Building a strong relationship between the used car department and the service department is essential for a dealership’s success. A cooperative and harmonious relationship can lead to better customer service, increased sales, and improved overall efficiency. With inventory turn highly dependent on getting used vehicles front-line ready, it is a must these two departments work together as one and it starts at the top.
Here are some strategies to foster a strong bond between the two departments. Most of these are not new or complicated. The real discipline is in setting a plan and executing the plan weekly. A one-and-done approach is doomed to failure.
- Open communication: Encourage regular and open communication between the used car and service departments. Organize meetings, both formal and informal, where team members can discuss challenges, share insights, and work together to find solutions.
- Shared goals and incentives: Align the goals of both departments, so they are working towards a common purpose. Create incentives that encourage cooperation and collaboration, such as joint bonuses for achieving sales and service targets together.
- Cross-training and knowledge sharing: Offer opportunities for employees to gain exposure to both departments through cross-training. This helps them understand each other’s roles and challenges, fostering empathy and better cooperation.
- Joint problem-solving: When issues arise, involve representatives from both departments in finding solutions. This collaborative approach ensures that decisions take both perspectives into account and promotes a sense of ownership in the solutions.
- Regular joint events and activities: Organize team-building events and activities that involve members from both departments. This helps in breaking down barriers, building trust, and fostering a sense of camaraderie.
- Clear communication channels: Establish clear channels for sharing information and updates between the used car and service departments. This could be through shared software, regular email updates, or any other efficient method that keeps everyone informed.
- Recognition and appreciation: Recognize and appreciate employees from both departments for their efforts in working together and delivering exceptional customer service. Publicly acknowledge their collaborative achievements to boost morale.
- Customer feedback and improvement: Encourage both departments to seek feedback from customers, especially in cases where a used car customer has availed service. Use this feedback constructively to make improvements and address any issues that arise.
- Encourage a customer-centric approach: Emphasize the importance of putting the customer first in both departments. Remind employees that a satisfied customer, whether from the used car or service department, can lead to repeat business and positive referrals.
- Lead by example: Ensure that managers and leaders within both departments exhibit a cooperative and collaborative spirit. When employees see their leaders working together, they are more likely to follow suit.
By implementing these strategies, you can foster a culture of cooperation and mutual support between the used car and service departments, leading to a strong and productive relationship that benefits the dealership as a whole. In this market of declining values and tapering demand, it is a must. Reach out to us to discuss how our program sets this plan and drives this plan weekly for our dealer clients.
Founder & CEO
Double E Consulting Services, Inc. dba The Automotive Advisor Team