From the Archives: 14 strategies to take your service department to the next level

As we head into the fall, it's a good time to revisit some best practices for the service department. This article, first published in 2012, has been one of our most popular stories on the subject:

If you’ve survived this recession, you probably have a decent service department.

You measure technician efficiency. You market your offerings here and there. Maybe you even do some menu selling. You track customers’ satisfaction with the service experience. And you probably make a little profit for the dealership in the process.

But chances are you’re still leaving money on the table. You see service as a small piece of the bigger picture rather than the high-performance profit machine it can become for your dealership.

Now is the time for that to end. As you ramp up to take on the 2012 season, Boating Industry has collected 14 strategies you can employ to take your service department to the next level. To do so, we called upon three service department experts: David Parker of Parker Business Planning, a 20-group moderator and consultant with more than 40 years of experience in the marine industry; marine dealer consultant and Yamaha University instructor Valerie Ziebron of VRZ Consulting Co.; and Sam Dantzler, a powersports industry trainer and consultant who has worked with Harley-Davidson Performance Groups, Spader Business Management and many others in his field.

Implementing a single one of these strategies might not be enough to transform your service department, but taken together, these ideas can make a major contribution to your dealership’s overall revenue and, ultimately, its success.

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