Why All the Transfers?

Ohhh the dreaded transferred call. There are many times in business that streamlining a process is the best for the business and for the customer. But there are sometimes it is just not the case.

This is where the separation of Parts and Service comes in. I have mentioned how the parts department is its own animal in other posts, but I need to really drive it home here. The parts department is like a dictionary for everything brand “X” is. There are so many moving pieces and reference pages that, sticking the job of quoting parts to anyone else other than a parts representative is just plain unfair. Not only to the person handling the call but to the customer as well. A great parts representative is a crucial piece to a dealership running smoothly in all facets.

A great service department is the same. We rely on service representatives to take data from the parts department, their technicians and the manufacturer then put them all in a pretty organized package tied with a bow. The service advisor needs to make sure that what comes out of their mouth makes sense and is easy for a customer to understand when it comes to how parts are installed and how work is done.

This leads me back to my original question. The transfers are important because getting a mechanical component installed into a vehicle is not just a one-person job. It takes the customer to know what they need, a parts rep to know how to reference it, and an advisor to quote out labor time and availability. In a perfect world having one person assist the customer from cradle to grave would be great. But there is no one person (that I know of) that can perform that task. There may be a mom-and-pop shop out there that may do that for the customer, however they still most likely have to call to a parts supplier before they can quote out the job.

Would I love to know how to look up parts myself when the customer calls? Yes. I would be amazing. BUT I would be overwhelmed and frustrated by the end of the day. Keeping quoting separate is going to ensure that parts are quoted correctly and that availability for an appointment is given appropriately.

So, what I’m trying to get at is at the end of the day, transferring a customer back and forth is a necessary evil. As long as there is a smooth transition from the parts rep to the advisor, and back again (if a deposit is needed on an SOP part), the customer should be just fine. It is when there is a breakdown of communication between the three parties that the problem comes along.

So how should this work then to make sure this process stays effective? The parts advisor and service advisor need to give all the information to the customer that they can, and then direct them on how to proceed. And the directions they give to the customer should be the same every time. If we do not give the customer direction, they get passed around on the phone like hot potato and the person that finally gets them is just as confused. If we falter here parts don’t get ordered and appointments don’t get made. Essentially, we all need to keep doing our jobs and things will work out just fine.

What do you think? What process do you use at your store?

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