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Eliminate Comebacks: The Silent Killer in Your Service Department 

Comebacks are the silent killer that can slowly erode your dealership’s reputation, customer loyalty, and bottom line. If you’ve been in the automotive industry for any length of time, you know that comebacks are a major problem that can cost you big time. But despite the devastating impact they can have, most dealerships don’t have a system in place to address comebacks until it’s too late. 

The Hiring Process: Finding the Right People 

So, what can you do to eliminate comebacks in your Service Department? It all starts with the hiring process. When I interview Technicians, I always ask them to tell me about a time they had a comeback. Now, I’m not looking for perfection here – everyone’s had a comeback at some point in their career. What I’m really interested in is their mindset and approach to the situation. Did they take ownership of the problem and learn from it, or did they try to shift the blame onto someone else? 

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Creating a Culture of Accountability 

Once you’ve got the right people on your team, the next step is to create a culture of accountability. That means having a system in place to track comebacks and address them head-on. We like to use a “red sheet” system. Whenever there’s a comeback, the Advisor fills out a red sheet that documents everything about the situation – who the customer was, what the original complaint was, what the Technician did, and so on. 

That red sheet goes on the repair order and gets signed off by the shop Foreman or Manager. And let me tell you, those red sheets are a big deal. They’re not just a piece of paper – they’re a symbol of our commitment to excellence and accountability. When a Technician sees that red sheet, they know that this is a serious situation that requires their full attention and effort. 

Addressing Comebacks with Urgency 

But tracking comebacks is just the first step. You also need to have a process in place to address them when they do happen. That means getting the Technician involved right away, bringing them up to the drive to look at the vehicle, and making sure that everyone is on the same page about what needs to be done to make it right. 

And here’s the thing – when you approach comebacks with a sense of urgency and importance, your Technicians will start to develop an attention to detail that they never had before. They’ll take pride in their work and strive to get it right the first time, every time. 

Using a Scoring System for Clarity 

So what about those tricky situations where it’s unclear whether a comeback is the Technician’s fault? That’s where having a scoring system can be really helpful. Rate comebacks on a scale of 1 to 10, based on the severity of the issue and the potential impact on the customer. A 10 might be a safety issue that could have put the customer’s life at risk, while a 1 might be a minor cosmetic issue that’s more of an annoyance than anything else. 

By having a clear scoring system in place, you can make sure that everyone is on the same page about the severity of the situation and can respond accordingly. And if you have a Technician who is consistently scoring high on the comeback scale, that’s a clear sign that they need additional training or support to get back on track. 

Creating a Comeback-Free Culture 

At the end of the day, eliminating comebacks is all about creating a culture of excellence and accountability in your Service Department. It’s not easy, and it requires a lot of hard work and dedication from everyone on your team. But when you get it right, the payoff is huge – happier customers, higher profits, and a reputation for quality that will keep them coming back for years to come. 

Take Action Today 

If you’re ready to take your Service Department to the next level and eliminate comebacks once and for all, book a 15-minute strategy session with me and my team. During this call, we’ll dive deeper into the specific challenges you’re facing in your dealership and come up with a customized plan to help you create a comeback-free culture that will boost your profits and keep your customers coming back for more. Don’t let comebacks be the silent killer in your service department any longer. Take action and book your strategy session now.

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