Wednesday, February 15, 2012

The Brutal Facts about Call Centers!

We have a Dealer who asked us to find out why his Customer Pay R.O. count is dropping every month. We know the Dealer is using a Major Call center to receive in coming calls and make appointments for the service department. They also call customers who are due for their next scheduled service as well as customers who have declined previous repairs & recommended services to set future appointments.

We had this Call Center send us the last 20 calls they recorded so we could listen to how they were being done. WOW! What we found was out of the 20 calls we reviewed, only 4 appointments were made! That means 16 out of 20 Customers who either wanted to make an appointment or were called said No! This is a Red Flag for any Dealership!

The major problem we found was the Call Center was trying to “Sell” the customer repairs and maintenance over the phone instead of just making the appointment and let our Service Advisor's build the Relationship &Trust “in person” which is needed to allow the customer to buy. The phone script being used is targeted on making a sale over the phone which we have found over the years is the fastest way to loose a customer to your competition. If you have not built a Relationship with your customer, the fact is they won't buy!

The real scary part of this is most customers will never tell you why they never came back. So I urge you as I have in the past to listen to 20 or more calls being made to your customers and ask yourself would I make an appointment after listening to the Call Center “pitch”?  If you’re unable to get the recorded version then just call into your Dealership and make an appointment.

Remember that 80% or more of your Service Department Revenue is coming from the phones and should be the most important part of your Service Operation business model. Also as an industry we have year after year lost 50% or more of our customers to the competition due to things just like this.

If you would like us to assist you in building a Phone Process for your Dealership give us a call and we will be happy to help!

Guy Salkeld is the President and Head Performance Coach of Automotive Consultants Group Inc. The only Low Risk High Return Training, Coaching, and Consulting company in the world! To learn more go to  Have a question? E-Mail Guy directly at or Call me direct at: 305-331-3373    

Tuesday, February 14, 2012


 We have updated this Super Group Fixed Operations Mastermind Program and here are the details! We are going to select up to "10 Dealerships" from all the applications we receive. We are looking for Dealerships who want to achieve unrealistic goals by December 31 2013.

If you’re selected, we will meet in Fort Lauderdale for 3 days in January-9th-11th 2013 to evaluate your opportunities. Dave and I will then take you through our tried and proven strategies, systems, and tools and work one on one with each of you to create a Plan of Action, step by step to achieve these Unrealistic Goals we have set for 2013.

This will be followed up by a 1 week visit to each Dealership to “Kick Start” the program off. This will be followed by weekly Live Virtual Performance Group meetings with your Mastermind Super Group to track and discuss how well you are doing based on a Group Ranking Process.

This "Mastermind Super Group” is not for everyone and we’re only selecting "10 Dealers" so we can concentrate on a small group.

Minimum Expectations (Goals) for the Mastermind Super Group:
  • 100% Service Absorption
  • 30% Increase or more in Customer Pay Gross Profit Parts & Service over last year 
  • 70% Customer Retention or more
  • Minimum 80% "FIRST Time Off Shelf Fill Rate" in the Parts Department
This program is for you if:
  • Your tired of not Achieving your Budget, Goals or Forecasts year after year
  • Your tired of Entitlement and want Accountability
  • You want to “Achieve Unrealistic Goals”
  • Your tired of "Rewarding Tenure instead of Performance"
  • Your tired of “Trial and Error”
  • You want your Team to "Accept Responsibility for their Results"
  • You want to share your “Ideas, Problems & Concerns” with your “Peer Group”  
If you feel your up to the challenge and want to
 Make Next(2013) Year Your Best Year: 

                              REGISTER HERE

Guy Salkeld is the President and Head Performance Coach of Automotive Consultants Group Inc. The only Results Based High Return Training, Coaching, and Consulting company in the world! To learn more go to  Have a question? E-Mail Guy directly at or Call me direct at: 305-331-3373    

The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly! (Part 1)

I was speaking with one of my dealers about Technician Pay Plans and he said I have to do something because the one we have rewards those for no extra effort. Well, I have worked with a lot of different pay plans over the years and found the only way to pay anyone in any business is pay them on performance.

