Tune up the service department for big profit potential, says Dave Koshollek

Publish Date: 
Feb 15, 2013
By Dennis Johnson

Althoff said the problem is bad at one of his three dealerships and he figures it’s a service writer issue. He shared his solution with the table, and the group discussed how they’d integrate it into their own store’s practices.

For one, it’s imperative for a store to have a storage fee policy in place. The service writer should communicate this policy with the customer when the service appointment is made, when the vehicle is dropped off, and after the work is completed. The policy should be clearly communicated via signs in the service area, included on the work order and in person during each interaction.

The service writer should make daily rounds to check what bikes are being stored, and make daily calls to customers whose bikes are in storage to remind them. It’s also important, Althoff stressed, to keep records of any communication made with a customer whether it’s verbal or written.

When it comes to profit opportunities for service, Koshollek said there are a myriad ideas, however, many are overlooked by dealers. This is to their own peril as these are chances to improve parts to labor income, increase their parts to labor ratio, and better their customer loyalty and CSI scores.

One such opportunity is up-selling and cross-selling. The latter can be as simple as suggesting to a service customer a backrest for his wife or luggage for the first big touring ride of the spring.

Later in the year, Koshollek added, is a great time to offer heated grips as a way to beat the cold. Want to really drive the point home? Have the grips in an operational display that riders can warm their mitts on after a cold ride into the shop.