Fixed Ops Journal - October 2020 - F22

FIXED OPS JOURNAL

David Auto's Matthews

Performance Auto's Latino

D

Volvo's Doering

CLIMBING
BACK
FOJ Forum focuses on recovery, recruiting and regrets
H
ow far has business climbed back
from the depths of the pandemic?
What's being done to win customers from independent repair facilities - and keep them? And how about the perennial challenge of recruiting and retaining
technicians?
Those questions and more were addressed
in a panel discussion during the first installment of the 2020 Fixed Ops Journal Forum on
Oct. 8. The third annual event is being held
online this year over five Thursdays.
The panelists were Scott Doering, vice president of customer service at Volvo Car USA;
Nick Latino, COO for fixed ops at Performance
Auto Group (Ford, Lincoln, Mazda, Honda,
Hyundai, Genesis, Buick-GMC) in New Jersey;
and Dawn Matthews, service and parts director at David Auto Group (Chrysler-DodgeJeep-Ram) in Glen Mills, Pa.
Here are edited highlights on select topics.
The current state of business
Matthews: We're climbing back. We're
somewhat where we were prior to [COVID19]. We're at 100 percent efficiency; we'd like
to be at 130. The hours are doing great. However, we're seeing a decrease in customer-[pay] repair orders, so we're focusing a lot
on internal. We have a lot of warranty [work].
Latino: We're almost back where we need to
be, but we still have a lot of room for improvement. And I think that starts with our frontline crew. The customer that's coming in now
is not your average customer [from] before
this pandemic. Everyone is really, really
scared of what's going on. We have to make
that a comfortable atmosphere when they
come into the dealership and make them feel
that we're there for them.
Doering: It's been sort of a slow climb back

PAGE 22

OCTOBER 2020

Time for discussion

Watch the final 3 Fixed Ops Journal
Forum sessions and replay the first 2
by registering for free at autonews.
com/fojforum.

Oct. 22
Lessons Learned During a Pandemic
Featuring Peter Chung, Magic Toyota;
Fred Fordin, CDK Global; Scott Gregg,
Tucson Subaru; Rick Wegley, NCM
Associates

Oct. 29
What's Here to Stay and Why
Featuring: David Bergamotto, Park
Avenue BMW; Jim Henne, Performance
Toyota/Volvo; Larry Hourcle, NADA
Academy; Ed Roberts, Bozard Ford

Nov. 5
Technologies on the Horizon - a
bonus session sponsored by CDK
Global
Featuring: Stephen Gannon, CDK
Global; Kim Saylor, CDK Global

to where we were. We're almost there. We've
seen a reduction in the number of ROs. We are
doing well today with warranty ROs and warranty business, but we haven't seen customer
pay return as quickly. People are deferring
things when they can, and I think that's what's
hurting us.
Steps to improve customer retention
Doering: In our network we've seen a much
quicker adoption of digital solutions. When
you find needed work and you can transparently share that via video or a photograph, it
creates trust with the consumer. That is really

the evolution of the industry and where it's
going.
Matthews: Part of retention is training our
staff, making sure that the service lane moves
smoothly, making sure that advisers are up
and ready to greet that customer as soon as
they come out of their car. I really believe that
our employees will help us get out of this flux
that we're in right now, but we have to take the
time to train them. And we have to demand
the very best from them.
Latino: One of the things that we've done is
we make the customer's next service appointment. We follow up with an email right after
that or call them, text them ... all different avenues [that] we can touch base with that customer.
The competition
Latino: People think that the aftermarket is
cheaper. Is it better? Absolutely not. We have
factory-trained technicians. We have warranty on our parts. Whoever's in front of that customer needs to express that and build value
added to the repair order.
Doering: I think there's going to be a big capital investment in technology because the
margins are so high in our business. If we just
look at the chains, the Amazons, I think there's
going to be a significant investment around
creating a better customer experience.
Recruiting and retaining technicians
Matthews: It's very, very hard to recruit a
technician. These new kids that are coming
out of school, they want their life to look different than some of my technicians that have
been in the business for 30 years or more.
They're very interested in, "What does my time
see FORUM, next page



Fixed Ops Journal - October 2020

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Fixed Ops Journal - October 2020

Contents
Fixed Ops Journal - October 2020 - Intro
Fixed Ops Journal - October 2020 - F1
Fixed Ops Journal - October 2020 - F2
Fixed Ops Journal - October 2020 - Contents
Fixed Ops Journal - October 2020 - F4
Fixed Ops Journal - October 2020 - F5
Fixed Ops Journal - October 2020 - F6
Fixed Ops Journal - October 2020 - F7
Fixed Ops Journal - October 2020 - F8
Fixed Ops Journal - October 2020 - F9
Fixed Ops Journal - October 2020 - F10
Fixed Ops Journal - October 2020 - F11
Fixed Ops Journal - October 2020 - F12
Fixed Ops Journal - October 2020 - F13
Fixed Ops Journal - October 2020 - F14
Fixed Ops Journal - October 2020 - F15
Fixed Ops Journal - October 2020 - F16
Fixed Ops Journal - October 2020 - F17
Fixed Ops Journal - October 2020 - F18
Fixed Ops Journal - October 2020 - F19
Fixed Ops Journal - October 2020 - F20
Fixed Ops Journal - October 2020 - F21
Fixed Ops Journal - October 2020 - F22
Fixed Ops Journal - October 2020 - F23
Fixed Ops Journal - October 2020 - F24
Fixed Ops Journal - October 2020 - F25
Fixed Ops Journal - October 2020 - F26
Fixed Ops Journal - October 2020 - F27
Fixed Ops Journal - October 2020 - F28
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