Allie Peters, 33
Service director, BMW of San Antonio
Warning: After reading how Allie Peters runs the service department at BMW of San Antonio, you are likely to want to quit your job and go and work for her.
"At this point in my career, every day when I come in, I want to make it the greatest place to work," she says. "I want people to want to be here, not because they have bills to pay, but because they sincerely enjoy being here to do their jobs."
Peters, promoted to service director just before the pandemic, is not a gearhead, didn't grow up in a family of automotive enthusiasts, and her degree, in communications and psychology, is about as far away from technology as you can get. But none of that has hindered her success. Peters is an enabler of sorts.
Here's one way she boosted sales during the toughest months of the pandemic: "I ask questions constantly, such as, How's it going? What do you need to do your job better? What do you like? I try to do walk-throughs of the shop multiple times per week, asking, How's your computer working? Do you have the tools you need?
"I take that information, and my goal is go and immediately do something about it — if I can. I want to fix it in that moment to show when you give me feedback, I hear it and I want to make it better."
Peters' strategy is pretty simple: Cars are second to people. "I have always loved the people," she says — and that includes customers, not just employees. Another pillar of her success is building trust with customers to create long-term relationships.
Says Peters: "At the end of the day, I believe my job is pairing the right people with the right people, customers with advisers, advisers with techs, techs with customers. If I can put the right people together, then everyone is set up for success."
— Richard Truett