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Tag Archive: Robin Cunningham

NCM Associates

#AskNCM: Are all dealerships losing employees over working hours?

How many hours do your employees work on average? Is it too much? Too little? Are they even working while they’re at work? Expert Robin Cunningham shares his observations about the ways successful dealerships are scheduling their employees.

Have another question for Robin or the other #AskNCM experts? Leave it in a comment below!

Permanent link to this article: http://blog.ncm20.com/2017/03/askncm-are-all-dealerships-losing-employees-over-working-hours/

NCM Associates

#AskNCM: Why is New Vehicle F&I Such a Big Deal?

Why has new vehicle F&I become such a hot topic? “Fierce competition,” says NCM expert Robin Cunningham. As the market compresses, dealers cannot afford to miss the new car sale.

See how F&I impacts your dealership and discover how you can learn more about it.

Have another question for Robin or the other #AskNCM experts? Leave a comment below!

Permanent link to this article: http://blog.ncm20.com/2017/03/askncm-why-is-new-vehicle-fi-such-a-big-deal/

Robin Cunningham

Service BDC: Where are Your Customers, and When Are They Coming Back?

Call Center Operators Working In Office

I’m a big fan of service BDCs. In fact, during my retail days in the mid-Nineties, I was an early adopter of the concept. I had asked a consultant friend of mine, who help dealers set these up, to give me a hand at my store. We had staff who were either mishandling or not making inbound and outbound calls, so I remember being eager to see the results.

This topic must have been on my mind recently when I asked a class of NCMi students, “Where are your customers, and when are they coming back?”

Well, you would have thought I’d asked the question in a foreign language or something! There was absolute silence in the room. Some were looking at others to see if they had an answer. My take on the look on everyone’s faces was, “This is THE question, isn’t it?” No one ventured an answer.

The first service appointment is key

So, I then asked, “How many of your dealerships set the first service appointment on each new and used vehicle at the time of delivery, based on time or mileage?” Of the 25 or so people in the room, only two raised their hands affirming that this was, in fact, happening at their dealerships.

When we started our BDC, one of the processes we decided track was the first service appointment. We, for sure, were not setting these. I’d heard that getting a 65% return rate for the 1st Service Appointment was the Holy Grail but, we were told, only 14% of customers would come back on their own for non-warranty, maintenance, and repair work. You cannot build a business on 14%! So it became part of the sales and delivery process to have the BDC, based on time or mileage, to put the customer’s scheduled first service appointment into the system.

Consistent appointments make loyal customers

While we were very good in service in those days—especially in menu sales and work found on multi-point inspections, which we called the “perpetual service clinic”—I am sure we were not setting next service appointments, something I now know is a critical component to service profits.

With that in mind, I asked my students, “How many of you set the next service appointment with each customer during the active delivery with their Service Advisor?” The answer was zero.

It’s a given that the first service Appointment is a must to get the whole process started, but it’s setting the next service appointment that keeps it all together. I always think of this analogy: “How often would we get our teeth cleaned, if the dentist didn’t call to remind us?” The answers range from “not as often” to “never!” Service work on automobiles is no different; most people forget about it until the vehicle doesn’t run or they are reminded of needed work. It’s so obvious that it still amazes me that so few American dealerships take the initiative to set the appointment!

Challenge yourself to invite clients back

We all know that customer loyalty is on the wane. In response, most dealers have invested in CRM software to help us keep track of our clients. Yet, these tools are only as good as our processes. The sad truth is that many of my clients still are not setting first and next service appointments, even when they use these tools.

So, here’s my challenge for you: Always be able to answer the question, “Where are your customers and when are they coming back?” Create a reliable system that gets your clients back to the dealership after their purchase and keeps them coming back.

NCM Expert Robin Cunningham is an instructor with our Institute and a frequent contributor to our blog and video series #AskNCM.

