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George Gowen

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Who’s your dealership’s MVP? The answer may surprise you.

Auto Mechanic

Take a look at what department affects your business the most. I know— “Nothing happens until a car is sold!”—is the answer heard the most. But what department has the most contact with your customers? Where is the opportunity to create customers for life? And which department displays your culture to your customers most often?

So who is the MVP? I’ll give you a hint: It’s not in sales.

The average salesperson sells 10-15 units a month, while a service advisor sells service to 15 customers EACH DAY! Now consider the relationship of sales dollars to gross profit dollars: Who can create 70% or more gross to sales from an inventory that has no holding costs?

Customer retention happens in the service department

Now, let’s look at the one position in your business that’s most influential in building loyal customers. A salesperson’s ability to retain that customer cannot be discounted, but often, little to no effort is made to improve retention. And there’s certainly little done on a daily basis. The service advisor, however, can make or break your relationship with the customer dozens of times each day.

Create an outstanding service culture

What people within your organization have the most opportunities to create “WOW” moments? Who displays the culture of your store to the most customers daily? Who creates the most “customers for life”? So where should you focus your training, coaching and motivating? That 80/20 rule comes into play here.

Go spend time in the service drive and see who wins your MVP!

What do you think—is customer retention made or broken in the service department? What strategies have you implemented to make the most of this relationship with the customer? 

About the author

George Gowen

George Gowen

George has more than 30 years of experience in the retail automotive industry and is invaluable as an Executive Conference Moderator at NCM. He is a third-generation dealer who grew up working in every department of the dealership, including management positions in sales, business development, training, and as a director of fixed operations. He was also the general manager for a $100 million dealership, then became the owner/dealer principal of a multi-franchise operation by the age of 33. George was awarded Chrysler’s Five Star Award in his first year in business and he also served on the Board of Directors of Carolina Chevy Dealers Advertising Association. George received his degree in automotive marketing from Northwood University and resides in the Tampa area.

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