Training: The Key to Keeping Competitive Dealerships at Bay

One of the more interesting aspects of going through the car buying process is how the sales people always want to tell you about the dealership’s great service department. Terms such as award winning, 5-star rating and state-of-the-art facilities are often thrown around to describe the level of service that you can expect when you bring your vehicle in for service. Why is that? When you are buying a new car, one would presume that the last thing you want to be thinking about is having it serviced or potential mechanical problems. Yet, every dealership wants to put that topic front and center.

The reason is, while sales may take place in the front of the dealership, they understand full well that relationships and customer loyalty is built in the service bays. Vehicles for most people are not a luxury, but a necessity for getting to and from work, providing access to services such as grocery shopping and medical appointments, and in many instances, keeping their business operating. Every minute their car or truck spends sitting in the service bay is an interruption and could be costing them money.

This is why dealerships and auto manufacturers invest so many resources in training their technicians. They know that a bad experience with a service appointment can lead a customer to another dealership and can negatively impact the likelihood of them remaining loyal to the brand. Service technicians in today’s auto industry need to be educated on the latest developments in technology and be able to quickly diagnose and rectify the problem. Customers are no longer willing to simply wait while they try and figure out the problem, the industry is far too competitive and there are simply too many other options available.

Adding to the pressure is the fact that today’s automobiles have become more complex machines with more computers than the space shuttle. The idea that a technician could bring themselves up to speed on all of the developments is not only impractical, but nearly impossible. That is where training comes into play and why the training programs for auto technicians have evolved so significantly over the past several years. Today’s training programs are aimed at making the required knowledge available as an on-demand service. This way, after a technician has run the diagnostics and identified the problem he/she can quickly receive the reference material needed to fix the issue.

The world of auto service and repair has become as competitive as it has complicated. In many cases the dealership or manufacture that is best able to prepare its service teams to diagnose and rectify problems quicker than the competition will find itself at a competitive advantage and with happier and more loyal customers.