The Definitive Guide to Running a Successful Service Department

by Kristine on October 12, 2022

The Definitive Guide to Running a Successful Service Department

Table of Contents:

I. Drive Results with KPIs
II. Automate Service Department Management
III. Keep Track of Every Job
IV. Achieving Profit Goals
V. Growth Strategies for Your Service Department
VI. Training and Empowering Your Team
VII. Create the Best Customer Experience
VIII. Use Quickride for Jobs Management & Shuttles

The service department world is a vast and complex one. It requires extensive knowledge of every aspect of the business, from customer service to mechanical repairs. Service departments help businesses remain competitive by providing essential services that make customers happy. This can be done by offering a variety of products and services, as well as employing highly-trained technicians who are able to meet the needs of every customer who walks through their doors.

Whether you're a new service manager or you've been in the game for years, we have some tips and tricks for making your business more efficient, organized, and successful. 

I. Drive Results with KPIs

KPIs, or Key Performance Indicators, measure the performance of your service department and provide a way to compare it with other departments within the company. KPIs can be used to measure everything from turnover rate to how many customers who call in are actually picking up their vehicles after having been serviced. There are also specific metrics that can help you determine if your team is exceeding customer expectations, achieving goals, and/or meeting deadlines.

As a manager, it's important to make sure your KPIs are the right ones—otherwise, all of your hard work might not be paying off in the way that it should be. Thus it is important that you know which KPIs to track and to do that you need to understand how to develop an effective KPI process. Remember that KPIs are only really useful if you define them in a way that reflects what is most important for your business. And they will only deliver mission-critical data if you analyze the numbers and how they've changed over time to inform decisions about future strategy. Here's how:

4 Tips on Using KPIs at your dealership

1. Start with a plan. This is your chance to think about what's important for your business, how it will be measured and why it matters. If you don't know where you're going, how will you know when you get there? To do that: 

  • Identify the questions that need to be answered: What questions do you need to answer? These should be the most central to your business, such as: How much revenue is generated from each source of new customers? What percentage of our sales are repeat customers and what does that mean for future revenue? How many vehicles per month does each salesperson sell
  • Decide what data you need to answer these questions so you can set up a reporting structure. This should be a list of all the metrics that will help you track and measure your company's performance. These may include Monthly revenue, the number of new customers per month, average order size, the number of repeat customers, and the average dollar amount spent by those customers each month.
2. Analyze all available data. Determine which metrics are most important for you to track. This will help you focus your efforts on what matters most and avoid wasting time on less important data. For example, if your company sells a variety of products, then revenue may be the most critical metric because it tells you how much money is coming in from each source of new customers. What percentage of our sales are repeat customers and what does that mean for future revenue? How many vehicles per month does each salesperson sell? To do that: 
    • Decide what data you need to answer these questions so you can set up a reporting structure.
    • Get supporting documents to back your data up. For example, if you want to know how many vehicles per month each salesperson sells, then you’ll need to get the number of new cars sold and the average price of each vehicle. This will help you determine whether your team is meeting their sales goals or not.
    • Identify the most appropriate measurement technique and frequency. You may want to measure the number of vehicles sold by month, quarter, or year. Or you may want to start with a simple metric like the total revenue generated by your team each month and then add other metrics such as average sale price or commission percentage over time.

3. Give ownership of your KPIs to the team members. Let them know what metrics are important and why they should care about them. If possible, set a goal for each KPI that is aligned with your organization’s overall strategy. To do that: 

    • Ensure that your team and management understand the KPIs. This is especially important if your organization has a large team or many different stakeholders.
    • Set up reporting mechanisms to track KPIs and review them on a regular basis. If you choose to measure the number of vehicles sold each month, for example, set up a spreadsheet or other software program that will automatically update with new data each time someone submits their sales report. Set aside at least one hour per week to review metrics with your team members so they can see how their efforts are contributing to overall goals.
    • Decide how to effectively communicate your KPIs to your Service Advisors. You can do this in person, through email or text messages, or by posting them internally. Make sure everyone knows how they’re contributing to meeting business goals and what they need to do if they fall behind. If you’re a large company, it can be difficult to get everyone on the same page when it comes to what success looks like. To avoid this problem, take some time to explain your KPIs and how they relate to each team member’s role in achieving them. You may also want to hold regular meetings where Service Advisors can ask questions about their responsibilities and how they fit into the overall picture.

