Workforce Development

Certified has Become the Name of the Game in the Automotive Industry

Manufacturers and car dealerships recognize the importance of the driver-technician relationship as it relates to the repeat buying of a brand. That’s why those who sell cars and trucks often go to great lengths to promote the competence of their service departments and technicians.

Today, “certified” is the buzzword dealers use to convey excellence in the auto industry. Enhanced training programs for those who repair or maintain trucks and automobiles have become the method brands embrace to differentiate their service technicians from the competition. Better access to training on demand in the forms of web-based trainings, computer simulations, and other digital media tools has allowed service departments to certify more of their technicians across broader areas of service. This has become increasingly important as competing brands continue to use certification and service as a marketing tool and competitive differentiator.

A great example of this was when GM stopped using the familiar Mr. Goodwrench moniker to convey its services offerings in favor of the term Certified Service to describe its capabilities. In announcing this decision two years ago, GM spokesman Steve Hill said: “This is more than a name change — it is a declaration of our commitment to our customers. Certified Service supports GM’s strategy to focus on the four brands… [and is] a natural extension of the customer’s vehicle purchase experience at the dealership.”

Relationships with service departments and technicians commonly begin through a referral from a trusted source. A good experience will most often lead to loyalty from a customer and new sales referrals for a dealership. Conversely, a bad experience will almost guarantee that drivers will bring their business elsewhere and complain along the way. Customer satisfaction with service has become an issue of increased importance for manufacturers and dealerships, which has elevated training from an administrative issue to a powerful tool in the battle for customer growth and retention.

Effective diagnostics and repairon today’s most sophisticated automobiles require regular training for service technicians to ensure that the amount of time a customer’s vehicle is tied up in a service bay is minimized and that the problem is rectified the first time, every time. Continuous training may seem arduous to achieve, but with new technology and offerings such as Web-based on-demand training and e-Learning content developed specifically for mobile devices, dealerships can ensure their technicians stay up to speed without much difficulty. This eliminates delays and customer frustration which is often the reason cited for taking their business elsewhere. There is also tremendous benefit to the dealership in that certified technicians are more efficient and can service more vehicles in a shorter period of time, keeping customers happy and making the service department more profitable.

While sales will always take place in the front of the dealership, loyalty and consumer confidence will continue to be built in the service department. You can certify that.

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