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Lycia Jedlicki

Lycia Jedlicki

Author's details

Name: Lycia Jedlicki
Date registered: September 30, 2013


Lycia is an accomplished owner and operator of a dealership with more than 25 years of management experience. An NCM executive conference moderator, Lycia has worked with 20 Group for more than six years—currently, she works with NCM 20 Groups and with our specialty Parts and Service Manager 20 Groups as well. She also teaches at the NCM Institute and offers in-dealership training and classes.

Latest posts

  1. WHO Thinks We’re Overpriced? — August 8, 2017
  2. The Zero-Cost Solution to Increase Automotive Net Profit — September 6, 2016
  3. From NCM’s 20 Groups: 5 Best Practices to Survive the Viral Recall Epidemic — June 14, 2016
  4. What has a Better Return on Your Investment: Training or Advertising? — April 30, 2015
  5. What’s the Secret of a Well-Defined Second Chance Process? — October 24, 2013

Most commented posts

  1. Two Simple Steps to Customer “Royalty” — 2 comments
  2. What has a Better Return on Your Investment: Training or Advertising? — 2 comments
  3. The Zero-Cost Solution to Increase Automotive Net Profit — 2 comments
  4. What’s the Secret of a Well-Defined Second Chance Process? — 1 comment

Author's posts listings

Lycia Jedlicki

WHO Thinks We’re Overpriced?

Torso of a businessman standing with folded arms

I recently held a luxury brand parts and service manager 20 Group meeting, and one of the parts managers was proud of the fact that his counter gross retail percentage had increased by 3% that quarter. When the group asked how he achieved this, he told them something that stunned the room. He had reduced his pricing so his employees would stop discounting and overriding parts prices for their customers.

In the past, when his employees saw the cost of the part, for example, $1.25 for a fuse, they thought it was entirely inappropriate that the dealership marked it up and charged the customer $8.00. However, before you yell, “Fire that parts team,” realize that this is happening all over YOUR dealership and you may not even be aware. Many times, employees take it upon themselves to “right the wrongs” or “cheat” in business, so they can make the sale, reach the goal, gain the customer, or earn the SPIFF. Fostering an environment of open and honest communication, appropriate encouragement to meet goals, and a little room to make decisions to sink a sale can make all the difference.

The 20 Group proceeded to ask the parts manager if he thought the customer was going to leave their dealership without purchasing the fuse because it was $8.00. I’m willing to bet the answer is “No.” This scenario led me to remember an article I had just seen that says, “We are not going to be the least expensive, we are going to be the BEST and deliver the BEST experience possible.” Instead of the parts counter person discounting the part to $4.50, or another “acceptable” amount, he/she could say to the customer, “Let’s take this fuse out to your car and try it, just to make sure it works before you buy it.” I guarantee the customer would be pleasantly surprised and wouldn’t think twice about paying $8.00 for the fuse. Your employee ensured it worked correctly and solved their problem before they left our parking lot, so why would they question it? Taking the extra time to qualify the sale and genuinely help the customer has been linked to increased customer retention. As a consumer, don’t you enjoy shopping at and returning to businesses who care about you and your reasons for buying?

We also need to remind our employees how many complimentary things we do for our customers. Coffee and food in the waiting rooms, topping off vehicle fluids, safety inspections, car washes, battery checks, rental cars, shuttle services … the list is endless. Remind your employees of the value your dealership offers so they can project this value onto customers during the sales process. Instruct them to point out the complimentary amenities and casually offer them whenever possible. Emphasizing the value of a product or service, and the value your business brings, is another helpful retention strategy and continues to build the business/customer relationship.

Let me leave you with one last scenario: you hire a rookie salesperson and do a great job training him or her, and what do they do? They do exactly what you taught them to do. They sell the oldest vehicle for the most amount of money and retain a happy customer. 2017 is the year to train our employees to be the best, demand it even, to ensure both our businesses and team members thrive, and our customers leave happy and keep coming back. Which dealership do you want to be? The least expensive? Or the best?

Help your team become the best with training from the NCM Institute and membership in a manager 20 Group like Lycia’s.

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Lycia Jedlicki

The Zero-Cost Solution to Increase Automotive Net Profit

Success concept

How can I retain more customers and net more profit? I hear a variation of this question at every dealership and 20 Group meeting! Today I’m sharing my definitive answer.

The Zero-Cost Solution to More Automotive Net Profit

All sorts of products and services claim they’ll improve retention and profit. Here’s the thing, though—no matter what you buy, what franchise you run or what budget you operate with—there’s only one real solution. Accountability management.

Accountability management is the cornerstone of NCM’s philosophy. It’s so important that we teach it in every NCM Institute class. Many managers struggle with it, though; when I ask managers what their biggest weakness is, they often will tell me “Accountability Management.”

