We can all agree that customer retention in the Service Department trumps all. It brings long-term profitability, higher new vehicle resale rates, higher sales per RO, and increases in Customer Pay work. 

With that said, you will understand and salute the following concept: Granny rules!

Whatever you call your Grandmother: Mommy, Granny, Grandmama, Old Biddie, or whatever, Granny is a lovable soul who deserves your best, and relies on you to give her your best advice and care. So, imagine that Granny just pulled into your Service drive. What would you do and what would you not do? This is the genesis for the Granny Rules which are two non-negotiable, inviolable, set-in-stone mandates.  

Granny Rule #1: You will never, ever, ever sell Granny anything she does not need on her vehicle.

 Never! To do so is not just unethical, it is, well, anti-Granny and is not to be tolerated upon pain of death. Okay, maybe not death, but at least banishment from the family (and possibly your job). Therefore, you must absolutely believe in what you are recommending Granny needs. 

If a tech hands you an inspection sheet that has a number of questionable items (i.e. power steering flush with no power steering issues), then you have an obligation to question why they are recommending said service. And if a tech is recommending an unneeded service, then, in my opinion, his or her job should be in jeopardy. Knowingly recommending unnecessary services is closely bordering theft in my book. So, no recommendations to Granny that you don’t believe in absolutely and positively. Fair enough?

Granny Rule #2: You will always, always every time sell every service to Granny that she needs. 

Always! To do otherwise is doing a disservice to Granny! And to the techs, the Service Department, the Parts Department and the dealership as a whole! If you fail to present and sell every needed service or repair, then you are allowing Granny to drive a car that is unsafe, unreliable, prone to unexpected breakdown, not operating to manufacturer’s specifications, not achieving maximum fuel economy, and not holding its resale value! 

How, how, I ask, could you ever do that to Granny? Doesn’t she deserve to know that her car will start and stop safely, that there are no lights that are inoperable, and no wiper blades that are streaking and squeaking? Doesn’t she deserve PEACE OF MIND?? Of course she does. And if you never sell anything Granny doesn’t need then you can present whatever she needs with 100% confidence that she needs what you are presenting so you really aren’t selling anything are you? 

You are confidently presenting the services that she needs so no selling is necessary. Of course build value, build value, build value so that Granny understands what a deal she is getting and appreciates how you are taking care of her, and therefore, keeps you in her will.  

Maintain and observe the Granny rules and you will “sell” all you need, and do so with the knowledge that you are providing a valuable service to Granny.

Oh, and of course, every customer……….is Granny.

Coker Automotive Consultants logo  Brett Coker

 Coker Automotive Consultants

 Phone: (205) 337-2542

Coker Automotive Consultants is a proud fixed-ops content and in-dealership training partner of The Mar-Kee Group. To learn more, visit https://www.markeegroup.com/eAutotraining/Service-Advisor