Not surprisingly, breakdowns in communication have a lot to do with it. A new study from Carlisle and Company surveyed 9,000 service techs and found that 43 percent of the work orders they receive require a chat with the service advisor due to a lack of clarity.
We get that, to be honest. Have you ever looked at one of those service receipts? It might as well be in ancient Dothraki. The main problem, though, is that you, the customer, are being misinformed.
When it comes to the expected repair time, the surveyed techs estimate that at least a third of customers are given unrealistic completion times. And that's what makes a trip to the dealer so frustrating – you're told your car will be ready in an hour, but in reality, it'll be next Tuesday. Despite this testimony by the mechanics, a survey of service advisors found that 83 percent of them found their estimated repair times to be accurate.
So, the next time you need to go to service, remember this story, and plan accordingly. Scroll down for the official press release on the study from Carlisle and Company.
Of 9,000 technicians surveyed, only 27 percent indicate satisfaction with career progression, prompting need for call-to-action from auto manufacturers.
June 18, 2014 10:00 AM Eastern Daylight Time
CONCORD, Mass.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Carlisle & Company, Inc., the preferred provider of aftersales strategic guidance and tactical solutions for the world's leading motor vehicle brands, today announced key findings from its 2013 Annual Automotive Technician Survey, uncovering a widespread need for auto manufacturers to implement more formal training programs at their dealership operations. With 9,000 service technicians from 15 major auto brands surveyed, two major issues stood out as having a profound impact on technician satisfaction and retention: communication between technicians and service advisors, and the growth of dealer-based express lube services.
Lack of Communication between Technicians and Service Advisors
The service advisor is the entry point for the customer for any service-related issue so it's essential that they provide informed and accurate initial diagnoses. However, according to technicians, 43 percent of repair orders require additional clarification from the service advisor, costing each technician 30 minutes per day of follow-up time. Based on these figures, Carlisle estimates that a typical dealership with 12 technicians at $60/hour, each losing 30 minutes a day, results in at least $90,000 of lost service revenue each year.
More confirmation of the communication gap can be found in the issue of "expected repair completion time" – the #1 criteria that consumers value when selecting a service provider. For this critical area, technicians estimate that service advisors provide 1/3rd of their customers with unrealistic waiting times, yet advisors feel that they are accurate 83 percent of the time.
Growth of Express Service/Quick Lube Operations
In the past decade, OEMs have attempted to stem declining service retention by offering high volume/low margin services in-dealership, like 30-minute oil changes (Quicklube), but are challenged with staffing these services in a cost-competitive way. The most common approach is for dealerships to bring in low-cost, entry level technicians to perform these basic services, promising an eventual progression to more complex, higher-paid repairs.
However, 80 percent of technicians across the industry reported that their dealerships do not have realistic Quicklube career progression plans. Other relevant findings around this issue include:
The more time technicians spend in Quicklube, the less satisfied they are with career progression
Technicians that are dissatisfied with their career progression overwhelmingly are more likely to leave the industry, rather than just switch dealerships
"The survey results indicate a telling and almost dire industry need for OEMs and dealers to address the job progression (or lack thereof) for their technicians, as well as communication issues with service advisors," said Harry Hollenberg, Partner at Carlisle. "Technicians represent the critical link between the service customer and their product satisfaction and repurchase loyalty, so if these issues aren't fixed, the industry will continue to see the decline in service customers and lost potential revenue."
More information on the 2013 Automotive Technician Survey can be found here: http://carlisle-co.com/index.php/whatsnew.
About Carlisle & Company, Inc.
Carlisle provides the world's leading motor vehicle brands with aftersales strategic guidance and tactical solutions, including consulting, benchmarking, research, service operations and non-profit consulting. In addition to servicing the automotive industry, Carlisle's clients include global OEMs in the agriculture, construction, engine and power equipment sectors. The company is headquartered in Concord, Mass. and works with clients all over the world. More information can be found at http://www.carlisle-co.com.