Run more cars through the service lane and maximize workshop capacity

Welcome to the latest edition of Dealer Forward, an ongoing video series that focuses on the solutions and strategies auto dealerships are using to overcome various challenges in the industry. This episode explains how you can get more cars through the service lane faster and boost your store’s capacity.

Today, Tiffani Stefanescu, head of customer performance at xtimeis joined by Director of Fixed Operations Tully Williams from The Niello Company to discuss some of the processes Tully put in place at their dealership to fill 136% of their available capacity.

According to the most recent Cox Automotive review of Xtime analysis, service activity and revenue fell at U.S. franchise dealerships in June after 11 months of gains. The repair order revenue index fell during the month, but is still up year-over-year. The repair order volume index, on the other hand, declined in both a year and a month.

According to dealers, repair volume is currently booked at an all-time high. Now is the time to focus on efficiency and use your spaces for this work.

Have you looked for ways to be more efficient? You may want to take a closer look at your processes. For example, are they easy to use and program? Are your services effective?

After the initial shock of the COVID-19 pandemic, many companies took a hard look at their processes and services. As a result, they could make changes that would improve customer satisfaction and employee morale.

Tully says one of the most important aspects of efficiency is the guest check-in experience. Businesses can build customer loyalty by streamlining this process and making it more efficient.

Another key to efficiency is creating good reports that customers can use to make informed decisions about their vehicle repairs. By taking the time to create detailed and accurate reports, businesses can save time and money in the long run.

99% of top performing dealerships agree that improving the customer experience is a key goal. But what tools can create the experience customers want while improving your team’s performance and efficiency? Go through the registration process first. Ask customers to register and say, “Can I get your phone number to text you while this process is going on?” So that we can stay in communication? Customers don’t want to call on the phone, but they will respond to a text message.

Then, if a problem needs fixing, take a video of the underside of the car and photos and videos of each red and yellow problem. Then give customers proof of what they need and why they need it today. Gain trust with your customers. Send these reports to customers, let them communicate what they want to fix and correct, then you can send them the invoice for them to pay online. Then submit a poll for feedback. Customers approve 49% of additional recommendations with supporting videos and photos within 30 minutes.

Out of stock on the service side can be an opportunity to bring the service and sales sides together. Customers can be asked if they are interested in a free evaluation. If repairs are needed, the customer can be asked if they have considered exchanging it. This has the potential to generate revenue from both the service side and the sales side.

According to Williams, a used vehicle with a VSC extended warranty contract with maintenance and a service contract from your dealership is the best inventory to have right now. You have all the records and information to provide to customers.

If you want your service and sales teams to get along, you need to make sure they’re using the same operating system. Unfortunately, most people don’t fully utilize their systems, so check and make sure you’re using the registration process, technical inspection, and sending out a quote 100% of the time. This will improve profitability and efficiency.


Did you enjoy this episode of Dealer Forward with Tiffani Stefanescu and Tully Williams? Please share your thoughts, comments or questions regarding this topic by contacting us at [email protected]

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Alejandro L. Myatt