4. Review and constantly check your KPIs. Ensure that they contribute to performance improvement. If you want to improve your KPIs, take some time to review them and see if they’re really doing what you want them to do. If not, make adjustments accordingly. You can also look for opportunities to add new KPIs that will help you measure other aspects of performance. For example, if a customer complains about poor customer service from one of your employees, maybe it would be a good idea to institute a new KPI that tracks the number of customer complaints per month so you can identify trends and address any issues that arise.

II. Automate Service Department Management

Every car dealership needs a strong service department in order for its other operations to run smoothly. If your customers are coming in for regular maintenance and repairs, then they're going to be more likely to buy another car from you down the road. And if they're buying from you again... Well, that means more revenue! So, automating your service department can help drive this sort of repeat business by making sure that customers are satisfied with their experience at your dealership.

Automation also helps keep costs down by reducing labor costs associated with handling customer inquiries and running reports manually. By automating customer inquiries and service scheduling, you can reduce costs while still providing a high level of service to your customers. Automated systems for car dealerships can include any of the following:

Types of Car Dealer Software

  1. Dealer Management System (DMS) A car dealership management system (DMS) is one of the most important pieces of software for a car dealership to have. DMS is a comprehensive suite of tools that allows you to manage your inventory, sales, service, and finance departments from one central location. This can help increase efficiency in all areas of your business, ultimately leading to a higher profit margin.
  2. Customer Relationship Management (CRM) CRM is a software program that allows you to manage customer information, including contact details and previous purchases. This helps you stay in touch with your customers and keep them coming back for more. Sales Management Software Sales management software can help you track sales efficiently and effectively. It includes tools such as sales quotes, invoicing, payment processing, and more. CRM is a software program that allows you to manage customer information, including contact details and previous purchases. This helps you stay in touch with your customers and keep them coming back for more.
  3. Sales management software can help you track sales efficiently and effectively. It includes tools such as sales quotes, invoicing, and payment processing.
  4. Dealership Inventory Management Software allows you to manage the inventory of your dealership. It includes features such as tracking sales and replenishment and managing multiple locations.
  5. Dealership Accounting Software is a must-have for any business owner. It helps you stay on top of all financial matters by providing real-time data about your company’s finances.
  6. Car Dealer Pricing Software is designed to help you set the right price for your vehicles. It includes features such as offering customers a chance to build their own vehicle.
  7. Dealership Leasing Software can help you manage the leasing process of your vehicles. It includes features such as creating quotes and contracts and managing payments.
  8. Fleet Management Software can help you manage all aspects of your fleet. It includes features such as real-time tracking, route optimization, mileage, and assigning tasks. Software like Quickride can help you manage your fleet, schedule, and dispatch vehicles, and set up a booking system for customers. It is designed to help you manage your entire business.
  9. Warranty Management Software helps you manage your warranties. It includes features such as tracking vehicle repair history and managing warranty claims.
  10. Service Dispatch Software helps you take better control over your shuttle schedule and provide faster service in order to run a more efficient & profitable business.

Automating your service department will help you optimize it so that you can maximize efficiency and effectiveness. It will also save you time that you can use for other important tasks like making sure customers are happy and sales are up!

