The automotive industry is often criticized for its disconnected customer experience. So why not improve the experience by bridging the gap, and having departments working together to make the experience more fluid? Providing your parts manager training for the service department and your service manager training for the parts department is a practice that should be better utilized in the auto industry to help improve the customer experience. Wondering how this will work? Let’s go!
Bridging the Gap
For years upon years, dealerships’ parts and service departments haven’t flowed together. There’s always been this sort of rivalry, if you would. With the departments not working together, customers are forced to go between the two, seeking answers independently.
What better way to improve their experience than having the two departments working together? Imagine a dealership where service manager training required them to be knowledgeable about the parts department and vice versa. Believe it or not, well-rounded service managers and parts managers could make all the difference! This practice would make customers feel more valued and directly affect the business’s productivity and profitability.
Improving Department Relationships
We’ve helped our clients improve the relationship between their parts and service departments with a few special tools. Implementing these practices helps to maximize efficiency, optimize profits, and increase customer satisfaction.
“Train your service and parts team on effectively communicating with your customers to increase customer satisfaction and retention. “
Communication is vital! So, what better way to communicate better than having interdepartmental meetings? The focus of these meetings is to bring all departments to the same page. But, instead of doing these meetings every quarter or year, one idea is to open up regular shift meetings to everyone. It’s a great way to nurture the relationship between parts and service.
During these meetings, focus on creating a culture where managers or advisors from each department attend each other’s meetings. Each manager should understand the goals each department is working toward and the challenges they face during daily operations. This will allow the team to provide support where needed. It also opens up a whole new perspective of what the other team is working toward and how to achieve combined goals by working together.
Teamwork is Vital
With your managers and advisors attending each other’s meetings, they will start functioning more like a team instead of separate departments. They’ll also learn more about the services and opportunities each department offers the clients in the process. This helps create a seamless transition between departments during times of increased traffic.
With your parts managers and service managers cross training, it shows their leadership skills and that each person cares about the success of the company as a whole. It also gives the team confidence to bring forth ideas and create better connections. When we understand the role of another, we tend to empathize and appreciate. Cross-training produces more collaborative employees.
Joint Meetings for Departments Working Together
Another great way to bridge the gap to having departments working together is to have joint meetings. All departments must understand that the company cannot properly function without each other. Each department brings in a different form of revenue for the company. Having your service managers and parts managers in one meeting will help them better understand how each department contributes.
These meetings with your team can be started by asking questions like “where could we be selling more?” or “how could we help each other improve?” During these meetings, you can discuss marketing strategies, allowing your leaders to collaborate and give each other ideas. These conversations can help understand the needs and limitations of each department and improve sales by designing combined marketing campaigns.
Gamification and Team Challenges
Gamification is probably one of the most fun ways that encourage team building. Integrating this method has resulted in increased engagement between employees. It also shows it improved communication and increased creativity and innovation within a team culture.
Some ideas that can be customized to fit are team sporting events, challenges leading to bonuses or compensation, community events, and contributing towards a common cause.
Creating a culture shift cannot be done overnight. It must start with understanding and clear communication with your team. Let your parts managers and service managers know what you’re working toward, and allow them to contribute their own ideas and suggestions on improving processes. With a little hard work and communication, you’ll see your dealership departments working together like a well-oiled machine!
Watch the full SDR episode here!