Attendees learn secrets service success

ORLANDO – Attendees sitting in on the four sessions of the Service Department Track – sponsored by Yamaha Marine Group – during the second day of the 2010 Marine Dealer Conference & Expo, heard from a panel of service experts followed by three speakers who touched on topics ranging from strategies for service profits to achieving operational excellence as a service manager.

The day’s sessions started with a presentation moderated by Bob Schwartz of ADP/Performance Inc., titled the Successful Service Advisor. Schwarz, who was joined on stage by Doug Malone of Sail and Ski Center – based in San Antonio, Texas – and Greg Larsen, of Larsen Marine in Waukegan, Ill., touched on several subjects.

Attendees learned the skills a successful service advisor must possess, how they should be paid as well as trained.

“A successful service advisor is someone who sells and keeps selling lots and lots of work at the full competitive rate of the [dealership],” Schwartz told his audience.

Valerie Ziebron – president of VRZ Consulting and a lead instructor for Yamaha Marine University – took the stage for the morning’s second session and led her class through a presentation titled The Profitable, Proactive Service Department. Ziebron urged her audience to take a fresh look at their service departments and ask themselves whether or not those operations were being run in the most productive way possible. She then shared suggestions for how a shop could become more profitable and proactive, and provided them some of the tools they needed to do so.

The final session before lunch was led by Bob McCann, director of Client Education for ARI. The title of his presentation was Web Strategies for Service Profits and McCann touched on subjects such as search engine optimization and marketing and told attendees how they could promote their web pages using real-world examples from dealerships around the country.

The final session of the day was conducted by Pam Lendzion, the director of Marinas International, vice president of the American Boat Builders & Repairers Association and instructor at the International Marina Institute. Lendzion talked about the leadership qualities necessary for service advisors to be most effective.

The Service Department Track will wrap up today with two final sessions: another by Ziebron titled Your Service Problems … Solved, and a session called Fact Driven Dealer Management, led by ABBRA’s Jim Bronstien.

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