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Geno and Drew talk about the importance of not only having innovative processes to keep up with changing technology, but also making sure your employees are properly trained on those processes so that they can be effective.

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Tactical Tips Episode #21 Transcript

BRAD: Alright awesome! We’re back here with another Tactical Tip Tuesday. We have Mr. Geno Walsh and Mr. Drew Benson, Geno’s the Executive Manager of Operations at the Qvale Group, and Drew Benson is the Fixed Operations Technology Process Manager. That’s a mouthful Drew!


DREW: Yes it is!


BRAD: So I know you guys have a fantastic process. Everybody that I talked to said to get you guys on here and I’m super excited because we’re ready to learn from you guys. We’ve been talking about process, we’ve been talking about tools and tricks and different things that are out there to help people. So what are some tips that you guys have on your process that people can implement pretty quickly?


GENO: Brad the first thing I want to tell you is if you don’t feel comfortable saying the whole word, you can just call him a TPM. Yeah, I’m old enough to remember where it used to be. Kentucky Fried Chicken not KFC, but that was the point though, right, like think about it, it was called Kentucky Fried Chicken because you knew that it was chicken from Kentucky and it was fried. They moved to the KFC because it was easier to figure out. With his position and the title that he has, we wanted to be specific about it, “Fixed Ops Technology Process Manager,” so you knew exactly what he was there to do. And, Drew, tell them a little bit about what you do as far as the process is concerned. Give him some of that juice that you did to get this thing going.


DREW: Yeah, I mean we’ve come a long way from not having any technology and there was a lot of paper and writing everything down. So my job was finding what technology we can use, implementing it at each store, and then teaching people how to use it properly so that we can get the customer engaged and we can turn this modern service process into a reality. Right. So our whole job is to use these technologies to get the customer more engaged ,and how can I get every single advisor, and not only an advisor but the managers, to then hold their people accountable. So all these different tools, it can be a lot. You have this program, that program, all these different programs, but we found one that works for us and it’s just how do you get people to learn it, memorize it, master it and then get the customer engaged so that it reaches its full potential. So not only implementing it, you know, getting all the pushback, as Geno called it “all that wind in the face,” and he used to say that to me all the time. “As long as you have wind in the face, you know you’re doing something right.” So there’s going to be pushback, there’s going to be struggles, but my job is to help people reach their maximum potential, using the tools so that they can, you know, maximize their pay plan, get the customers engaged so that they’re they’re spending more money with us, they understand exactly what they’re coming in for and what they’re paying for, and then, you know, just seeing the success as it grows. We’ve come a long way from you know, I had to just force them to log in, right, getting them to log in, and then here’s the multi-point inspection tool. Here’s a video, like get the technicians to make a video. The quality of video has to add to get better over time.


GENO: Yeah, we have a thing right, Drew. It’s called the road to success and merits, right? And what that means, it’s like what you were doing yesterday is great, but that’s just a new prerequisite for today. You know that means you haven’t done anything for yourself yet today. So, you know, just turning the machine on right Drew? Was like the most important thing. Then it was let’s get an MPI and every single vehicle, and then it was let’s send those MPIs to every single customer, and now where we’re at is so much further down the road. But you know, if you’re looking at getting any of these technologies, these tools, you know what they promise is great because it’s one place where you get all of the tools in one place, one single portal for MPIs, videos, vehicle check-ins, the reporting, the text messaging, the AI, the life cycle management, the pre-surveys. You get it all in one spot as opposed to having, you know, alt-ons all over the place. I got an appointment scheduler, I got a texting tool, I got a payment tool, I got a – it’s all on one spot, with update promised. But you know what happens is, you know, we all think that this is the way that it’s supposed to be. When you get down the road, and we’ve done this on the sales side too, is you figure out, maybe you were wrong, right? You try to figure out what the highest activity is, you know, and what’s the most important thing for us to get the best financial result, and then you start champion and those particular activities and you put it into a pay plan, which is, you know, that’s super significant. Right, Drew has no power to go and train and implement change if it isn’t in someone’s pay plan. There has to be a consequence for not doing the activity. Right?


