Learn To Advise Customers, Not Just Sell Them
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Learn To Advise Customers, Not Just Sell Them

Service advisors are a liaison between the tech and the customer. This video is sponsored by The Group Training Academy.

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Scott Shriber:

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Hello and welcome. Today I have the privilege of having Philip Austin from NGK NTK with us, and today we’re going to talk about service advisors. Welcome, Philip.

Philip, you spent a lot of time in this business, and I’ve always thought that the service advisor was sort of the most overlooked position, but probably, next to the telephone operator, the most important interface with our customers. Would you agree with that?

Philip Austin:

Absolutely.

Scott Shriber:

What type of things are out there to help that service advisor get trained to have a better customer experience from your point?

Philip Austin:

From my point, being a prior shop owner and business owner in another shop where we incorporate a service advisor within the experience of the service, it’s a lot of different avenues. Training, training, training, and staying on top of your ability to communicate effectively. Because you, as a service advisor, have to be able to understand the terminologies of the technician and translate that to the customer in a way in which you’re not overwhelming the customer, but informing them to make a decision about their repair.

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Scott Shriber:

I’ve always thought that that really is a very difficult jump to make because you don’t want your service advisor to be an expert technician, because they’ll overwhelm that customer, but they also need to be able to explain effectively why this part right here is going to fail, or why it might have failed, and what that might do to their vehicle and why it needs to be replaced.

Philip Austin:

Yes.

Scott Shriber:

And I think that’s a challenge because there’s so much training out there for the technicians, and you don’t want advisors using technicians speak with their customers.

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Philip Austin:

Yes, I agree. However, it’s a thin line because you don’t want your service advisor to sound like the next door neighbor that knows how to fix cars either. With that being said, NGK training program has incorporated a specialized training for service advisors in which it helps them with the three Cs, condition, cause and correction. And teaching them techniques in order to stay within that lane of explaining things that result in helping the customer understand the condition the car is in versus what their concern was coming, in along with explaining the cause and the corrective actions they can make. So looking at it from that angle is where NGK training is positioned to help service advisors stay up to date and communicate effectively.

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Scott Shriber:

Excellent. And the service advisor also has a primary function of sales,

right? That’s a difficult position to be in. Some repairs are needed because we have an inoperative vehicle, but others have preventative maintenance issues that need to be sold.

Philip Austin:

Yes. Yes. And how I like to look at it and teach service advisors how to look at it is leave the selling up to you selling the customer into investing in his vehicle at your facility, not selling anything else on a ticket. Because it’s not sellable, it’s broken and it needs to be replaced and they’ve came to you, you didn’t go to them. So once I take that piece out of it and reposition it in a service advisor’s mindset, then it’s easier because he or she needs more time to digest the different types of technologies that’s going to fail and explain that or water it down from when a technician tells them what’s wrong with the car.

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Scott Shriber:

What kind of training does NGK and NTK have to help those advisors with that technical issue? Is it the technician training or is there different training for them?

Philip Austin:

It’s different training. So not only we pride ourselves with the flagship training of technical training for technicians, and also working shop owners, because that group often gets forgotten too. So we have training for them, which is technical. I still would like to apply the technical term to our service advisor training because it is technical training, but more technically in changing the mindset and communicating effectively, along with understanding different terminologies and role play type training that help them be more confident when dealing with, not only the customer but the technician with all these different type of technologies that fail.

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Scott Shriber:

And I think you bring up a really important point, that’s a communication point that doesn’t get talked about a lot. We talk so much about the advisor communicating with the customer. There’s a communication link that goes from the advisor back to that technician. And guess what language is coming out of that technician’s mouth? All of the technical jargon that advisor needs to filter out what’s going to go to that customer and then how to service that customer.

Philip Austin:

Yes, absolutely. And it’s a third piece that we often miss, that the service advisors have to be on point, because not just dealing with the customer after the conversation with the technician about the repair, but in today’s vehicles and the high technology that is failing in the vehicles, we have extended warranty companies that may have a ASC certified technician on the other side of the phone that they need to relay accurate information in order to get the job approved for the customer. So with customers having extended warranties, it’s more pressure on the service advisor to be knowledgeable and explain the repair properly for job authorization of a third party company, like an extended warranty.

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Scott Shriber:

Absolutely. And so I understand that you have a newly created entity called Shop Squad. Is that correct?

Philip Austin:

Yes. Yes.

Scott Shriber:

Can you tell us just real briefly, there might be something in there for the service advisor too.

Philip Austin:

Oh, absolutely. We worked on some fresh content, which is only going to grow, right? That’s the benefits of having something new. And that something new, our flagship has always been technical training for the service side or even the product side in sales. Now that we’re incorporating a service advisor, they could go to Shop Squad Online and look at the resources related there. And then guess what? If we don’t have the particular resource you want, then you could actually send in requests. And it’s a community that is designed to utilize the resources that are there presently, but also give us information on resources that we could build out in the future. So training for not only service techs, shop owners, but also for service advisors as well at shopsquadonline.com. That’s that program that is going to incorporate all three pieces of the shop so that we could support them the right way, based upon their needs.

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Scott Shriber:

It sounds like you’ve really got to covered, and I’ve got to tell you, I signed up this morning and signed on and checked out your training and it’s really easy to do. And very easy to browse and get to those subjects that you want to get to.

Philip Austin:

Great. Thank you.

Scott Shriber:

Well, thank you so much for being with us, Philip. That’s all for today. Thanks so much for being here and catch us next time.

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