They talk about the importance of retaining customers and how dealers can achieve an ROI on CSI (Customer Satisfaction Index). Earl suggests breaking down barriers between sales and service departments, fostering open communication, and introducing customers to the service department after a car purchase. He also recommends using QR codes to link customers directly to the service department for scheduling and inquiries. Corey expresses admiration for this approach as it makes it easier for customers to do business with the dealership. They discuss increasing customer satisfaction in the sales department by providing product knowledge training, answering questions about vehicle technology features, and personally demonstrating their use rather than relying on manuals. Corey appreciates this approach as he believes that visual engagement is more effective in today's consumer market. They emphasize the importance of human connection in building customer satisfaction and loyalty, which leads to positive word-of-mouth referrals.
Corey Smith had a discussion with Earl “Sticks” Brown about improving customer satisfaction in the service department. They discussed the importance of providing a unique service experience, such as offering routine maintenance and cosmetic repairs during the same visit. Earl emphasized that this can increase customer loyalty and lead to higher resale trade-in value. They also talked about measuring results through customer feedback and surveys sent by OEMs. Additionally, they discussed creating an action plan for dealerships to enhance communication, share information between departments, and recognize employee performance. Earl mentioned the significance of retention after the three-year mark by offering services that customers can't find elsewhere. He believes that dealerships have untapped potential in dominating routine maintenance and cosmetic repairs in order to maintain a competitive edge in the market.
22. Fixed Ops 5- Exceptional Service Experience with Steven Apicella CEO of Strategic DX
Steve Apicella discusses the challenges faced by sales departments in maintaining relationships with customers after a purchase. He emphasizes the importance of earning recurring customers and highlights the need for leadership and effective communication processes. Steve identifies various methods of communication used by dealerships, such as email, phone solicitations, text messaging, and postal mail. However, he points out their limitations and suggests that these methods may not effectively engage customers.Steve also addresses the architectural challenge within F&I (Finance & Insurance) departments in dealerships. He acknowledges the revenue earned through F&I menu presentations but questions whether all relationship value should solely reside there. Steve criticizes the pressure cooker environment created during F&I transactions where customers are expected to make decisions immediately.He emphasizes that exceptional customer service alone is not enough to retain customers; there must be a compelling reason for them to return. Steve mentions how this issue particularly affects service advisors who often lack knowledge about products purchased through F&I departments.Furthermore, he advocates for unifying F&I platforms across multiple providers to enhance customer experience and streamline digital engagement.Overall, Steve stresses the significance of intentionality, leadership, effective communication processes, and providing reasons for customers to return in order to foster lasting relationships with dealerships' customers.Steve Apicella discusses the use of push notifications as a highly engaged method of communication. He emphasizes the importance of using technology and user experience to enhance customer engagement and increase revenue. Steve also highlights the need for dealerships to integrate sales and service departments to provide consistent exceptional service throughout the customer's ownership experience. He draws parallels between Amazon's successful customer engagement strategy and how it can be applied in automotive retail.Steve Apicella emphasizes the importance of a unified experience throughout the entire ownership journey, from before to after the sale. He highlights that customers feel the current fragmentation and disconnection between sales and service. Corey Smith agrees and adds that delivering exceptional customer service is crucial for recurring business and revenue growth in dealerships. Steve encourages dealerships to take action, be part of the solution, and consider different perspectives to provide a positive outcome for everyone involved. They discuss ways to bridge the gap between sales and service, including intentionality and effective implementation strategies. Steve also shares his contact information on LinkedIn or Strategic Dx's website for further conversation. Overall, they stress the significance of consistent messaging, delivery, process, leadership, teamwork, training in delivering a legendary customer experience that keeps customers coming back while inviting others into their establishment.
21. Fixed Ops 5- Old leadership VS New leadership with Tully Williams Parts and Service Director with The Niello Company
. Tully Williams acknowledges that change can be hard but emphasizes the need to prove that the old way is not effective. He explains the importance of focusing on driving more customers into the service drive as it pays the bills. Tully also highlights the significance of doing what is right, selling technician recommendations they would give their own family members. They discuss challenges in getting everyone on board with this new approach.
