Nissan is doing well in the overall auto market. The company has managed to claim over 10% of the North American market share – up from around 7% in 2011.
Sales continue to grow, customer satisfaction is rising, and the company’s emphasis on light trucks, crossovers, and mid-sized sedans has placed it in a great position for continued expansion.
However, there is one area where Nissan has historically had issues – service departments. Though satisfaction with Nissan’s vehicles and sales process is at an all-time high, many Nissan service departments are experiencing difficulties even reaching industry averages in customer satisfaction for everyday service needs.
Dealers are falling behind on selling services like brake pad installation, oil changes, and other basic maintenance services. Even when these services are sold, inefficiencies in service departments often lead to long wait times, and a lower level of customer satisfaction.
In turn, this low customer satisfaction leads to consumers getting their cars serviced at third-party mechanics – leading to lost profits.
Nissan estimated that their dealers are missing out on more than $1.4 billion in annual revenue due to sub-par service – and they’ve implemented a plan to help drive more service sales, increase customer satisfaction, and help dealers regain lost profits. Here’s how.
Hire More Service Technicians
First and foremost, Nissan has emphasized the need to hire more experienced service technicians and make automotive service a more appealing career path for young people, who are increasingly less likely to join a trade-based industry, such as auto repair.
According to Nissan, the average dealer service department is short anywhere from 3-5 technicians – which leads to long wait times, and lower customer satisfaction rates.
Nissan plans to launch an innovative recruiting website sometime this year that will help recruit dealer technicians through a national campaign, and is currently considering incentive programs like paying for technician’s shop tools – which can often cost somewhere between $6,000 and $12,000.
By recruiting larger numbers of smart, motivated technicians, Nissan service centers will be able to offer better service and increase customer satisfaction, which will lead to higher profits for car dealerships Langley bypass – and increased growth for the company.
Use Smart Analytics To Provide Better Service
Smart analytics tools are also being investigated by Nissan, as a way to reduce the costs associated with service technicians while still providing maximum quality-of-service to customers.
Advanced analytics will be very helpful in scheduling technicians – with comprehensive data sets, dealers can easily find the times and days during which they’re likely to have a lot of service requests, and schedule enough technicians to provide high-quality, fast service.
And conversely, analytics programs will help Nissan schedule fewer technicians during off-hours, reducing waste, and increasing profits.
Reduce Service Advisor Turnover Rate
Car Service Advisors (CSAs) have a very high turnover rate in the automotive industry. An average year-by-year turnover rate of 41% is not uncommon, and slow, inefficient service departments can exacerbate turnover problems.
When CSAs don’t feel supported by automotive technicians, and they lack the basic tools that they need to perform their jobs well, they will leave – that’s just a fact.
Nissan plans to address this issue by providing CSAs with the support they need to do their jobs well, as well as incentive programs that could help mitigate turnover rates.
By doing so, Nissan plans to have a more well-trained, experienced, and dedicated team of CSAs, which can help the service department operate more efficiently, and increase customer satisfaction.
Improve Shop Efficiency
A shortage of technicians is only part of the problem when it comes to service department inefficiency. Another problem is non-standardized service shops and inefficient workflows.
Many service departments have not been set up with efficiency in mind – technicians must walk repeatedly from one area to another to pick up a simple tool, find a part, or consult with a CSA. These repeated inefficiencies build up over time, leading to slow turnaround times, and lower levels of customer satisfaction.
To remedy this, Nissan is consulting with dealerships to change the way their service departments are laid out, using a model based on their factories. This workplace standardization will allow service workers to perform their duties more effectively – and with less effort.
Step-by-step checklists, smart tool placement, and increased efficiency will allow technicians to deliver better results – in much less time.
If Dealers Adopt These Principles, Nissan Can Increase Dealer Profits – And Customer Satisfaction
Though the North American division of Nissan is pushing these strategies aggressively to individual dealers, it’s up to each dealer to implement them, and to make a real change that could lead to increased service market share.
But now is the perfect time for Nissan to emphasize better customer outcomes, increased service department efficacy, and a better overall car servicing experience. Nissan has been growing dramatically over the last several years – and there are more Nissan vehicles on the road today than ever before.
The potential for profit is vast, and the need for quality service from Nissan dealerships will only grow over the next few years. If Nissan dealers can’t provide that service, Nissan owners will turn to independent mechanics who can. That’s just a fact.