Staff Your Service Drive For The Peaks, Not The Valleys

sales tips, hiring advice, staffing tips

02 Jun Staff Your Service Drive For The Peaks, Not The Valleys

Let’s talk about why you need to staff for the peaks, not the valleys, because it’s a mistake I see shops make all the time. And, it does nothing but create a vicious cycle of loss.

Too often we want our advisors to write more ROs, or get more customers in the door, when really, they need to slow things down. Our main goal should be retention with customers, and NEVER missing an opportunity. Remember, business picks up and you want to be ready.

What happens when Service Advisors slow down, and follow our process, is they sell more, they take better care of the customers and they ensure better customer retention.


It’s easy to think of limiting the staff because you think they’re an expense. But the reality is, if they’re compensated on what they sell, you can have as many as you want. So, you must do your Pay Plan right so they don’t cost you much.

6-8% of your gross should go to Service Advisors, so that’s an important number to know.


You also have to control the volume for each advisor. You want them writing 10-12 customers a day so they have room for walk-ins, and start doing great with the 10-12. With a smaller number, they’re going to do better walk-arounds, and take more time with every customer. This is the way to build loyal customers—by taking the time to do a stellar job with everyone.

If you’re staffing for the busy times, and your guys are being compensated correctly, then during the slow times they’ll be fighting to get back up to where they want to earn. That’s a great place to be because they’ll be paying more attention to ROs, they’re answering the phone the minute it rings, they’re racing to the drive when customers drive in. In a well-oiled machine of a shop, I’ve seen advisors waiting with a clip-board for the tow-truck to arrive.

Think about your year as a whole. I always say, it’s a 12-round fight.


Look at your staff and plan for the big months, then prepare for the dips. If you staff for the peaks, the valleys get smaller with time because you’re retaining more customers.

You can also do things in the slow time like:

  1. Have car clinics.
  2. Plan special events.
  3. Pull your inactive list and create a campaign telling them you want them back and include a special offer.

To wrap up:

  • First make sure you have your Service Advisor Pay Plan correct.
  • Then, have one more advisor than you think you need to help build traffic.
  • Pay attention to how many ROs, or customers, they’re touching a day. If it’s too many, slow them down. Have your guys focus on a high average, a high engagement and building rapport with customers.

I promise, if you’re doing a Pay Plan right, it won’t cost you any more.

Listen to the Full Episode Here

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