Is Your Service Department in the Right Hands - Part 2

by Anne Salemo

Second of a two-part series. Read part one here.

In the first part of this series, we talked about the qualities your service manager should have in order to be trusted with managing the highest potential profit margin in your dealership. Now we’ll review their objectives and responsibilities. See if the following list of responsibilities and objectives fall in line with what you expect from your service manager:


An ideal Service Manager will:

  1. Be a key contributor to the dealership’s bottom line. Advise and make imagerecommendations to the General Manager with respect to the best interest of the Service Department.
  2. Maintain the safety and efficiency of the Service Department and dealership grounds by ensuring all departmental tools, equipment, and vehicles are in good working order and comply with regulations. Conduct regular safety training sessions with personnel.
  3. Recruit, train and retain appropriate personnel. This could involve coordinating an internship program and/or participating in local career events. Keep technicians up-to-date on servicing the latest equipment by enrolling them in manufacturer or industry training programs.
  4. Manage technician scheduling and accuracy and completeness of work orders concerning parts and labor.
  5. Work with Sales and Marketing teams to coordinate customer clinics, field days and other promotional events as well as advertising and direct mail/email promotions that target revenue opportunities. Understanding of how to identify opportunities using the dealership management system is important.
  6. Develop, communicate, enforce and monitor service procedures that will maintain accuracy and ensure internal and external customer satisfaction.
  7. Submit service warranty and product improvement program claims to ensure correct processing and maximum credit value. Keep up-to-date with any service or bulletins or product recalls.
  8. Monitor department and technician performance to ensure high recovery rate. Use the dealership management system’s service clock to track 100% of technician’s billable time.
  9. Establish flat rates and job codes to increase customer satisfaction by providing accurate, clear upfront quotes. Use flat rate performance reports as a technician training tool and make recommendations on flat rates to ensure that they are achievable and reasonable.
  10. Review and analyze performance metrics generated from the business system to facilitate corrective action. Maintain all management reports necessary to audit department and individual employee performance and review with employees to maintain proper margins and expense control.
  11. Resolve customer service complaints to safeguard customer satisfaction and retention. Manage communication with customers, other departments and the service staff through regular meetings, written communications, facilitation of problem solving and potential conflicts, etc.
  12. Assist in the diagnosis of machine problems and provide instruction as required. Perform basic to complex agricultural equipment repairs and diagnostics.

Do the above responsibilities and objectives fall in line with what you expect from your service manager?

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Filed under: Best Practice, Service Department