Tully shares examples of their success in selling maintenance services rather than unnecessary repairs, which drives repeat and referral business. He mentions facing resistance from OEMs who prioritize high labor rates rather than customer satisfaction. Corey draws a parallel between Tully's ideas and "Moneyball," where unconventional strategies were initially criticized but eventually proved successful.
They discuss setting up advisors for success by understanding technician capacity and adapting back counter ratios accordingly. The conversation concludes with Corey asking about Tully's evolution into this leadership style, which he attributes to Randy Brinkman breaking down traditional metrics like gross profit into hours-based focus.
Tully Williams has been advocating for a new way of thinking about dealership operations for the past 20 years. He emphasizes the importance of knowing your hours capacity and tracking it daily to stay on pace. Tully believes in paying technicians for inspections and videos to ensure quality work and increase efficiency. He also discusses the impact of younger employees on the auto industry, emphasizing the need for respectful work schedules and clear succession plans.
Tully Williams emphasizes the importance of showing young people a pathway to success and how they can earn $55 an hour in their careers. He discusses different career paths within the company, such as service technicians and parts department employees. Tully also advises focusing on hours capacity and using pay plans based on the hours forecast. Corey Smith appreciates Tully's insights and asks for three takeaways from this episode, including knowing the monthly hours capacity, having written plans for all positions, and aligning pay plans with the hours forecast.
20. Fixed Ops 5- Loyalty with Walt Burns RV Brand Manager for EasyCare
Walt from EasyCare RV emphasizes the importance of maintaining recreational vehicles according to manufacturer's recommendations, whether under warranty or not. Corey Smith agrees and compares it to paying taxes. They discuss the benefits of prepaid maintenance plans in terms of locking in current prices and creating customer loyalty. Existing customers are more likely to try new products and spend more. The transcript also mentions how a good service experience increases the likelihood of repurchase or renewal, and discusses ways to gain customer loyalty such as offering rewards programs, prioritizing service appointments, and bundling services for added value. They also mention the importance of providing roadside assistance and other services that can save customers time and money during unexpected breakdowns while traveling with their vehicles.
Corey Smith discusses saving money and time, particularly in relation to being back on the road quickly after a breakdown. He thanks Walt from EasyCare RV for his participation and asks for three takeaways that dealership personnel can implement. Walt suggests implementing a low-cost loyalty program, offering incentives to customers, and efficient communication with service teams. Corey emphasizes the importance of delivering excellent customer service
19. Fixed Ops 5- Getting Back To Basics with Ron Overs Fixed Ops Magazine
Corey Smith and Ron Overs discuss tips for service advisors and managers in the auto business. They emphasize the importance of slowing down and spending time with customers, as this can lead to increased sales. They also suggest going through tomorrow's business today to better prepare for customer interactions. Corey gives an example of how knowing a customer's vehicle history can help identify additional services needed. They stress the need for good communication skills, avoiding rudeness, and being consultative with customers. Ron emphasizes that success is achieved by focusing on large numbers rather than trying to sell extra products to every customer. They also mention the significance of customer satisfaction surveys (CSI) and advise setting expectations for receiving high ratings from customers. The key takeaways are to slow down, focus on building relationships with customers, and communicate effectively while striving for excellence in providing service.
Ron Overs discusses three important aspects of customer service: getting to know the customer's expectations, maintaining eye contact, and using a clear and respectful tone. Corey Smith concludes the conversation by providing information on how to contact Ron and promoting their magazine for those in fixed operations. The episode ends with both expressing gratitude and making plans for future collaboration.
18. Fixed Ops 5- Tips on Retaining Customers with Brooke Furniss Founder of BZ Consultants Group and Host of Facts Not Feelings Podcast
Brooke C Furniss discusses the importance of customer retention in the automotive industry. She emphasizes that acquiring customers is not a problem, but retaining them is. Brooke suggests that businesses should constantly nurture relationships with customers by personalizing interactions and staying engaged. She also talks about the challenges of using net promoter scores (CSI) as a measure of customer satisfaction and highlights the need for quality surveys that actually lead to action. Corey Smith agrees and adds that satisfaction should be measured based on factors like fixing vehicles right the first time and delivering good service experiences rather than superficial things like refreshments. Both speakers stress the significance of focusing on repeat and referral business, investing in employee training, and prioritizing customer needs to set themselves apart from competitors.