Who is Setting The Standard In Your Service Department

I have been around the block a bit when it comes to service departments, whether its in a mining environment or in an automotive environment. I have seen good, well organised departments and I have experienced absolute shit holes When I look at a service department from the outside, the one question that jumps out is “Who is setting the standard in the Service Department ?”

The answer to this question is critical, because if losers are setting the pace at a dealership, then that company is heading for trouble, if it’s not already knee-deep in shit and in a “hostage” situation. That’s right – a hostage situation – because that’s what losers do. They take you hostage and you don’t even know it. Then the winners are carrying the slack for the losers and resenting every minute of it.

It’s a vicious cycle because the more the losers whine, the more the winners take on more work and more resentment, and you end up having a potential explosive situation.

At some point, your winners get the message and turn into losers themselves because they see the writing on the wall: In this company, it’s better to conform than it is to perform. Being taken care of is more important than delivering the job and creating customer satisfaction (read that as higher revenues and increased productivity).

When business owners and higher management take their eyes off the ball, people begin to want the easy life where results are no longer required, customer service is obsolete and job performance is not a condition of keeping a job.

Are You A Hostage? How can you tell if you’re being held hostage by losers?

Managers want to create a large turf vs. creating results.
Managers want to be liked vs. confronting non-performers.
Managers feel better about letting things slide vs.holding people accountable for results.
Promotions and pay raises are given and people remain in their jobs because managers are afraid they can’t be replaced.
Bonuses are given because they are given and not because they are earned.
Managers put off performance reviews because they’re uncomfortable.
Managers are unwilling to raise the bar on performance requirements.
Managers spend more time with lower producing staff than top performers.
Managers treat everyone the same – high as well as low producers.
Managers would rather put up with what they have vs. finding the best.

So we have managers who are willing to be “politically correct” vs. taking a stand for the dealership and the customer.

In order to break out of a hostage situation, you should be willing to say “No” to being held hostage.
Yes, you might have to confront the losers, which is scary. But, when you do, you send a strong message to the winners.

Reward and support the winners and recognise their contributions but also be sure losers are appraised of their situations, trained, given adequate time to progress and challenged to come up to standard or be let go.

Everyone has to know that results are the bottom line rather than length of service, experience, credentials, who you know, or who you are related to. Its simple, winners are rewarded – losers are not.

Halting the spread of mediocrity within the workplace is a big step. Run your business like a team, not like a family. On a team, everyone carries an equal load.