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How to Run a Service Department Profitably

How to Run a Service Department

It is time to turn your department around! There are a few things that are taking place at your dealership that you want to fix. Consistencies, objections, mindsets, you name it. The best dealership is an honest dealership. I’ve come up with a list that is going to help you understand the basic architecture of how to run a service department in two great ways. Let’s figure out how to run a service department, but let’s also increase the customer outcome at your dealership.

You Have to Admit that Your Baby is Ugly

First step? You have to admit that your baby is ugly. Honesty is the best policy. If your service department is struggling with customer outcome, I think it’s safe to say that maybe you  are achieving less than desirable results. 

What typically happens here is, when you go on to talk about changing the outcome, people tend to forget that their results are bad. If you can’t admit that your baby is ugly, and if you can’t admit that you’re underperforming, you may have accepted defeat. You have to admit that there is a problem to fix the problem.

Don’t Underestimate how Broken your systems are

The second step is all about understanding that there are scales and levels to this. The more broken your service department is, the more you have to understand how hard things could be. Paying attention to detail and taking different actions will make a huge difference. 

My mentor once told me, “a new broom sweeps clean.” Change your behaviors, change your mindset, and change your approach. Your performance becomes more of a habit and gets a lot easier the more you figure out how to run a service department profitably.

Rip off the Band-Aid and GO!

The third step is you have to rip off the band-aid and move fast. When your department is losing money, it’s obvious that it’s time for a few changes. The best answer is to fix everything at once. 

“Measure Twice, Cut Once.”

Don’t just change the tech times and pay the advisors 20% of gross, without improving their performance. We don’t want a different advisor pay plan to pay them for less performance. It will save the department a hassle by fixing all problems at the same time.

You’re Not Different, You’re Not Special

Business is about solving a need for the customer, It’s not about what you think. Sometimes when people start to say something over and over again, they start to believe becomes a part of their identity. 

And once they believe it, they’ll begin to defend it. Even when it isn’t working anymore. 

This fourth step is all about how you cannot let identity interrupt your business.

It’s about the Outcome

Opinions are irrelevant, Outcome is key. Everything is about the outcome. The key focus is the end goal, and not where you are at the moment. The further away from feelings and beliefs, the faster you will understand how to increase the outcome.

Five ways to ensure your customer receives the best outcome:

  1. Respond as quickly as possible.

Having some urgency is always a good sign when working with your customer. 

  1. Know your customers

Build rapport and trust with your customer.

  1. Less Opinions, Customer Focus

It’s not about you. Stay solution focused.

  1. Listen to your customer

Understand exactly what the customer wants and you will save so much time.

  1. Think long term

You want your customer’s trust and comfort. They will come back to you everytime. 

A 90-Day Roadmap to Your Best Fixed Ops Month Ever
How to Run a Service Department

Understand Psychology

To be a really good leader, you’re not the one taking the credit. How to run a service department effectively has a lot to do with psychology. Psychology is important because of the emotion put into our journey. 

It’s about controlling the focus and behavior of the people. You create momentum with the customer and that becomes the new norm. Psychology is like the magic pill between the current and potential level of success.

“The most important element I found in turning any business around, is that psychology is closer to magic than anything else.”

In conclusion, you can successfully find out how to run a service department with these six steps. The increase in customer outcome is what matters, however doing it profitably is also the goal. Keep your eye on the initial focus, by admitting the baby is ugly. Honesty is the best policy. Understand that you’re not different, and that it’s all simple business. People tend to complicate business with feelings and beliefs. Focus on the outcome.

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