There are two powersports dealership staff positions that we tend to mis-classify as “Entry-Level” jobs. In reality, these positions significantly affect the productivity and profitability of your dealership. These folks also have considerable influence on your level of customer satisfaction.
Let’s look at the lowly shipping/receiving position. This person touches thousands of dollars of incoming and outgoing parts and accessories inventory. Think of these as boxes filled with dollars – YOUR dollars. They are responsible for checking in these shipments; verifying packing lists and comparing them against orders. They must ensure P&A is properly categorized and received into the DMS. They must stock the P&A on the shelves and notify the right people about any special orders received.
Many of them are also responsible for taking care of parts-to-service. How well they handle this can affect your service department’s productivity. In addition, they prepare and ship customer orders and supplier returns…along with many other tasks.
Do you really want to entrust this to an “entry-level” person, or would you prefer someone who is sharp, mature, honest, has a great attitude, an analytical personality and has been trained on inventory control?
Next, let’s look at the service writer position. This person is responsible for handling your service customers. The average powersports customer purchases around 7-8 units during their powersports life-span. This first impression touch-point can make or break your opportunity to establish a relationship with this customer and capture the remainder of their unit sales.
The service writer is responsible for uncovering and documenting the customer’s wants and needs. They need to complete a thorough walk-around to ensure they identify all needed repairs and services at the time of the write-up while maximizing upsell opportunities. This is a sales position that requires selling and customer relations skills and training. Surprisingly, few dealers provide their service writers with sales training. Quite often, the service writer is also responsible for dispatching the repairs to the appropriate tech while monitoring the hours available for all the techs.
Service writers should take ownership of the Repair Order from start to finish, including adding required technician notes. If there is need of additional repairs or the estimate must be revised, the service writer should handle this process. When the job is completed, the service writer notifies the customer and establishes a time for pick-up.
The RO is a significant legal document: that requires the writer to have knowledge of state laws and regulations that affect authorized signatures and phone authorizations, among other things. They have to ensure that the RO is signed, it documents the work requested, the cause of any issues and what was done to correct the issues.
As with the shipping/receiving person, this is actually a key position that significantly affects your dealership’s operation. Do you really want to use an entry-level person who doesn’t necessarily have the proper attitude, aptitude or training for this job?