Here's how automation can help you:

  1. Ensure a seamless process from beginning to end—from scheduling appointments to collecting payments—with automated workflow tools like our Customer Portal.
  2. Increase visibility into the status of your service operations with real-time dashboards that deliver data-driven insights into performance metrics such as labor costs per hour by technician or warranty claims by dealer principal.
  3. Reduce expenses associated with managing inventory by using automated replenishment capabilities that let parts managers schedule reorders based on demand forecasts generated by predictive analytics models applied across vast amounts of historical usage data collected from vehicle sensors across millions of vehicles in your database dating back over several years.
  4. Quickly identify and address problems with your vehicles by using real-time data from vehicle sensors combined with predictive analytics models to automatically generate alerts when a service technician reports an issue with a vehicle’s performance or functionality that could indicate a more serious problem that requires immediate attention.
  5. Enhance customer satisfaction and loyalty by providing an immersive mobile experience that allows dealers to remotely access service information on-demand via the dealer portal, including a customer’s vehicle location, service history, and the current status of repairs being made by their technician.
  6. Increase revenue by providing dealers with a personalized customer experience that guides them through the buying process and helps them close more sales by offering financing options to customers who are likely to qualify based on their credit history, which is automatically pulled from third-party data partners.
  7. Reduce costs associated with managing service operations by using real-time data analysis to identify and remove inefficiencies in your operations, such as unnecessary technician travel between locations or idle time spent on the clock waiting for parts to arrive from inventory or waiting for drivers to return back to the dealership to pick-up or drop-off passengers.
  8. Provide customers with automated text messages or push notifications to alert them of important service updates, suggestions, or shuttle rides. Not only does this reduce friction and free up time within your service department, but it provides the customer with important updates that are usually a part of FAQs.

Minimize the risk of human error by automating many processes and functions of your organization, including data collection and analysis, predictive analytics, service appointments, parts ordering, and delivery scheduling. This can lead to a reduction in operating costs as well as an increase in customer satisfaction. Automation allows for the streamlining of many business processes, which can result in an optimized service department.

III. Keep Track of Every Job

Keeping track of every job in your service department is one of the most important things you can do as an owner or manager. As a service manager, you're responsible for making sure that every car leaves your shop looking like it just rolled off the lot, and all of your employees are trained to do their jobs properly.

Keeping track of every job in your service department has three main benefits: it gives you an accurate picture of where your business stands at any given time, it allows you to make more informed decisions about how to improve your business processes and customer experience, and it can help you identify opportunities for growth.

Here’s how:

  1. If you don't know what's going on in your own business, how can you be expected to direct it? You need to know what parts are being repaired most often (and why), which employees are having trouble with particular repairs or customers, how long each repair takes on average, and what kind of turnover rate there is among your staff members. By knowing all these things, you can make strategic decisions about how best to improve them.
  2. It can help you identify opportunities for growth. For example, if you know that your repairs are taking longer than they should on average, then you may want to consider hiring additional technicians. On the other hand, if there's a lot of turnover among your staff members and customers aren't happy about it (because they have to wait longer for service), then perhaps you need to look at how much time each repair takes and whether there are ways to streamline the process so that it takes less time overall.
  3. It helps ensure that your business is profitable. The more efficient you are with your time and money, the better off you'll be as a business owner. You'll be able to use what you learn from data analytics to identify areas where you can cut costs without hurting quality and then implement those changes. You might also discover that certain repairs take too long because they require specialized equipment or highly skilled technicians—in this case, you can look for ways to streamline the process.

In conclusion, keeping track of every job you do is one of the most important things that you can do as a business owner. It's not just a way to keep an eye on your profits, but it also helps ensure that your employees are doing their jobs well and helps you spot problems with your business before they become too big to fix.

IV. Achieving Profit Goals

You may have heard that "the squeaky wheel gets the grease." Well, we’re here to tell you that it's not just the squeaky wheel that gets the grease. It's even the car dealership with a well-functioning service department.

You see, when your service department is running smoothly and efficiently, it creates a ripple effect throughout your whole dealership. The happier and more satisfied your customers are with their car repair experiences, the more likely they are to come back for future services or purchases. And since there aren't many ways for a customer to get their vehicle serviced other than through an existing dealership—and since most dealerships have multiple locations within cities or towns—it makes sense for them to keep coming back to you over and over again for their automotive needs.

Top three things are that can help you achieve your profit goals?

  • Identify your market share and growth opportunities.
  • Know what your customers’ needs are and how you can meet those needs.
  • Keep a tight control on costs, especially labor costs.

