With an innovative and thorough way to maximize profits, Volvo Cars of North America has revised the former way it used to train its dealers. The new method allows the service advisor to work closer with the customer in the initial assessment of issues when the customer arrives in the service bay. By using a checklist to evaluate any concerns that are detected, the service advisor can make recommendations to the customer on additional repairs and services that might be needed.
Chris Dauerer, a vice president with Volvo, states that the Automotive Service Advisor Training program provides a “defined process for the dealer” that in addition to the initial assessment, also has an ongoing follow-up process. He states that the process helps the customer become more aware of things that need repair or replacement such as brakes and tires. It also helps to determine the customer’s needs and wants that may later aid in scheduling repairs.
The Automotive Service Advisor Training costs each dealership $8,000 to participate in the program but has shown to increase the gross profit by $32.50 per repair. This is based on increasing the revenue in service by about $30 and parts by $20. The training is done at the dealership where the trainer can observe the service process and then train personnel on the new method. Based on the average number of repairs done in a year at a typical Volvo dealership, a dealership could see an annual increase in profits around $100,000.
Once a Volvo dealership has operated under the new program for six months, a review is held to determine the success of the new program. If the dealership is following the program adequately, half of the $8,000 is reimbursed. The dealership can recoup the remaining investment after 123 repairs are made.
The Lovering Volvo dealership in Nashua, N.H. has used the Automotive Service Advisor Training at its establishment for one year and has seen service revenues increase by about $2,000 to $3,000 per month. The dealership has seen better organization, more customer involvement and increased upsells on things such as tires, wheel alignment and windshield wipers. The program also helps the service department stay on top of recalls and preparing for upcoming service calls.
The program has also shown an increase in overall customer service scores for Lovering Volvo. In 2010, they received their second-ever Volvo President’s Club award that goes to the top 10 percent of nationwide Volvo dealers.
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