I have seen 90% of dealers install a pay plan without thinking about the consequences. The number one thing I found is the employee has no clear Job Description of what he's getting paid for and if there is a Job Description, it hasn't been reviewed in years or updated for current times.

Then I hear this famous quote: "I can't get my employees to do what I ask!" and not understand that you teach what you allow! What do I mean? If a Technician walks in late did you address it with him/her? 

If an advisor is late coming back from lunch did you address it right then? If not your teaching every employee that it's OK to be late to work or lunch because there will be no consequence to pay.

How can we expect our employees to be productive without a Job Description? If we’re not Training, Coaching, and Consulting them on what their expected to do everyday while they’re working for you, what results can we expect?  

I just don't understand the thinking, or lack of thinking of why anyone would think they would be  productive! I also have seen many really good employees with great attitudes get fired for not knowing what is expected of them to begin with!

I have seen over and over again where a dealership hires a Service Advisor, Service Manager, Cashier, Porter, Technician, etc., then handed a pen and told to go to work because they should know what to do because they have done this before. 

They don't even know were the bathroom is or what stall to work in, or how to close out the cash box for the night! It's unreal but true!

Here's what I know works every time and you will never fire anyone again. I always build a Job Description with pay plan first for a position I want to fill that makes good business sense. I review the Job Description with the potential new hire.

I have everyone fill out a Behavior Profile and make sure that Behavior matches the Job Description before I proceed. Then I have twenty interview questions I use to see if this person fits my Job Description.

I then have them come back for a third time and let someone else interview them and make sure we agree on this person for the job. This takes a lot of the guess work out of the decision making process. 

Then of course, after we make the decision to hire them  and it's off to drug testing, background checks, driver license checks, etc.

When this is completed, I have them come in for the orientation process. We review the employee handbook,  give them a tour of the dealership to meet everyone, show them where everything is and review the Job Description with pay plan once again. 

Finally, I get their signature stating that they agree with all the above as well as their agreement to follow it.

The fun has just begun! This is the time we start the Training Process on our business model on how we build relationships with our customers, employees, and vendors through timeless Basic Fundamentals until they prove they can follow it or not.

 If they can, then we can then go into the Daily Coaching Process until they’re achieving the Objectives and Goals set for a customer sensitive and profitable business.

That's when the consulting process comes in. This is the fine tuning needed to have a top performing employee through performance reviews daily. Remember what is measured can be managed and what we allow, we teach! 

The accountability process is where the tire meets the pavement. If you never want to fire another employee again then you must hold everyone accountable for their performance in writing.

I can't tell you how many times a manager went to fire someone only to find out nothing has been documented and either the dealer was getting sued, or you were not able to let this employee go due to their union contract! 

Don't let this happen to you and document everything you do with each employee. They will respect you for it more then just talking about what happened!

Now, as I said "Never Fire an Employee Again"…this can be achieved  if you follow these guidelines and build your own Employee Hire to Fire Process. 

When the time comes to review, if they don’t meet or exceed expectations within a certain time period they will fire themselves based on the agreement you have with them on what is good, great, or ugly performance as long as it is written up and signed.

I always ask them…when continuous performance is not up to standards, what would you do if you were in my seat? They always say I would let you go! This Hire to Fire process is the Basic Fundamentals of any business whether it’s a hamburger stand or a car dealership!

Remember turnover cost is huge and your customer is the one who suffers for all the confusion they have to go through and usually never come back because of it.

If you need any assistance putting together your Employee Hire to Fire business model let me know.

Guy Salkeld is the President and Head Performance Coach of Automotive Consultants Group Inc. The only Low Risk High Return Training, Coaching, and Consulting company in the world! To learn more go to  Have a question? E-Mail Guy directly at or Call me direct at: 305-331-3373