Now, let's break it down further:

a. Identify Your Market Share and Growth Opportunities

Your market share is determined by what percentage of the total sales in your industry you have within a given geographical area or market segment. It's also important to understand that customers don’t always shop around like they used to before the internet when they needed information about a product or service before making a purchase decision. Today, most consumers research online first and then make an informed decision based on their personal preferences rather than just going with their gut reaction after hearing about something from someone else (friend or family member). This means that if you want more customers for your business then you need to figure out how to get them talking about your brand online in positive ways so that people will start coming through the door without even needing any advertising!

How do you know if your optimization efforts are working?

One of the best ways to identify where you're doing well is by using market share benchmarks. These benchmarks help you understand how much business other dealerships in your area are getting compared to yours. For example, if your dealership is getting twice as many sales as other dealerships in the area, then it's likely that your marketing efforts are paying off.

Another way to assess market share is by using growth opportunities analysis. This analysis helps you identify why certain areas of growth are more important than others based on current market conditions. For example: If sales numbers have been declining steadily over time but new car sales have been increasing steadily over time, then it makes sense to focus on new car sales instead of used car sales because there's less competition in this area of growth (and therefore less risk).

How do we do that:

The automotive industry is a fiercely competitive one. It's not uncommon for car dealers to have multiple locations and be competing with each other as well as other businesses within the same market.

  1. To start off, you'll want to take a look at your current customer base and see how many of them are repeat customers. If you're not getting many repeat customers, it might be time to think about how you can improve your business so that it appeals more strongly to existing customers. Ask yourself: Are there any changes that I could make in order to attract more customers?
  2. Once you've identified what needs fixing (or improving), it's time to think about how you can grow as a business. One way that many businesses do this is by expanding into other areas or even opening up additional locations nearby so that they can reach more people in one location than before.
  3. Expanding into new markets is also another great way of growing your business because it gives people who may not have had access before now have access through their local dealer's website or mobile app which means they'll likely buy from there rather than somewhere else.

b. Know what your customers’ needs are and how you can meet those needs

The best way to get customers talking about your business is to make sure that you are meeting their needs in a way that they can see and feel the difference. When it comes to marketing, this means that you need to be able to clearly understand what your target audience wants and then deliver on those expectations. You have to be able to show consumers why they should spend their hard-earned money with you instead of going somewhere else.

Remember that your customers are coming to you because they want to buy or service a car, and you want them to come back for more. That's why it's so important that you know what their needs are and how you can meet them—and then do it!

How do we do that:

  1. Use a customer survey. The best way to find out about your customers' needs is by asking them directly! You can find one online or create your own by asking questions like, "What did you like most about our dealership?" or "What could we have done better?. Make sure you are cross-referencing with your OEM surveys for more well-rounded results.
  2. Ask your employees. Your employees interact with customers every day, so they're probably going to have some great insight into what those customers really want—and where your dealership could improve. Ask them what their favorite part of the job is, what they'd change if they could, and anything else that'll give you a better understanding of how they feel about working at the dealership!
  3. Look at reviews on Google and Yelp! You might not think it matters whether or not someone writes a review on Yelp or Google, but trust me—it does! People take these reviews

c. Keep a tight control of costs

The service department is a major profit center for dealerships. It's also a very complicated one. There are many moving pieces, and they all have to be working in unison, or else your car sales will suffer.

If you're looking to optimize your service department, there are plenty of tools that can help you keep a tight control of costs, especially labor costs at your dealership.

