Why Your Service Manager Needs Daily One-on-Ones With Service Writers

There is a process that has been trending in the world of fixed operations recently: the service manager conducting daily one-on-ones with service writers. This meeting typically takes place first thing in the morning and can create a flexible and resilient service department that is ready for anything. According to Retail Automotive and RV Expert David Foco at A World of Training, the following can be covered at the daily one-on-one:

  • Their customer follow-ups with notes.
  • Who do they need to contact?
  • Which one has been contacted?
  • Who is coming up on that 5-day business cycle?
  • Who needs to be texted, e-mailed, or phoned?

The biggest reason why people say they cannot do the daily one-on-ones is that there is not enough time. But the benefits associated with these meetings are so high. A strong service department cannot afford to not focus on these meetings.

So, Who Are Service Writers (Or Service Advisors)?

Service Writers (Service Advisors) are crucial to the Service Department, as they act as a liaison between customers and the service team, responsible for keeping service processes running smoothly by understanding and communicating customers’ needs. They are also the one who set expectations on costs, time estimates, and warranties.

Now, after knowing the role of service writers, we will dive deeper into the 4 utmost reasons why daily one-on-ones is strongly recommended.

Daily One-on-Ones Eliminates Miscommunication

One-on-Ones Eliminates MiscommunicationsDaily meetings are often seen as a way to set the tone for ongoing work. Sometimes, getting together with the customer on speakerphone can help avoid problems down the road. Multichannel communications to customers are key. According to PWC’s Retailing 2020 Report, perpetual connectivity and communication across the internet, smart devices, and social media is key to retail success in the future. “The successful 2020 retailer will also build a true omnichannel operation that allows customers to interface through any channel of their preference on a 24/7 basis, anywhere at any time.”

Reviewing who needs to be texted, e-mailed, or phoned and by whom is valuable input.

“We have a lot of systems in place to get feedback and communicate with them through texting and the IDS system,” said Chad Citte of Ray Citte RV in Utah. “It’s integrating a lot of those interactions, so that we can stay connected with our customers and keep track of what’s going on throughout their experience with us.”

Be Proactive Instead of ReactiveBe Proactive Instead Of Reactive

The daily meeting helps you stay on top of progress, so you can focus on what is most important. Stephen Covey, the author of 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, discusses the Urgent Importance Matrix. The idea is that often, the things that are the most important are not urgent, and therefore don’t get done. Training and marketing initiatives often fall into this bucket. But, if you spend all of your time-fighting fires, your business will never have the chance to grow. We have seen smart dealers across North America seize the opportunity to be more proactive, thus creating significant growth.

Even lost customers can be an opportunity for the future.

For Strong’s Marine in Long Island, New York, “it’s important to create brand advocates in the marketplace whenever, wherever possible,” according to  Laura Thimm, Sales Coordinator. She added, “Even if we can’t complete a transaction with a customer, we still want them to consider us in the future.”

One-On-Ones Meetings Create Coaching Opportunities

Create Coaching OpportunitiesAccording to Foco, dialing into the one-on-one meetings gets you into the coaching, mentoring, and motivating mentality. It helps you understand their individual strengths and weaknesses so you can guide them through them. For example, a service writer may be shy and rely heavily on e-mail and text to communicate with customers when a phone call is most needed. Coaching them through those phone calls can help them reach their own next level of personal development. Not to mention one-on-ones boost effective performance for your dealership.

Evidence-based coaching, such as reviewing what service bottlenecks your dealer is experiencing compared to industry benchmarks is a great way to set coaching goals together as well.

Keep Revenue FlowingKeep Revenue Flowing

Going into key areas, such as the oldest repair orders for each technician, can be an immediate revenue-driving initiative. David Foco, an RV expert, once talks about following up with a customer in the service manager’s office and getting payment over the phone to “get the vehicle out of service inventory.” What seems like a problem in one frame of mind, can actually be an opportunity in another.

Last Word

The daily, short meeting that started in the technology industry as scrums, has taken the business world by storm, including in the service department. Are you looking for more ways to use management best practices to drive results? Then check out our guide on how to Drive Workplace Accountability and Achieve Better Business Results.

Download The Accountability Guide Now

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