How can you overcome this challenge? Here are two case studies that will help you create a strong accountability culture at your dealership.

Case Study 1: Focusing on Ford

During my recent NCM Ford 20 Group meeting, a service manager explained how he brought NCM’s tenets of accountability management into his department. These simple tactics yielded a profound result: service advisors had an increased understanding of their roles and could better contextualize their performance against the rest of the team.

Here’s what he did. First, the service manager performed a monthly evaluation of each advisor. After discussing the assessment with the Advisor, he turned the report into the general manager/dealer.

What and how did he evaluate each advisor?  The following items were rated “Good, Fair or Needs Improvement, and the evaluation included a place for comments:

1. Prompt friend greeting

2. Patient, good listener, polite

3. Provides customer an agreed upon time

4. Makes promises that can be kept

5. Pulls history files

6. Knows status on all current vehicles

7. Status update before promise time

8. Presents required maintenance

9. Prepared before customer arrival

10. Clean, organized workstation

11. Update daily log sheet

12. Write up “Early Birds” before doors open

13. Acknowledge customers when busy

14. Meets customer at vehicle

15. Personal appearance

16. Smiles/Thanks customers

17. Helps other Advisors when needed

18. Provides clear, complete write-up

19. Utilizes “Comeback” system

20. Provides clear estimates

21. Promptness to phone/courteous

22. Returned Surveys

23. Carryover process

24. Walk around

These probably look pretty basic to most people; however, we must always inspect what we expect! By putting expectations in writing every month and going over it with each advisor, the manager able to lead the team to success. And it didn’t cost a penny!

Case Study 2: The Forgotten Machines

Last week, I visited a dealership that has both an alignment inspection machine and tread depth inspection machine on the service aisle.

While doing a repair order analysis and observing the service aisle my first day there, I found that they were not utilizing either machine and had not sold a single alignment. Talk about a poor return on investment!

After addressing the lack of sales with the service manager, we came up with a plan.  Every car was going to be inspected, and we would measure the results at 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. daily using a dry erase board in his office. Advisors were required to record how many alignment checks were performed and sold, noting them on the board.

Positive results were nearly instant. The first day after launching the initiative, seven alignments were sold. The following day, we had six alignments sold before 11 a.m.  This did not cost the dealer anything, the Service Manager just starting holding his people accountable. Just imagine how much this will increase net profit in the long run!

Tell us below how you hold your team accountable. Need help with accountability management? Discover how Lycia and her colleagues can make a difference at your dealership.

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Lycia Jedlicki

From NCM’s 20 Groups: 5 Best Practices to Survive the Viral Recall Epidemic


It doesn’t matter what franchise you have; recalls are having a major impact on our day-to-day operations.  In every 20 Group meeting I’ve had this year, recalls have been a hot topic, and each dealer is coping with them differently.

Common recall worries

Although responses vary, without a doubt our 20 Group members share similar concerns about recalls. I often field such questions as:

  • How do we go about our day-to-day operations with the least amount of turbulence?
  • How can I ensure that we are complying with the factory and government standards?
  • Do we have the correct technicians performing the recall?
  • How do we make sure that recalls are not negatively impacting our “Customer Pay” work in our service departments?
  • Where should we store and dispose the impacted parts?
  • Where and how are we supposed to store these vehicles?
  • Do we put recall customers in a rental/loaner vehicle?

Treating the Recall Virus

Over the last few months, 20 Group members and I have been working together to develop best practice to address this growing scourge. Here’s what we’ve adopted:

  1. Check for open recalls when appraising and delivering a sold vehicle using the website; require the customer to sign, too. Many of our dealers also check their inventories multiple times a week for open recalls
  2. Schedule or perform recalls at non-peak times such as afternoons, if possible.
  3. Check with other dealers/companies/rental agencies for increased business.
  4. Perform multi-point inspections looking for additional services to recommend now or in the near future.
  5. Discover your opportunity. One of the big questions is can I sell a vehicle with an open recall?  This opinion varies among many dealers, legal councils and manufactures, whichever policy your dealership adopts, please make sure everyone is aware how to handle these vehicles.

Recovering from recalls

Recalls aren’t likely to go away anytime soon, so the best thing you can do is develop a better attitude towards them.

My 20 Groups like to focus on the positive side: all the incremental business recalls bring to our Service Departments. Seize the opportunity—it’s up us to retain these new clients and turn them into “Customers for Life”.

What practices has your dealership started to deal with the viral spread of recalls? Tell us below.

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Lycia Jedlicki

What has a Better Return on Your Investment: Training or Advertising?


If you ask a dealer how much their monthly advertising budget is, they usually can tell you that number right off the top of their head, along with approximately how much they spend with each vendor.  However, when asked how much they spend on training each month, you will probably get an “I don’t know” or “not enough” answer.

