For the month of November, we want to highlight the different roles in the Service Department. This week – the Service Manager.

The service manager is a role that is often misunderstood. In many dealerships, the service manager was a great tech who no longer wanted to do repairs, so was promoted. I understand the desire to not lose a good tech, however, seldom does a great tech become more than an average service manager. This is because most service technicians prefer machines to people, especially people that come in unhappy. Yet, everything about the key parts of their job has to do with dealing with customer issues.

When I think of a service manager, I don’t need someone with incredible diagnostic skills, but someone who can communicate to the technicians, the parts department, the manufacturers and, most importantly, to customers. I also need a service manager who can motivate technicians and sell 8 hours of time every day.

That measurement can take two forms: production, which is the measurement of time paid to a technician vs. the amount of time a tech was turning a wrench, or recovery, which is the measurement of time the technician billed vs. the amount of time they were paid. The service manager’s goal is to have a production level at 100% during the busy season and no less than 85% during off season and training time.

The role of the Service Manager includes the following:

  • Check-in equipment
  • Communicate with customers
  • Assign work to technicians
  • Schedule daily tasks
  • Complete estimates
  • Check out/ close work orders
  • Finalize warranty work
  • Monitor completion times

Be sure that you have clearly defined the role of your service manager as this key role brings strong communication skills, follow-through and motivation to your dealership.