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Cracking the Code: Key Performance Metrics for Automotive Service Departments

Running a world-class service department today takes more than just winging it and hoping for the best. Any successful GM knows they need cold hard metrics guiding their decisions. Real tangible Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) that cut through opinions and egos to show what’s working and what’s not.

Relying on gut feelings and back-of-a-napkin math might’ve flown in your grandad’s day, but that dog don’t hunt no more. Today’s data-driven, customer-centric market demands rigorous analysis of key performance indicators. No shortcuts.

As Christian and I break down in this episode, you’ve got to be laser-focused on the numbers that matter – from technician-to-advisor ratio to detailed employee turnover stats. Even observing the waiting room vibe tells a story about your shop.

attracting new customers

Here are the make-or-break KPIs every GM needs to be all over if you want to lead the pack:

Technician-to-Advisor Ratio – Shoot for 3:1 or 4:1 for optimal efficiency. Anything less means overwhelmed techs, struggling advisors, and missed revenue. Regularly review your roster counts.

Average Hours Per RO – How long are jobs taking from start to finish? Long turn times kill profits. Track weekly/monthly averages to spot bottlenecks. 

Work Mix – High warranty workload means you’re losing out on customer pay hours. Aim for no more than 50% warranty work in your mix. Review advisor reports to adjust.

Number of Repair Orders Written – More ROs drive more revenue. Is your team maximizing daily RO count? Check weekly averages, set writing goals.

Employee Turnover – Frequent churn is a huge red flag of underlying issues. Tenure builds profits. Dig into why people are leaving.

Online Reputation – What are customers saying online? Are you responding to negative reviews? Your public reputation matters.

Waiting Room Experience – Is it clean, organized, friendly? This sets the tone for the whole service experience. Spend time observing.

I reveal even more telling red flags in the full episode – from choppy pay plan changes to advisor RO writing averages. The warning signs are there if you know what to look for.

Along with monitoring metrics, listen to your gut. If something feels off, dig deeper. Observe how employees interact with each other and customers. Low morale? Lack of urgency? Complaints about unfair treatment? Don’t ignore bad vibes.

Run a tight, efficient ship and you’ll dominate the competition. But let KPIs slide and small issues compound. Before you know it you’re dealing with profit leaks all over. Definitely not a place you want to be.

Stay intensely focused on these key data points and you’ll boost performance across the board. The numbers and vibes don’t lie – they point exactly where you need to focus. Do the work to regularly monitor KPIs and your service department will be a profit-pumping machine.

5 characteristics of high-quality technicians

The steps to service department success are clear – diligently monitor KPIs, dig into red flags, and cultivate a welcoming, efficient environment. But execution takes work. You don’t have to go it alone – our team of industry experts can help implement the processes and training needed to make it happen. 

If you’re ready to transform your service department into a high-performing profit center, let’s talk. Book a free 30-minute consultation with our leadership coach to discuss the roadmap for driving your shop’s success. We’ll evaluate your current operations, identify improvement areas, and create an action plan to turn insights into increased revenue.

Don’t leave profits on the table – contact us today to schedule your free service department consultation. Our team is here to provide the tools and guidance to maximize your dealership’s potential. Let’s start the conversation.

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