How do we do that:

  1. Set up a system for tracking hours worked by technicians and other employees. You'll want to know how much time each employee spends on each job, so you can bill customers appropriately and ensure that you're paying the right amount for each task. For example, if you have an employee who spends most of his time working on oil changes and minor repairs but rarely does tune-ups or major repairs—you might want to reassign him to another role so that he doesn't take away valuable resources from more experienced workers who might be able to do more complex jobs better than him anyway!
  2. Track warranty claims by vehicle make/model so that you can identify any patterns or trends that might help identify which models are likely causing problems with certain parts under warranty coverage; this means that you can get ahead of any potential issues before they become a problem.
  3. Use an automated scheduling system. This will help you set up regular maintenance services for each vehicle, which will help eliminate unnecessary visits. When it comes time for a service appointment, make sure that your technicians are ready to go with everything they need!
    If you have multiple locations or if you do much business online, consider investing in an online scheduling system so that customers can make appointments whenever it's convenient for them—and so that your staff can keep track of appointments from anywhere at any time.
  4. Make sure you have the right tools on hand. This means that your technicians need to be equipped with the right diagnostic and repair equipment, as well as parts for all of your vehicles so that they can complete repairs quickly and efficiently.

It's important to keep in mind that there are many different ways to set and measure profit goals, so finding the right ones for your business can be a challenge. But once you've completed this step, you'll be able to plan for the future of your shop and create a business model that will help you achieve success.

V. Growth Strategies for Your Service Department 

The service department is an integral part of your dealership's business. It's where you make a lot of your profit, and it's how you can set yourself apart from other dealerships in your area. But if you're looking to grow your service department and make it more profitable, you might be wondering how best to do it. 

Growth is good. Growth is the lifeblood of any business. But for car dealerships, growth can be particularly tricky. With so much competition in a highly-regulated industry, it's hard to find ways to stand out from the crowd.

We've put together a list of strategies that will help you grow your services offered in car dealership:

1. Digital Retailing

Digital retailing is an emerging trend in the auto industry. It's a strategy that allows customers to get information about their car and request services from the comfort of their own home or office. You don't have to worry about scheduling an appointment or dealing with long wait times—you can get in touch with your dealership at any time of day!

How Can Digital Retailing Grow Your Strategies?

  • Customers can schedule appointments when it's convenient for them
  • You can offer more flexible hours and schedules for employees
  • It's easy for customers to learn about special offers, promotions, and service specials
  • You can attract new customers by informing them about new products or services available at your dealership

2. Social Media Marketing

It's no secret that social media has become an integral part of how people use the internet to research products and services. And when it comes to car dealerships, it's no different. On average, consumers spend about 30 minutes on Facebook per day—and if you want them to spend that time looking at your dealership's posts instead of those of your competitors, then it's time to start using social media marketing!

Here are three benefits of social media marketing for car dealerships:

  • It can increase brand awareness by reaching out to new audiences on social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
  • It can collect customer information and build up a database so you can target them later with personalized service offers or sales campaigns.
  • You can use social media as an engagement tool by asking questions about specific issues that may arise during your service or sales process.

3. Automotive Training/Education Programs

Automotive Training/Education Programs are the best way to ensure that your dealership employees are up-to-date on the latest technology and practices in the automotive industry. The more knowledgeable your team members are about current trends and practices in the automotive industry, the better prepared they will be when it comes time for them to make decisions about which services or parts to recommend for customers.

Here are 3 benefits of Automotive Training/Education Programs:

  • It helps reduce costs by ensuring that employees are trained properly.
  • It increases customer satisfaction while reducing customer complaints because employees know what they're doing when they recommend services or parts for customers.
  • It can help improve brand loyalty because customers trust that their needs will be met when they

4. Extended warranty plans

What is an extended warranty? An extended warranty is a service plan that covers parts and labor costs on a vehicle after the manufacturer's warranty expires. It can last up to 3 years after the end of the original manufacturer’s warranty.

You can offer your customers an extended warranty as part of their purchase or lease agreement. This means that they will pay for the coverage before they take possession of their vehicle. The money goes into an account that you hold until they need repairs, at which point you reimburse them (you may also offer them a discount on their monthly payment if they agree to purchase an extended warranty).

