Auto dealership service advisers and technicians are not communicating well and it costs dealerships money, according to survey data from global research and consulting firm Ducker Carlisle.
Resolving the problem can boost service revenue, the data shows.
"We find this relationship is really, really important," said Harry Hollenberg, managing principal at Ducker Carlisle. "The advisers think [the communication] is fine and the technicians think they are not communicating with the advisers."
Ducker Carlisle conducts surveys of franchised dealership service departments every other year at the behest of auto manufacturers. It surveyed service advisers in 2021 and technicians in 2022.
Dealerships, like many other businesses, are struggling to recruit and retain employees. Turnover for dealership service advisers has been as high as 55 percent. Technician turnover is often 30 percent or higher each year. Without enough service advisers and technicians, the time it takes for vehicles to be repaired and returned to their owners grows and customer satisfaction declines.
Among Ducker Carlisle's findings: Service technicians are really unhappy with their jobs and communication is one big reason.
Ducker Carlisle asked them if they would recommend their job to a friend. The result — known as a Net Promoter Score — was sobering.
"The average score was minus 55," Hollenberg said. "I have never seen anything that low in my life."
Service advisers' Net Promoter Score was minus four.
For comparison, a job with a company people love to work at receives a score in the 90s, Hollenberg said. Companies people don't like to work at average around minus 12.