Fixed Ops Journal - December 2017 - 35

FIXED OPS JOURNAL

CRUDE AWAKENING

 Why I won't be going to a dealership for oil changes from now on

B

efore I bought my Chevrolet Cruze
last year, I hadn't visited a new-car
dealership's service department
for an oil change in about a decade.
It might be another decade before I go back.
You'd think that finding a Chevy dealership
here in Detroit to change the oil in my Cruze
would be simple and hassle-free. You'd be
wrong.
For my first attempt, I went online to schedRICHARD
ule an appointment at a Chevrolet store close
to work. Easy and quick.
TRUETT
But when I showed up
Fixed Ops Journal
a few minutes before my
1:30 appointment on a
Tuesday afternoon - figuring the service adviser
would need the extra time to enter my personal information and the car's vehicle identification number in the department's system - I got an unpleasant surprise.
The adviser looked at his computer screen, said
the dealership had no record of my appointment or
information, and told me the oil change couldn't
be done that day. He said the store was switching to
a new data management system, and that could
have caused the glitch.
As I headed home from work four hours later, a customer service representative from the dealership called and asked whether I was satisfied
with the oil change.
I tried to book online appointments at two other Chevy stores close to
home. On my home computer, an Apple MacBook, I visited the website
of one of the dealerships. Its service calendar showed no available
times for at least a month.
The next day at work, I tried again on a personal computer. I found
plenty of appointment times.
The other dealership also showed no available times online. When I
called, I was told I could bring my car in that day at 3:15 p.m. - if I was
prepared to wait at least an hour and 15 minutes for the oil change.
I called another Chevrolet store near work and asked whether I could
drop off my car before closing time. No problem, I was told.

"

But when I pulled into the service drive, no one met me. I walked inside and found one person working the service desk, juggling about five
jobs. Phones were ringing, techs were waiting with repair orders, and
the service adviser was nowhere to be found.
About 10 minutes later, I got a form to fill out. I handed over my keys
and caught a ride back to work with a colleague.
When I picked up my car that afternoon, I noticed that the Cruze's information screen was set to show the amount of air in the tires - part of
the safety inspection.
Yet the right rear tire was low and no one had bothered to top it off.
Feeling annoyed, I did that myself later.
If my experience with several dealerships over a
basic oil change was typical, is it any wonder that
many customers take their cars and trucks to quicklube places where they can show up without an appointment, get their oil changed and drive away in
a half-hour or less?
This isn't just a General Motors or Chevrolet
problem. Experts agree that oil and tire issues are
usually the first two reasons that service customers
drift away from new-vehicle dealerships.
I am nervous about telling service directors how
to run their business. But speaking as a customer,
this is what I want:
 To make an online service appointment easily
and intuitively, no matter what kind of computer or
mobile device I am using.
 To see the same basic web page template, regardless of the dealership. Perhaps GM should make its dealerships' service pages uniform,
whatever data management system they use.
 To get a simple service such as an oil change done quickly, properly
and without hassle.
This year, I visited Nurse Chevrolet-Cadillac in Whitby, Ontario, for
February's Fixed Ops Journal cover story about how the dealership has
made fast oil changes hugely profitable.
This is the most impressive operation I have ever seen at a dealership.
If every dealer used Nurse's template, service customers like me would
have no reason to go anywhere else.
But from now on - unless I am within striking distance of Nurse
Chevrolet - I'm changing my own oil. 

Experts agree that
oil and tire issues are
usually the first two
reasons that service
customers drift away
from new-vehicle
dealerships.

"

DECEMBER 2017

PAGE 35



Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Fixed Ops Journal - December 2017

Fixed Ops Journal - December 2017
Contents
Editor’s Letter
Service Counter
Legal Lane
Big verdict
Ho-ho-ho
Battery charge
Price is right
Tomorrow’s techs
Selling accessories
SEMA dreams
To the rescue
Profit Builder
Richard Truett
On the line
Letters
Real time
Feedback
After hours
Efficiency expert
Longer lasting
Shop Talk
Five Minutes With
Fixed in Time
Fixed Ops Journal - December 2017 - Intro
Fixed Ops Journal - December 2017 - Fixed Ops Journal - December 2017
Fixed Ops Journal - December 2017 - Cover2
Fixed Ops Journal - December 2017 - Contents
Fixed Ops Journal - December 2017 - Editor’s Letter
Fixed Ops Journal - December 2017 - 5
Fixed Ops Journal - December 2017 - Service Counter
Fixed Ops Journal - December 2017 - 7
Fixed Ops Journal - December 2017 - Legal Lane
Fixed Ops Journal - December 2017 - Big verdict
Fixed Ops Journal - December 2017 - 10
Fixed Ops Journal - December 2017 - 11
Fixed Ops Journal - December 2017 - Ho-ho-ho
Fixed Ops Journal - December 2017 - 13
Fixed Ops Journal - December 2017 - Battery charge
Fixed Ops Journal - December 2017 - 15
Fixed Ops Journal - December 2017 - 16
Fixed Ops Journal - December 2017 - 17
Fixed Ops Journal - December 2017 - 18
Fixed Ops Journal - December 2017 - 19
Fixed Ops Journal - December 2017 - 20
Fixed Ops Journal - December 2017 - 21
Fixed Ops Journal - December 2017 - Price is right
Fixed Ops Journal - December 2017 - 23
Fixed Ops Journal - December 2017 - Tomorrow’s techs
Fixed Ops Journal - December 2017 - 25
Fixed Ops Journal - December 2017 - 26
Fixed Ops Journal - December 2017 - 27
Fixed Ops Journal - December 2017 - Selling accessories
Fixed Ops Journal - December 2017 - 29
Fixed Ops Journal - December 2017 - SEMA dreams
Fixed Ops Journal - December 2017 - 31
Fixed Ops Journal - December 2017 - To the rescue
Fixed Ops Journal - December 2017 - 33
Fixed Ops Journal - December 2017 - Profit Builder
Fixed Ops Journal - December 2017 - Richard Truett
Fixed Ops Journal - December 2017 - On the line
Fixed Ops Journal - December 2017 - Letters
Fixed Ops Journal - December 2017 - Real time
Fixed Ops Journal - December 2017 - 39
Fixed Ops Journal - December 2017 - Feedback
Fixed Ops Journal - December 2017 - After hours
Fixed Ops Journal - December 2017 - Efficiency expert
Fixed Ops Journal - December 2017 - Longer lasting
Fixed Ops Journal - December 2017 - Shop Talk
Fixed Ops Journal - December 2017 - Five Minutes With
Fixed Ops Journal - December 2017 - Fixed in Time
Fixed Ops Journal - December 2017 - Cover3
Fixed Ops Journal - December 2017 - Cover4
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