Permanent link to this article: http://blog.ncm20.com/2017/02/service-bdc-where-are-your-customers-and-when-are-they-coming-back/

NCM Associates

#AskNCM: What’s the hardest job at the dealership?

Salesperson? GM? Dealer? What’s the most difficult job in the dealership? Robin Cunningham’s answer might surprise you.

Find out if yours is the hardest job:

Have another for Robin or the other #AskNCM experts? Leave a comment below!

Permanent link to this article: http://blog.ncm20.com/2016/11/askncm-whats-the-hardest-job-at-the-dealership/

NCM Associates

#AskNCM: What’s the biggest untapped opportunity in Retail Automotive today? Part II

Fifty people. According to NCM expert, Robin Cunningham, that’s the number of customers you told to take a hike from your dealership today.

Get Robin’s tips on how to get them back:

Be sure to check out Part I!

Have another for Robin or the other #AskNCM experts? Leave a comment below!

Permanent link to this article: http://blog.ncm20.com/2016/09/askncm-whats-the-biggest-untapped-opportunity-in-retail-automotive-today-part-ii/

Robin Cunningham

#AskNCM: What’s the biggest untapped opportunity in Retail Automotive today? Part I

Robin Cunningham reflects on the last five years to identify the critical thing you need to do today to maximize your dealership’s opportunities.

Discover Robin’s recommendation:

Be sure to check out Part II! Have another for Robin or the other #AskNCM experts? Leave a comment below! 

Permanent link to this article: http://blog.ncm20.com/2016/09/askncm-whats-the-biggest-untapped-opportunity-in-retail-automotive-today/

NCM Associates

#AskNCM: What’s the silver bullet to improve UV?

Is there a secret to increased used vehicle profits? “Yes!” says NCM expert Robin. Find out what Robin thinks are the most important things you can do to improve your UV department. Here’s a hint: Get your “walking” shoes on!

Have you already started Robin’s must-do recommendations for pre-owned? Tell us about it below. Have another question for #AskNCM – comment below! 

Permanent link to this article: http://blog.ncm20.com/2016/06/askncm-whats-the-silver-bullet-to-improve-uv/

NCM Associates

#AskNCM: Do I really need a full-time UV manager?

How should you structure your dealership management team if you want to get the most from your Used Vehicle sales? Do you need someone full time?

“Yes, it’s ideal,” says NCM expert, Robin Cunningham, but it’s more about full-time focus than a full-time job. Discover how size and spend influences your staffing needs and the signs that tell you when a full-time UV manager is required!

What’s your sales department structure? Are UV duties shared or located in one job? Have another question for #AskNCM – comment below! 

Permanent link to this article: http://blog.ncm20.com/2016/05/askncm-do-i-really-need-a-full-time-uv-manager/

NCM Associates

#AskNCM: What’s the best pay plan for today’s market?

By NCM Associates

Pay plans are always tricky. So, how should you best structure your compensation to recruit (and retain) the best sales staff?

NCM expert, Robin Cunningham, knows that the best automotive pay plan varies from dealership to dealership. But, he shares with us, there’s one key thing you should ALWAYS do for the first 60, 90 or even 180 days. Watch the video to get his recommendation.


Have your pay plans been causing you trouble? #AskNCM a question in the comments, and we’ll answer it!

Permanent link to this article: http://blog.ncm20.com/2016/05/askncm-whats-the-best-pay-plan-for-todays-market/

NCM Associates

#askNCM: Why should I market a vehicle before reconditioning?

Marketing and detailing vehicles for resale are primary processes for any successful used vehicle department. But how should you time these activities?

The answer comes down to marketing. If you wait out the reconditioning cycle time, Robin Cunningham warns, you’ll slow down the sales process … and reduce your profits!

How do you time your reconditioning and marketing activities? Tell us below! Want to #AskNCM a question? Leave a comment below, and we’ll answer it!

Permanent link to this article: http://blog.ncm20.com/2016/04/askncm-why-should-i-market-a-vehicle-before-reconditioning/

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