Improve Profitability - Train Your Service Manager
How much formal training has your service manager had? He heads the department that generates most, if not all, of the profit in your dealership. If he is poorly trained, your company could be losing both revenue and profit that would make a difference in your bottom line.
The Best Investment You Can Make
If you want your customers to be happier, your technicians to be more effective, and your service department to be more profitable, training your service manager is the place to start.
There are many subjects he needs to understand :
- How to be a leader that his team will follow and support
- How to motivate his team
- Why not everyone responds to the same motivation
- How to identify and hire the right people
- How to analyze service data to identify issues and resolve them
- What a service call really costs
- What is the most important metric and why
- Where the service department fits in the financial model
If your service manager thoroughly understands all of those things your department will be moving toward optimal profitability.
Where To Get The Training They Need
There are several options to get your service manager the training he/she needs. Let’s look at two options:
1. Find classes that require the Service Manager to attend in person. For training in all the areas listed above, you would need to enroll him in several different courses, each requiring the service manager to be out of the office for most of a week for each course.
This is also the most expensive option, since it typically requires airline tickets, meals, and lodging for each class. Finding classes that cover all the topics listed above, and that are specific to the office equipment industry is difficult and in some cases impossible.
2. Enroll in a comprehensive course that covers all of the subjects and serves the office equipment industry specifically. This course is provided through the Business Technology Association (BTA)
The Worst Option
One thing that happens way too often, is a dealer doesn’t do any service management training. While they would probably never send an untrained technician to service equipment, they have the following discussion:
Boss Best technician, I want to let you know, you are the new service manager..
Best Technician - Thanks?
End of training session
This is the wrong way to handle the process. I have seen technicians quit because they were pushed into a manager’s role. I have seen them fail and go back to being a technician, and I have seen them become mediocre managers.
The Best Option
The BTA has a class available that solves the problem. They are taking enrollment now for the next session of the Service Academy. This is a two semester management course that is conducted virtually. Your service manager does not have to travel, and has the opportunity to implement the things they learn.
This course covers the following topics:
- Introduction to Supervision and Management
- Leading and Improving Your Team
- Working Between Departments
- Service Department Costs
- Identifying Areas for Improvement
- Time Management
- High-Quality Customer Service
- Understanding and Interpreting Service Metrics
- Service's Role Within the Dealership
- Budgeting – Constructing and managing a budget
- Business Planning – Creating a tactical and strategic department plan.
- Personnel – Hiring, firing, and understanding your employees’ value.
- Staffing - Identifying the necessary staffing levels, and how to improve efficiency and customer satisfaction.
- Future Proofing – Developing and using models to understand the impact of change.
- Service Pricing – Understanding pricing models, available data and ProFinance metrics.
You can learn more here: https://www.bta.org/bta-service-academy/
You will find comments from Managers that sent people to the class and from the students themselves. The previous classes have included individuals with years, even decades in their roles, and they all wish they had the opportunity to take the course earlier in their careers.
Previous enrollees have had the following titles when they took the class:
- Vice president of Service
- Director of Service
- General Manager
- Operations Manager
The time to act is now - The new class starts in April.
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