Here are three benefits of EWPs:

  • They provide peace of mind for car owners: EWP's offer protection against unexpected expenses associated with vehicle maintenance and repair. Customers who pay for these plans feel better about owning a new car because they know they won't have any surprise bills down the road.
  • They boost customer loyalty: When customers feel confident in their vehicle ownership experience, they're more likely to stay loyal to that brand—and that means repeat business for you! Plus, if they refer friends or family members who buy vehicles from you, that's even more referrals coming your way!
  • They boost profitability: Some dealerships may not see EWP's as an opportunity to make money right away, but if done right, they can help boost your bottom line. That's because many customers who buy EWPs are less likely to haggle on price or ask for discounts. Plus, you may be able to charge a little more for the vehicle itself if you offer an extended warranty!

5. Mobile Services

Mobile Services are any kind of car service that can be performed in your customer's driveway or at their home. This can include oil changes, tire rotation, battery replacement, and even more complex work like transmission repair or engine diagnostics.

By offering mobile services in your dealership, you're giving your customers more options than ever before. They no longer have to make an appointment or wait for you to come to them—they can schedule their appointment right from the comfort of their home! And if they don't have time to get their car serviced while they're at home, now they don't have to worry about it until tomorrow! If a customer has a problem with their car that requires quick attention (like a leaky tire), our mobile technicians will come out and fix the problem on-site. With the right tools and expertise, mobile services can become part of your strategy for reaching a wider audience and growing your car dealership's client base.

Here are three benefits of mobile services:

  • You can reach more customers with fewer staff members by visiting them at home or work rather than having them come into your dealership.
  • You can offer more personalized service by offering remote maintenance options where your clients don't have to drive in just to get their oil changed or tires rotated. They can do it from home or work!
  • You'll have happier customers who feel like they're getting better service because they don't have to deal with all the hustle and bustle of the dealership when they use remote maintenance options.

6. Taking Care of Your Future Inventory

Every vehicle that comes into your service department is a vehicle that could potentially be a part of your future used car inventory. You'll want to provide service plans for customers that keep them coming in for critical maintenance that preserves the integrity of their vehicle. Since most people are trading in their cars every few years, you don't want to acquire a car that costs you too much repair or is too hard to sell. 

Here are three benefits of taking care of your future inventory:

  • You can increase your profits from selling used cars if they are in better shape.
  • Your customers will trust your recommendations when their car is operating functionally with less required maintenance.
  • Customers may be more likely to purchase another vehicle from you if they are satisfied with the health of their vehicle.

7. Offer Vehicle Delivery and Pick-up

It's no surprise that with our evolving technology, customers are now expecting a contactless experience throughout their purchase process, and yes, that even translates to car dealerships. Without ever having to speak to anyone at your dealership, you can create a system that allows your customers to schedule their drop-off, get taken off-site by a shuttle ride, and then come back for vehicle pick-up. Not only does this make this easier for your service scheduling queue, but it makes it easy on the customer by allowing them to get in and out of your dealership, retrieve their vehicle at their scheduled time, and go about their day in one seamless process. A few benefits of vehicle delivery include:

  • Less customers in your lobby asking when their vehicle will be ready or where there ride is.
  • A seamless experience for the customer that increases likelihood of returning to you for service.
  • A modern, contactless experience that could give your dealership a competitive advantage.

VI. Training and Empowering Your Team

You've got a great team, but you know that if you want to keep up with the competition, you need to be on top of your game. To achieve that, training is key to success in any department. When you train your employees, they learn new skills and gain confidence—which can lead them to do more and better work for you. And that's where empowerment comes in. When you empower your team, they feel like they can make decisions on their own and try new things, which leads them to do more and better work for you. When everyone feels empowered and trained on their job—from the salesperson all the way up through management—you'll see an increase in productivity and customer satisfaction.

If you want to optimize your service department, then you need to be sure it's staffed by people who are empowered and trained in the best ways to meet your customers' needs. 

