Fixed Ops Journal – February 2016 - (Page 55)
FIXED OPS JOURNAL
Interviews by Richard Truett
minutes with ...
■ Frederiek Toney, vice president,
global Ford Customer Service,
Ford Motor Co.
Information as a competitive advantage in service
We are concerned about improving the overall experience of the
customer. The more information you can put out, the better the results tend to be. Information allows efficiency. Imagine a dealership where, when a customer shows up, we know who they are,
and we are able to use the latest technology to do a vehicle inspection [in] between 30 and 120 seconds.
What Ford dealers want for their fixed-ops departments
Dealers, I think, want to get great product support from Ford. We
are trying to make sure we become easier and easier to do business
with. Here's an example: We have greatly reduced the number of
parts where we require prior approval to do warranty work. We have
reduced that by about 70 percent. We are empowering the dealers on
a higher level to take care of customers. The time
to complete repairs is a key indicator of customer
satisfaction. And so we are enabling dealers to do
that much faster.
The aluminum-bodied F-150
With so much at stake with the new F-150,
everyone was very concerned. What people
hadn't realized is that things we couldn't talk
about, we had been working on for two or three
years. So when we revealed to the dealers our plan, their anxiety
began to come down. And now that we've been executing the plan,
it has gone better than we imagined. We have not had any issues
with respect to repairs. We have 650 [Ford-certified] body shops in
our network - dealers and independents - that provide geographic coverage. We provided the training, and they have the right
equipment. I'd say it's going well.
■ Ed Laukes, vice president of marketing,
performance and guest experience, Toyota
Motor Sales U.S.A.
Getting owners of older Toyotas to come back for service
That's been a huge initiative for us since July 2014 when we instituted a brand-new owner communication program to work with
customers with their upcoming maintenance at their local dealership. The focus was to make sure we were sending them relevant,
targeted and timely communications. So far it has done exactly
what we thought it would do. We are seeing about a 20 percent response rate.
The recall crisis and service staffing
I don't think that staffing is impacted by recalls. We have ToyotaCare, which is free maintenance for the first 24 months after a
new Toyota or Scion is sold, and we have ToyotaCare Plus that
adds another two years that a customer can purchase. Driving all
of this service into the service department really
has more of an impact than recalls on staffing
levels, and systems and processes service managers are putting in.
Customers' parts-and-service needs
Time. No one has enough time. So being efficient at everything you do in the service department, from the appointment process, to the
write-up process, to the repair and delivery
process - shrinking that time to make it the most efficient use of
someone's time is the most important thing we can do. The second
piece is always going to price and value. We're competing with the
Jiffy Lubes, the Firestones and the Goodyears, so there has to be a
value and price that is true to what the marketplace will bear.
Lessons from the industry's recalls
What we've learned is that we have to work very hard with our
suppliers to make parts available as soon as possible. And that's
what we do. It is not much different than what we did before, but
now there is heightened effort.
Offering tires in the service department
Dealers see the value in keeping the customer in their stores and
not sending them down to the local tire store. Because if they send
the customer down to the tire store, they become a customer of the
tire store and the odds of the customer coming back to the dealer
for maintenance is reduced. Dealers want to have a one-stop shop.
Everything a customer needs done can be done at a Toyota store.
On competing with nonoriginal body repair parts
We've made a concerted effort to educate our dealers, and we have
made some effort, digitally mostly, to educate the consumer about
the fitment of original equipment Ford parts. We also monitor our
competitiveness at all times.
We are very aggressive ensuring that we are the right choice for the
insurers and for the customers. By the time they look at the value
proposition, they are usually surprised at how competitive we are. We
are making a lot of improvements, and we will continue to make sure
we are competitive. ■
On competing with nonoriginal body repair parts
This is really driven by insurance companies. But we are working
with dealers and body shops on a value exposure proposition. I
think we are making some strides with some insurance companies. Also, insurance companies are looking at the situation and
saying to us, "If you can figure out a way to be reasonably competitive - not match what the non-OE part is but be reasonably competitive - in most instances, we are willing to have a talk with you
on offering genuine Toyota parts vs. the aftermarket." We can see
there is a light on the horizon, but we have a long way to go. ■
Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Fixed Ops Journal – February 2016
Editor’s Letter: Welcome to Fixed Ops Journal
Service Counter: Tracking fixed-ops numbers
Legal Lane: Court cases that affect you
Mobile mechanics: Do shop-free technicians threaten your business?
Mark Smith: A fixed-ops-focused dealer aims to change the industry
Adding capacity: Sales spur FCA, Subaru dealerships’ fixed-ops growth
Richard Truett: Toolmaker targets new techs
Designed for service: A look at a Minnesota dealership’s makeover
Weekend work: Service extends to Saturday, even Sunday
Tech exodus: How outdated policies worsen the tech shortage
Before Xtime: The origins of widely used scheduling software
Older parts: Toyota, Ford respond to older cars on the road
5 minutes with: Ford’s Toney, Toyota’s Laukes
Shop Talk: One question, multiple service directors
Fixed in Time: A look at service of yesteryear
Fixed Ops Journal – February 2016