Truthfully, most dealers do not have a monthly training budget. Dealers for the most part don’t like training; they just expect their people to know what they are supposed to do and to know what it expected. Training just isn’t as exciting as advertising. But let me ask a question: If your advertising brings in a lot of show floor traffic and vehicles through the service department, and your people just do a “so-so” job with them, is it a good investment? Wouldn’t we be better off transferring some of our advertising budget to training? After all, don’t we want to make sure all of our customers get treated properly?

We as dealers spend thousands of dollars monthly to bring people into our show rooms and service departments, yet when we mystery shop ourselves, most of us cringe at the results. So again, I ask you this question:

Are your people properly trained, and if not, why not?

I have two dealers in different 20 Groups that  took money out of their advertising budget and moved it to training. What were the results? A Volkswagen dealer from Chicago, Illinois is going to have his best net profit year, while Volkswagen is having a very tough year. A BMW dealer from Florida also invested some of his advertising budget in training and his net profit is up 51%.

These dealers did not just invest in automotive training. They did leadership seminars through local colleges and the BMW dealer brought Toast Master’s into their dealership so he could make sure his people knew how to communicate with their customers.  These dealers decided to invest in their people, and it has paid off handsomely.  As the Breakers Resort in Palm Beach, Florida says, “Happy employees make happy customers.”

Challenge yourself with this question when doing your advertising budget this year, “Are my employees going to handle my customers the way I would like them to all of the time?” If not, maybe it’s time to rethink how you are spending your money so you can get the best return or your investment.

UV Training

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Lycia Jedlicki

What’s the Secret of a Well-Defined Second Chance Process?

callWhat would happen if we treated the service department more like the new and used car departments? Why do we think the customers should be treated differently? Maybe because “it’s just the BACKEND”!

Think about this: If someone doesn’t purchase the vehicle they came in to see and test drive, how fast are we calling that customer back trying to get them to return and buy? What about the customer on the service drive; do we call and ask for that sale again if they declined a repair while they were in our service department?

Service departments that have a well-defined second chance process claim they are getting as much as 60% of their customers back to do the repair.

What do I mean by a “Well-Defined Second Chance Process”? It’s just this simple:

A telephone call to the customer the next day from someone other than the original service advisor.

It could sound something like this: “Hi, this is Samantha from ABC Motors and I was calling to thank you for your visit to our service department yesterday. Was everything satisfactory? By the way, I noticed that we recommended new brakes while you were here, was there a particular reason you decided not to have the repair done?” The customer could give us a multitude of reasons for not having the repair done such as, “I didn’t have time,” “I don’t have the money,” “I needed to discuss it with someone else,” “It was too expensive,” or my favorite, “My advisor didn’t tell me I needed brakes!”

Now we know why the customer decided not to have the repair done and we can take the necessary steps to get the customer back. It is important to have someone other than the original service advisor ask for the sale again, just as we do a turnover in the sales department.

Many dealers think sending out an email two weeks or 30 days later with a discount is the answer, but I ask you this question: Would you wait two weeks or a month to ask that customer to come back in and buy the vehicle they were looking at? I’m pretty sure this would not be acceptable at anyone’s dealership, so why is it acceptable in our service departments?

Do what you do in the sales department — make the call. Ask for that business again, and you could get back as much as 60% of those customers.


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Lycia Jedlicki

Two Simple Steps to Customer “Royalty”

crownWhen are we going to start treating the pre-owned vehicle customer like royalty instead of the “red-headed step child”?

When a customer takes delivery of a new vehicle, we try to make sure we do everything possible to ensure they come back to our service department (at least for the first visit). We may do this by giving them their first service free or scheduling their first service appointment. Why do we do this? Hopefully because we want to retain that customer and not just to keep the manufacturer happy!

What would happen if we treated ALL of our pre-owned vehicle customers like new vehicle customers, not just our certified pre-owed, but every pre-owned we retailed?

I have a dealer in one of my NCM 20 Groups that did just that! Guess what happened? Her service department gross profit increased 69% (yes, she was already profitable). Her customer pay repair orders increased 8.9% and her customer pay hours increased 42%.

What did she do differently?

  1. On every pre-owned vehicle sold, a one-year, 15,000-mile maintenance package was included ‒ the only exclusions were luxury high-end vehicles ‒ there were no mileage or age limitations.
  2. They also slowed their process down so the service advisor actually had time to build a relationship with a customer and had time to sell.

According to DMEautomotive Research increasing service intervals have cost the average dealership $91,000 in annual revenue, so why not retain the customer we already have? This includes servicing all makes and models; after all, you don’t want them getting treated better by your competitor do you?

The pre-owned vehicle customer (owner) is one we already have; wouldn’t it make more sense to try to retain them instead of spending money to try to find a new customer? Try giving them the royal treatment then watch your metrics for loyal soar!

UV Training


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