Here are some tips that will help you get started:

  1. Employ the right people: A service department is only as good as its people. You need to hire the right people, train them on the job, and then empower them to do their jobs. When you have a team of highly skilled, empowered employees who are working together toward a common goal, they can create an incredibly effective service department that outperforms many others in your industry.
  2. Give them ownership over their jobs: When they have a stake in what they do, they'll be more motivated and dedicated—and so will their customers. This can be accomplished in two ways: First, make sure that Service Advisors and technicians are given complete responsibility for delivering on their promises (i.e., if they say something will happen by a certain date, then it has to happen). Second, create a culture where everyone works together as a team instead of individuals who report up through clearly defined hierarchies.
  3. Give them tools to succeed: This includes everything from the right equipment (or software) to help them do their jobs better, to training on how to use it effectively. It also means giving them access to any resources they need for learning new skills or improving existing ones.

When putting together a team, make sure you're looking for people who are willing to learn and can do the job. Make sure they know how your business works, and then train them on the specifics of their position. Your goal is to have employees who are empowered by their knowledge and skills so that they feel comfortable making decisions about how to serve customers better.

Here are the four benefits of training and empowering your team:

  1. It increases the customer experience by providing better service. When employees feel confident in their abilities, they're more likely to go above and beyond for customers which can lead to increased satisfaction scores and referrals.
  2. It increases sales opportunities by providing more value during each visit. Customers want more than just an oil change; they want someone who knows how their car works and can help them maintain it over time as well as provide suggestions on how they can make their cars last longer or perform better—and that's where having employees who are trained in how cars work comes in handy!
  3. It increases employee engagement by giving them more ownership over their jobs. When employees feel like they're part of something bigger than themselves, they'll take more pride in their work, which makes them more likely to go above and beyond when it comes to customer service.
  4. It increases employee retention by giving employees a sense of ownership over their jobs, which makes them feel valued and appreciated. This means that employees are more likely to stay with the company for longer periods of time, which can save the business money by reducing turnover costs. 

VII. Create the Best Customer Experience

When it comes to running a successful service department, we all know that there are a million things on our plates. But creating a great customer experience can be one of the most important factors in ensuring that your customers come back for more. And when they do, they're more likely to buy more and stay loyal to you—and what's not to love about that?

Creating the best customer experience starts with listening to your customers and understanding their needs. When you know what they want, you can give it to them, which will keep them coming back time and time again. That kind of loyalty is something you need to nurture at your dealership.

How do you create the best customer experience in your service department?

  1. Establish a culture that values excellent customer service: This is when you create an environment where your employees are empowered and there are no bad ideas. When everyone is on the same page, it's easy to establish goals and track progress—and we know that when you do that, you get better results. The best way to do this is by being clear about what success looks like and having regular meetings where everyone can share their progress (or lack thereof).
    A company's culture of customer service protects a brand’s consistency by ensuring that its employees are working in the best interest of customers and preventing any potential headaches.
  2. Encourage and reward employee engagement: Engaged employees make your business more successful. They are more productive, innovative, and creative than their counterparts who aren’t engaged in their work. The best way to get employees involved with the company is by making them feel like they have a voice and that it’s being heard—this can be done by hosting town hall meetings every week or so where everyone gets together for a Q&A session with management. Offering incentives to employees who goes above and beyond will also encourage employee engagement. You can offer flexible work hours, additional paid time off, or even a quarterly raffle.
  3. Manage and invest in the right tools, analytics programs, and people: The best way to understand your employees’ needs and wants is by investing in the right tools and analytics programs. You should be able to track productivity levels, employee satisfaction, turnover rates, and other key metrics that can help you better manage your workforce. This will ensure that your team is capable of providing excellent customer service to your customers and will also ensure that you’re meeting your employees’ needs. By investing in these tools, you can also take advantage of the data they provide and use it to further improve. Perhaps the most important investment of all is your investment in your people and employees. One of the most critical pieces to your shuttle service's customer experience is your shuttle driver, which can make or break the experience your riders have. The riders' experiences can in turn affect the perception of your dealership when they leave reviews or refer friends. 

When you take care of your people, your people will take care of your business. Achieving that level of satisfaction will motivate employees to be better versions of themselves making sure that they treat the business as their own and that taking care of customers' needs comes naturally. That is why it is important in any business to equip, empower and motivate their team and be united in achieving a common goal of not just providing excellent service but also making sure that your dealership remains profitable.

