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Unlocking Excellence: Insider Secrets of Elite Automotive Service Managers

Hey there, Chris Collins here! I’ve been in the automotive industry trenches for over 25 years, and I’ve seen it all when it comes to service managers. Some struggle to keep their heads above water, while others seem to effortlessly lead their teams to success. So, what’s the secret sauce that separates the average from the elite? Let’s dive in and uncover the key characteristics of top-performing service managers. 

attracting new customers

Mindset Matters: Embracing Growth and Adaptability 

Elite service managers possess a growth mindset. They’re not stuck in their ways, refusing to budge. Instead, they embrace change and are always on the lookout for new ideas and strategies to improve their department’s performance. Also, they listen to suggestions, implement them, and continuously adapt to the ever-evolving landscape of the automotive industry. 

On the flip side, low-performing managers often get hung up on irrelevant details. They ask questions that are more like statements, such as, “What do you do when your market is impossible to hire technicians?” That’s not a genuine question; it’s an excuse. Elite managers don’t make excuses; they find solutions. 

Leading by Example: Setting the Tone for Success 

The success of your service department hinges on the leadership of your service manager. Elite managers lead by example, setting the tone for their team. They arrive early, prepared for the day ahead. They have a plan for their morning meetings, ready to motivate and inspire their advisors. They create a sense of urgency and momentum that carries throughout the day. 

In contrast, low-performing managers often struggle with tardiness and disorganization. They fail to hold their team accountable, allowing advisors to stroll in late and unprepared. This sets a negative tone that permeates the entire service drive. 

Focusing on the Right Metrics: Key Performance Indicators 

Average service managers tend to fixate on surface-level metrics like RO count. They believe that being busy equates to being successful. However, elite managers understand that true success lies in deeper metrics such as net to gross, effective labor rate, and technician productivity. 

They recognize that a high RO count doesn’t necessarily translate to profitability. Instead, they focus on maximizing the value of each RO, ensuring that their team is performing at peak efficiency. They know that a slower, more methodical approach can often yield better results than a frenzied, unorganized one. 

Creating a Culture of Accountability and Consistency 

Elite service managers understand the importance of creating a culture of accountability and consistency. They don’t tolerate tardiness or half-hearted efforts. They set clear expectations and hold their team members accountable for meeting them. 

Consistency is key. Elite managers ensure that processes like walkarounds and customer greetings are non-negotiable. They create a predictable, systematic approach to service that instills confidence in both their team and their customers. 

Empowering Your Team: Developing a Winning Culture 

Finally, elite service managers know that true success comes from empowering their team. They invest in the development of their advisors and technicians, providing them with the tools, training, and support they need to excel. 

They foster a winning culture where everyone feels valued and motivated to perform at their best. They lead with humility, recognizing that success is a team effort and that everyone plays a crucial role in the department’s achievements. 

Elevate Your Service Game: Book Your Strategy Session 

If you’re ready to take your service department to the next level, I invite you to book a 15-minute strategy session with me. Together, we’ll identify the areas where your team can improve and develop a customized plan to help you become an elite service manager. 

Don’t settle for average. Embrace the mindset, habits, and strategies of the elite, and watch your service department soar. Book your strategy session today, and let’s start your journey towards service excellence! 

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