Talk with a Dynatron Sales Representative Today: 1.866.888.3962Request a Meeting

When we think about what makes a highly successful Service Advisor, there are several habits our Dynatron Coaches have seen demonstrated over and over again. 


Here are 8 habits of the most successful Service Advisors: 


  1. Strategically Plan Appointment times: It’s best to schedule no more than 3 customers per Advisor per hour to ensure each customer receives the appropriate service. 
  2. Daily Action Plan: Each Advisor should review vehicle history, recalls, declined services, special order parts, and maintenance needs the day before the customer arrives for service.
  3. Meeting & Greeting: Train and prepare each Advisor to properly meet and greet each customer on the phone or in person.
  4. Listening Skills: Train each Advisor on the proper listening skills and how to identify the customer’s prime items by asking the right questions.
  5. Multi-Point Analysis: There should be a proper walk-around and multi-point inspection, as well as finding commonality with each customer to build a relationship with trust.
  6. Menu Presentation: Each Advisor should present a menu using features and benefits.
  7. Customer Promise: Train Advisors on how to properly prepare and review repairs or maintenance needed as well as the time needed to complete the vehicle.
  8. Close The Sale: Train Advisors on how to properly ask for the sale.


Schedule a Demo!



1. Appointment Process


The Appointment Process is the most important habit to have, and without it, none of the other seven items listed will be implemented on a sustainable level. Simply put, most Service Advisors DON’T have enough time!


Let’s take a look at an example of a realistic Appointment Process:


Technician working on car that is raised overheadFour customers are scheduled to arrive at the dealership for one of the advisors at 7am. The next round of appointments are scheduled for 7:30am and so on. If any of these customers are late, the Service Manager goes into what we call the “Fire Fighter” mode. This usually leads to “damage control” by discounting service items due to an inefficient appointment process. How can anyone expect this Service Advisor to have high CSI, high sales, and high customer retention? This Service Advisor is unable to do their job, let alone try and build a strong relationship with the customer! It’s virtually impossible! Time management is the key!


Allowing your customers to “just bring it in” will never work and cause your customer to defect. Understanding the benefits will allow you to maximize your appointment system from “day before” preparation to “same day” follow through. 


Next we will cover the next three habits that are crucial in building a strong relationship with every customer in depth. We call this the “Communication Process” and review how important it is to the success of your service operation.



2. Daily Action Plan


The “Daily Action Plan” will allow you to prepare for each customer and include the following benefits:


  1. Less Stress for the Service Advisor
  2. More time to build a relationship with each customer
  3. Fewer mistakes which will lead to increased customer confidence


Here’s a list of what’s in our Daily Action Plan:


  1. Appointment List
  2. Route Sheet
  3. Pre-Write Work Order
  4. 27-Point Inspection Form
  5. Recall or Campaign Information
  6. Appropriate Service Menu
  7. Customer History


The route sheet process for the Service Advisor is followed throughout the day in order to keep the customer informed on the repair process from beginning to end. It also allows the Service Advisor to see how much time they have to sell each day based on carryovers, appointments, and technician availability. We have found it to be a huge piece of the puzzle when it comes to promising customer pick up times. The big difference between computerized route sheets and paper route sheets is that it’s always right in front of the Service Advisor as a constant reminder for follow up. 


Next, pull out the appointment list and start reviewing campaigns, recalls, and of course, customer history. Pre-print a work order so we can review the contact information with the customer for correctness, any notes or recommendations we made from our history review, what the customer is coming in for, and any maintenance needs based on time or mileage. Many times, we have found that even though your customer reviews your computer screen and agrees that the information is correct, often times, it is not correct. By handing the customer the “pre-write” to review, correct customer information can be assured. We also have either the advisor or cashier call each customer to confirm the appointment and any “no-shows” from the previous day in order to re-schedule those missed appointments.


Next, we staple any information we need to review with the customer (Menu, Recall, Campaign, History) and put it in a file or work order holder at the time of each appointment. Arranging the files by appointment, each advisor knows when the next customer is scheduled to pull up, allowing them time to review the customer’s information in order to greet them out at their car by name.