When you take care of your customers—and make sure they leave feeling satisfied and confident in their purchase—you're creating a positive brand image for yourself. That positive brand image will attract more customers, which means that in the long run, your business is going to be more successful. If done properly, you will get the following benefits:

Here are 3 benefits of having the best customer experience:

  1. Better Customer Loyalty: Customers who feel like they were treated well are more likely to keep coming back than those who don't. You're almost guaranteed to get a 5 star review every time.
  2. Increased Reputation: The better you treat your customers, the better word gets around about how awesome it is to deal with YOU!
  3. Increased Customer Retention Rates: This one's pretty obvious—the more people who come into your business, the more likely you'll be able to keep them there longer!

As a manager, you have the power to create a great customer experience. The most important thing that you need to remember is that your people are the backbone of your business. Without them, there would be no success at all. The more you take care of them, the more they will take care of your customers.

VIII. Use Quickride for Jobs Management & Shuttles


As the industry shifts to a more digital-centric approach, dealerships are also looking for new ways to optimize their service departments and improve the customer experience. But running a successful service department isn't easy. You need to ensure that your team is equipped with everything they need to do their job well—and that means making sure you have the right transportation solutions in place. The question is how do you actually do it?

The answer is Quickride! Here's why:

  1. Quickride provides dealerships with a platform for managing their shuttle services, courtesy shuttles, valet service pick-ups and deliveries, mobile mechanics, parts delivery and even test drives. And it does all this with a proprietary genetic algorithm that optimizes for mobility happiness for every single person who uses the system.
  2. Quickride is the best way to get your team moving quickly. Quickride will help you find a solution that fits your needs, whether you're looking for a simple shuttle service or something more customized like our mobile mechanics program. We're always looking for ways to improve our transportation services.
  3. Quickride provides customizable software specifically designed for managing all aspects of your dealership's shuttle service needs. With features like real-time tracking, automated communications and scheduling tools, remote access capabilities for employees who need them (like valets or office staff), and reporting features that make it easy to understand what's going on at any given time, you can rest assured that your service department is in good hands when you use Quickride.

Quickride has a long history in the automotive industry. Founded by Service Managers with a passion for servicing cars and helping their customers. We've worked hard to create an easy-to-use dealer management platform that makes running your service department fun and profitable.

Here are 3 reasons why our platform is the best tool to help you run your dealership's service department:

  • Customer Service: Our system is designed to help you provide excellent customer service by keeping your customers happy from start to finish. Our online booking system allows customers to book a shuttle ride with one click and receive automated check-in notifications via text. If they need help with anything, they can reach out directly through our call feature on our website or through the app. This ensures that every customer receives personalized attention no matter how big or small their request may be!
  • Automation: We know that running any business involves lots of repetitive tasks, so we've made sure ours is as automated as possible! Our platform integrates seamlessly with your existing systems, so there's no need to worry about manual data entry or other time-consuming processes.
  • User-friendly: Our platform is designed with the user in mind, so it's as simple and intuitive as possible. You don't need any technical knowledge at all to get started! Once you've set up your account, it will be easy for you to manage all of your customers' needs from one central location.

Schedule a demo today and let our team of experts show you how easy it is to use. Or sign up for a free trial and have your entire team start using Quickride within half an hour.


The service department is where your customers feel the most pain. It's where they're exposed to the realities of car ownership: how much it costs, how long it takes, and what it means for their schedule.

But a great service department can be so much more than that—it can be a gateway to customer loyalty and repeat business. It can be a place where customers feel like they're being taken care of by people who really care about them and their needs. And it can be an engine for growth in your dealership as a whole.

If you want to run a successful service department, start with KPIs. Use them to drive results and empower your team. Automate as much as you can, so that you can keep track of every job and achieve your profit goals. Once you've got those basics down, focus on growing your service department. You can do that by training and empowering your team, creating the best customer experience, and driving results with KPIs. 

Test drive Quickride today! Activate your 30-day free trial, and fix your shuttle processes forever. 

Topics: service scheduling, car dealerships, service manager, service department