In this week’s episode of Beyond the Wrench, Chris Craig joins us to discuss his experience as a former service advisor, the importance of the advisor and technician relationship, advice on shop turnover, and best practices on selling diagnostic time.
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The Advisor and Technician Relationship
- A great manager can inspire a technician to advance in the industry, while a poor manager could make a technician lose passion for the industry.
- If you don’t have a good team of service advisors, it’s really hard to keep people happy. Service advisors have to be proactive when communicating with technicians.
- This industry is a team-based sport. If a technician needs help from a service advisor, help them, because everybody will need help eventually.
- Service advisors are not being properly trained. When properly trained, they can be outstanding leaders to their technicians. Get them to understand the importance of training so they can better support their technicians.
- When technicians feel confident in the relationship they have with their advisors, it helps with technician retention in the shop.
Advice on Shop Turnover
- Leadership, empathy, and discipline are key. Leadership means influencing people with purpose, direction, and motivation while operating to accomplish the shop’s mission and improve the organization.
- If your shop has high turnover, look internally and ask yourself, “What am I doing wrong?”
- Constantly check in with technicians and make sure they’re doing okay. Ensure they have the tools they need to do their job. By tools, it’s not just pen, paper, and a computer—it’s also the tools in their head.
- Most service advisors want to be a manager. As a manager, you’re not just leading by training—you’re leading by example.
Best Practices for Selling Diagnostic Time
- If you’re a service advisor who struggles with telling customers the cost of diagnostics, remember to say it with confidence, see how the customer reacts, and take it from there.
- There are techniques to deal with rejection, but if you deliver it the right way and with confidence, you’ll have more success. If the customer has questions, don’t be afraid to answer them and give an explanation.
- It’s important to explain to customers that the code is just the starting point. It takes a trained technician to go in, look at the vehicle, and identify what the problem is. The code won’t tell you what the exact problem is.
- Diagnostic is the most precious thing any shop can provide to their customers. When we stop charging for diagnostics, it set us up for failure because now customers expect that.
Service Advisor Training
- You shouldn’t have to train your service managers on how to train your service advisors. If they’re a service manager, they should already have that knowledge, at least at a baseline level. Their primary responsibility is their people.
- Sit down and identify the policies and procedures for the shop. Once you have that, build a training program around it.
- Utilize online training tools as a service manager to train your service advisors and technicians.
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