3. Meet & Greet


Two men reviewing information on a clipboardWhen the customer arrives it’s time for the third habit to come into play, the “Meet and Greet” Process. Now you will see why effectively setting up your Daily Action Plan is so important to this third habit. Could you imagine your doctor walking into the room to visit with you and he/she hasn’t reviewed your file or even know your name? Same goes for the service customer who shows up for their appointment and you ask the customer what’s your name? Or better yet….”Let me go get the VIN number and I’ll be right back”. This is happening in 90% or more of the dealers we visit and many dealers’ wonder why their customers defect


Remember a customer is out of their comfort zone if they step out of their car and greet you first in the service drive. We need to make it convenient for them to do business with us as the customer will remember the advisor first, not the dealership or product.



4. Listening Skills

Let’s move onto the fourth habit which is equally important as any other. Our Coaches have been in hundreds of dealerships and one of the things we have found everywhere is how advisors think FOR the customer, instead of thinking OF the customer. Unfortunately, it’s one of those habits that’s not easy to break. We have to practice more “active listening” if we are ever going to scratch this record and record a new one.


Let’s take a look at some facts how the average person listens and speaks.


  1. We speak around 135-175 words per minute
  2. We listen at around 400-500 words per minute


Here’s some of the things we have witnessed concerning Service Advisors on the Drive over the years:


  1. Not Being Prepared
  2. No Eye Contact
  3. Ignoring The Customer
  4. Interrupting The Customer Before They Finish
  5. Assuming That They Already Know What The Customer Is Going To Say
  6. External Distractions When Listening To The Customer


This is a short list, however it covers a lot of ground. A good start to building an active listening process in your service operation is to have each advisor take a self-evaluation on how well they listen through a series of ranking questions we have available.



5. The “Walk Around” Process


If you decide to skip one of these fundamental items, your “Walk Around” Process will fail. Here are the steps your advisors should be following: 


  1. Greet the customer by name at their vehicle and confirm what they are coming in for, or the “Prime Item”. 
  2. Ask if there was anything else they might have noticed on their way into the shop today that they may want us to look at. 
  3. Ask the customer how many miles are on the vehicle to get the customer “engaged” with the process. We do not want to start recording the vehicle identification number, or ask the customer to “Pop the Hood” before creating the relationship which is crucial to the “Meet and Greet” Process. 
  4. Perform a light check with the customer by advising them to step on the brake, turn the key to the on position, turn their lights on and put the car in reverse. This sets up the “Walk Around” starting at the left front door.
  5. Make your way to the rear looking for any body or wheel damage, engaging the customer in casual conversation as we proceed. Once we are at the rear of the vehicle, look for any signage, bumper stickers, roof racks, or a trailer hitch so we can find some commonality to talk about with the customer. 
  6. Record findings, such as inoperative bulbs, most common are license tag or brake lamp bulbs.
  7. Perform a vital fluid inspection. 


6. Menu Presentation


When the walk around is complete, have the customer join you back at your write up area. This is the time to review the prime item(s), maintenance needs based on time or mileage (Service Menu/Quote), reviewing each item with a one “Package Price”. Lastly, confirm all operations and completion time.



7. Customer Promise


This is the stage were you review everything you’re going to do and by what time. Don’t forget to have the customer review the pre-work order to make sure all contact information is correct. The number one thing a customer is waiting to hear is when the vehicle will be completed. If you forget to update the customer throughout the day, they WILL call to ask, “What’s up with my car?” At this point, the customer trust factor is in trouble.



8. Close The Sale


Two women reviewing data on a clipboardThe best way to make a customer say yes is to build a relationship through trust, without fancy closing scripts. At this point, all you need to do is ask for the sale. “Mr./Ms. Customer, the total price is $369.95 which includes all taxes and fees, I can have it done by 3:00 PM. All I need is your “OK” (Sign) to get started”. Nothing else needs to be said until the customer has responded. If you have provided enough value in your presentation, the customer will purchase. If the customer decides not to buy, then ask why because they will tell you. Once they tell you, you can now provide “new” information to close the sale.






If you follow these 8 habits consistently, you will be more successful in building customer trust, one customer at a time! Dynatron Software makes running your Fixed Operations easier and more profitable, reach out to learn about the opportunities that exist in your Fixed Ops department!