Think of a U.S. dealership where five service advisers work. If it's typical of the industry, two of the advisers will leave within a year.
That high rate of turnover among advisers, measured in a new National Automobile Dealers Association survey, can disrupt the efficient operation of service departments. It can force dealers to spend big to replace advisers who often seem to be passing through a revolving door. Both factors hamper productivity and profits.
But advisers who quit their jobs -- and auto retailing altogether -- cite their own list of grievances:
- Long workdays and oppressive schedules, including weekend shifts, that play havoc with family life.
- Inadequate pay, especially when their income depends too much on commission sales.
- Ever-increasing and demanding duties, coupled with disrespect and verbal abuse from bosses, shop colleagues and customers.
- Automakers and dealers relying too much on rigid customer-satisfaction surveys to judge the advisers' performance and set their pay.
- Feelings of powerlessness and lack of appreciation.
- Pressure from managers to lean on customers to buy service work and products they may not need in order to meet dealership profit targets.