BRAD: I think that’s spot on. I think that’s spot on. So, Drew, you wear a lot of hats, you curate all of the technology there, you do a lot of the training. You have to get the buy-in, which is different for each individual person because you gotta know what motivates that person. You have to know how to do that. I agree with you to simplifying that tech stack. We always look at it on the sales side, right, we always look at how we’re going to simplify this tech stack, doing the same thing on the service side is so, so, so important because it removes those bottlenecks that those customers have in that experience right, and and it also removes a bottleneck for the employees, they just don’t always see it at first, right? And so what are some techniques that you use to get through to people, to help them see it? Things like that. I think that’s very valuable. And then also, if we have anybody watching that wants to run stuff by you. We’re going to give out your email later. Because you’re the guy that’s blazing the trail for everybody else that’s out there. You’re looking at all of these different technologies. So you know the inner workings of that kind of stuff. So get ready for that.


DREW: Yeah, no it’s cool. I mean for me I got to get them their right equipment, right, I got to get them all their logins, make sure they know how to use the equipment, and then once they’re logged in, once they’re using the tools, I need to give them their little win, right. So if I can show them, if we can work the process, and then I get a customer to engage in that and then they end up buying a service, and then that employee lights up, whether it’s the technician, it’s from their video, or if the advisor, because they send everything over and they communicated the process. Once that little win happens the first time and they get a big ticket or they even you know, it doesn’t have to be a massive ticket, but they got that sale from that technology. 


GENO: Hey Brad, don’t let him fool you – they’re big tickets. Here’s a specific example. You want to talk about a big little win? So we were at our Porsche store and we had one of our top technicians do an amazing video on a Porsche 911 and it needed a brake job right, and he did the video. It was on-point. The service advisor was pretty new to being a service advisor. We told them just send the video and then after you send the video, I want you to send the bill, the estimate the MPI right? And then pick up the phone and call them and find out what he wants to do. So there’s a process. Video, then the MPI, then the communication, whether it’s text, email or phone call to find out if they want to move forward. Customer watched the video not once but twice, forwarded it and shared it to somebody. So we knew it was on because the app was telling us, Hey, the guy’s looking at the videos. That’s when we’re like call right now, call right now, send the bill right now, call right now. But he calls and the customer picks up the phone and he goes “what do you think”? And he goes “I’d like to get it all done,” and the advisor was like, “Oh my God, he’s said get it all done.” It was a $19,000 repair so you know, that’s the power of the technology. It’s like sometimes we overthink it as sales people, whether it’s in the front of the house or the back of the house, like they’re not going to take that or they’re not going to pay for that. And when you just give the information to the consumer, especially when it’s a video and they can see that it needs everything that you’re saying that it needs, you can’t deny it. It’s an MRI on your vehicle right? The MPI is just an estimate almost, but the video’s like an MRI of what the heck’s wrong with your car, and you know, folks will pay that much money. They’ll be grateful to do so because now you’ve taken the wall down between the technician and the customer and now they have more confidence and it leads to a higher level of credibility for the process.


BRAD: That transparency man, that transparency is, because we talked about this a lot, that transparency is so huge, right.


GENO: Well that’s what we’re labeling it. We call it the Qvale Way, but it’s called transparent service. I mean that’s, yeah, literally what we’re labeling it. Drew, does a great job of implementing the processes and I do a good job of being Uncle Geno and putting some money out there. So I would definitely say to any of the listeners watching is to put some money in the technician’s hand for the first time. We do it in sales all the time, you know, gift cards, split for the weekend, first car out, all that kind stuff. We do best videos, right, Drew runs it. He does the best videos. We take all the videos they’ll send in what they think are their best videos, and then we have a service lunch and feed them. We make them feel appreciated and then we’ll play the videos. Right, and then after we play the videos, the departmental heads, the general manager, the service manager and Drew vote on it and we give out anywhere between $200-500 worth of gift cards to three people. Yeah, like they get really excited. They go from doing these videos like “brrr brake job brrrr” to then they’re like with the camera going “Hi! My name’s Geno I’m gonna be your service technique today!” and you’re like where did that come from? And you just see this amazing video and you know that’s because Drew teaches them. But then we incentivise them and then it just builds on itself, right?


