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The Service Experience Domino Effect

Article Highlights:

  • Manual, redundant tasks in service are holding you and your employees back.
  • Efficient processes lead to better experiences for customers and employees.

Everyone knows what the ideal customer experience in the service department looks like: quick, convenient, and transparent. Customers expect the focus to be on them, to be in and out quickly, and to feel like they’re getting a fair deal on every transaction.

What often gets overlooked, however, is to deliver an ideal customer experience, you must first perfect the employee experience.

Employees who are perpetually overwhelmed, distracted, or disgruntled by inefficient processes are simply not going to deliver the kind of customer experience that inspires long-term loyalty. A 2018 Gallup poll found 67 percent of employees experience burnout, with 44 percent feeling this at least sometimes and 23 percent feeling it very often or always.

Another study found that 20 percent of engaged employees (“high performers”) reported feeling burned out. And burnout contributes to turnover, costing U.S. businesses between $150 and $350 billion each year.

One example of many is frustration around pricing. What seems like a simple task in your service drive could actually turn into a tedious one when information has to be rekeyed, the system is misquoting, and employees are trying to get prices to match between systems. Imagine what happens when that is compounded on other inefficiencies.

So how can dealers respond? Is there a way to improve your employees’ day-to-day job experience and boost retention that will have a positive domino effect on your customer experience?

The answer is yes. In fact, there’s a common denominator that improves both the employee and the customer experience in your service department: efficiency.

Efficiency Transforms Working in Service for the Better

Consider what happens when you build your service department on a foundation of efficiency.

Sure, one big benefit is you can cut costs and boost profitability by saving time, whether it’s by eliminating misquoting with an immediate pricing tool or enabling instant communication between advisors and technicians via real-time notifications.

And yes, you can also increase revenue by equipping your advisors with more customer-facing tools and requiring them to follow a standardized process, including the upsell.

But, there’s another critical benefit of efficiency that too many dealers miss: You can also transform the day-to-day, 9-5 work experience of your employees by eliminating redundancies and tedious, multistep manual processes.

Those processes are ultimately a result of the system running your service department, as well as the various third-party solutions you have in place that claim to make your business run better. But what is happening under the surface?

Is every one of those solutions in perfect sync with the others? Are redundancies like data reentry, which create unnecessary additional work for your employees and increase the chances of a costly error, built into your existing processes?

Is it possible that in your quest to improve your service department, your various solutions are actually making your employees’ jobs needlessly more complicated? They could be slowing down productivity, pulling employees away from more profitable tasks, and ultimately hurting your bottom line.

It might seem counterintuitive, but implementing more solutions does not automatically equal a better work environment.

Allow me to suggest a better alternative: Streamline your approach by investing in a single system that can do all of the above. In other words, build on a foundation of efficiency.

When a single system can handle, and often automate, the workflows within your service department from start to finish, your employees are free to focus on more profitable activities (namely, customer interactions).

Those uses are also more meaningful to your employees’ job satisfaction and therefore less likely to cause burnout.

Conclusion

Focusing on efficiency can transform the job experience in your service department for the better. It can alleviate the most manual, tedious, and time-consuming tasks for your employees, freeing them up to pursue more rewarding activities that make you, and them, more efficient and profitable. A win-win.

Decide today to invest in the single system approach and perfect your employees’ job experience. The benefits will far outweigh the costs.

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Product Planning, Reynolds and Reynolds

Jeff Adams is a Product Planning manager for Service applications at Reynolds and Reynolds.

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