BRAD: That’s hilarious, man. We had a video that we did in a BDC and a guy fell down in the background. He tripped over a chair and it got shared 752 times and had like 40,000 views out of co-video. Yeah, and you’re just like, dude, that’s insane. Like the person sent it off and they didn’t see him fall down and it just went crazy. So I think that being genuine and doing that kind of stuff is so important, and taking care of technicians right now is super important because, we all know that it’s hard to get them right, so we have to focus on retaining them. So I’m super excited that you guys got to share with us. I know you probably have one more in your quiver over here, Drew. So, we got time for one more little tip and then we’ll wrap up and we’ll get onto the next episode. 


DREW: Yeah, no, I just think it’s super important to empower power your employees and those little wins are so big because it’s an unknown, the technologies are unknown at first. And those little wins when you get the advisors like Oh my God, like it just works right. And then not only is that a huge win for that personal advisor, the person next to them and down the line they’re going to be like, well, I want that right, like I want to have that happen to me. And then the technician in the shop is like, guys, my video just sold all that stuff, and then they want – it’s all a competition. So if you can get everybody animated and you put some money out there and you make it fun and interesting, and we’re all doing this for a purpose it’s to make money, right. We want to take care of our customers and make some money. So if we can do that and have all these little wins, then everybody’s going to jump on board and you’ll see a lot of success.


GENO: Yeah, Brad, we call it the 3 C’s and they used to be in the car business too. 3 Sees were to see the keys, see the car, see you later. Right, for us the first C is commitment, the second C is consistent reporting, and the third C is competition. Right, if you get all those, you get a commitment to the process, you get consistent reporting, everyone gets to see where they stand, how they’re doing. You know, that’s like you know the scoreboard. Then you can turn it into a competition and you should see what Drew’s doing to get the competitive juices flowing and we got guys that are like, we have a revenue retention report, and these guys are fighting to show them how awesome they are. Right. It’s pretty cool because what they’re doing is they’re implementing all the processes and activities and tactics that Drew’s training them on and that’s how they’re building that competition out. So it’s pretty exciting. 


BRAD: I think that’s fantastic and I got to think that in the process of this right, that they’re more excited to take care of customers. It brings a different perspective. It brings more energy, right, which you’re dealing with someone most of the time who’s probably not having the best of days, right? And so it changes the whole atmosphere of that. I know I worked for someone that he used to make all of the technicians and the advisors say hey, I’m your advisor, I’m your technician, to personalize that experience and just from that little bitty word switch, it changed a lot. 


GENO: But here’s the real key one. You’re ready. Yeah, service, fixed, and parts gross is up 33% year over year from December to December. Guess what else is up? CSI is up 25% year over year from December to December. So you know, those are ancillary benefits. It’s really the due north is the customer’s experience. Geez, I mean that’s why you have to have a Fixed Ops Technology Process Manager, or TPM for short for you Brad. 


BRAD: Nice. You know us guys from Texas, we can’t say all those words together. You know. So, so we got to make it short. So, guys, how can people reach out to you if they want to ask some questions ors and if you need the little mentorship. What are some good ways to reach out to you guys? 


DREW: I mean you can certainly send me an email. I know Brad will have our emails up but my cell phone, I mean it, if you want to put that cell phone on there, you can reach me at any time. You know, I’m more than a resource to anybody. I love being a resource to our company, but also if anybody’s scared to navigate this process and how to get it started, I’d love to, you know, have a little conversation and help you out. 


BRAD: As long as they’re not your market, right?


DREW: Correct, correct.


GENO: I want them to be in our market sometimes, Brad, because, listen, the better the customer’s experiences, the more insulated we will be from those disruptors that are out there right. You know, this is something that you know I think me and Drew decided to make our career all about and we want it to be long-lasting and you know, we want to be a service to our team members in our clients internally. That’s one of our commitments. But I’d like to do the same thing for the industry. So if anybody’s interested in coming actually even to see our facility and see how the process works. Send us an email, make a phone call. My number’s 9542340130. I got nothing to hide. We love for people to come down and see the process because I think once you see it, you’ll gain a great understanding of it, and I know for me I’m never, I’m never going back.


BRAD: Well, I surely appreciate it, guys. That’s more than kind to do that and hopefully we have some people reach out to you. Appreciate your time and you, guys, have a great day.


DREW: Okay, yeah, thanks Brad!

Haile Clifton

Haile Clifton

Haile is the Marketing Coordinator at Fixed Ops Digital. She has worked in Digital Media & Design for 6 years and helps with internal marketing and Drive Service Specials deployment at FOD.

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