Can You Trust Your Service Department? Midland Honda Talks with Our Service Manager!
Can You Trust Your Service Department? Midland Honda Talks with Our Service Manager!
Posted on March 9, 2022
Midland Honda Talks Ep. #2 Can You Trust Your Service Department?
Kimberly talks with Allan Midland Honda's Service Manager and he gives you the inside scoop on Midland Honda's service facility and why you can trust Midland Honda with your vehicle!
Serving the Midland area, Midland Honda, Located at 947 Jones Rd, Midland On, L4R 0G1 in our Brand New State of the art Facility.
Midland Honda is your premier retailer of new and used Honda vehicles. Our dedicated sales staff and top-trained technicians are here to make your auto shopping experience fun, easy and financially advantageous.
Please utilize our various online resources and allow our excellent network of people to put you in your ideal car, truck or SUV today! https://www.midlandhonda.com.
947 Jones Rd.
Midland, ON L4R 0G1
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00:00:01 Kimberly Osborne
Hi everybody, welcome to episode two of the podcast.
And today I'm excited we have Alan Sylvester, our service manager here at Midland Honda.I thank you so much for. Coming on with me today.
00:00:19 Allan Sylvester
It's my pleasure.
00:00:22 Kimberly Osborne
I'm really excited you. You know I didn't come from the auto industry background, so I've learned a lot from being here and the service department I think is one of the biggest things that I've learned. You know, I've always been, and I think a lot of people have. Like you know they're a little scared they don't trust the service side sometimes. And you've definitely changed my opinion of. That who's working here? So I think we should. Yeah help change anybody elses opinion about service when they come to a dealership.
00:00:59 Allan Sylvester
00:01:02 Kimberly Osborne
All right, so Alan. How long have you worked here, I know you were here before I got here, but I don't actually know how long you have been at Midland Honda.
00:01:11 Allan Sylvester
Well, I'll be working with Honda two years this April. Oh yeah. It's gone by very quick.
00:01:20 Kimberly Osborne
And like, yeah, I bet it has. Where were you before? You've been working in the industry for years and years.
00:01:32 Allan Sylvester
Yeah, I've been at several different manufacturers, so I've worked for Nissan, Lexus GM BMW to name a few.
00:01:45 Kimberly Osborne
Oh wow. And how long have You been in the service manager role?
00:01:52 Allan Sylvester
Well, probably about 25 of those 30 years.
00:01:57 Kimberly Osborne
Oh no way.
00:01:58 Allan Sylvester
Yeah yeah, it's been exciting. I mean it's A challenging position. It's never a dull moment. I Love that it changes.
Uh, in the industry over the years it it certainly has changed dramatically, yeah.
00:02:19 Kimberly Osborne
Honestly, you always have somebody in your office. You’re always on the go like it's. I'm surprised I actually got you nailed down to do this this morning.
00:02:30 Allan Sylvester
Well, it's, but that's what I love about it. There's never a dull moment, and you know. Here at at at Honda it's it's amazing because the product is such good quality, it speaks for itself, but I don't have difficult conversations with customers about product. It just doesn't happen here.
00:02:59 Kimberly Osborne
That's amazing and I have to say I bet the new facility here. So you've been two years so you were at the old dealership before you came to this one and I bet and even looking behind you like that's our shop here at the new dealership. I bet it's made your job a whole bunch easier And a better work environment. For sure, I bet.
00:03:25 Allan Sylvester
Well, you know what? Uh I wasn't long at the old dealership, but it had its challenges.
It was definitely tired and small small for us to be able to service our customers properly.
We had not one more spot for a computer we didn't have another capability of hiring another body.
So we were we were getting somewhat overwhelmed and not able to keep up with our customer demands. But certainly in this in this new store, as you can see, it's completely different state of the art dealership. Absolutely love.
00:04:04 Kimberly Osborne
Yeah, it's amazing. I've seen the old shop in other videos and it's night and day, that's it.
Uhm, so obviously like this dealership being new like that's a difference from, you know, just Midland Honda to the new to the new dealership. But what's different about? You know Midland Honda here even now with everything we have then other dealerships that you've worked for, like, is it a massive difference or is it kind of the same?
What's your take?
00:04:37 Allan Sylvester
Well, you know there there is a. There's a. There's a massive difference in it. Not just to mention the facility you know with with our Hunter Quickcheck alignment machine that's right in the drive through that we can get to readings off of to determine whether someone has suspension issues or steering issues. Come to a car wash. I mean, it's phenomenal. Not everybody is equipped with these sort of equipment that that could provide this at no charge to the customer.
00:05:15 Kimberly Osborne
Yeah, and actually you mentioned that the. Hunter alignment we were just talking about it this morning
So the having that information available for customers as soon as they come in to let them know their alignments off. Uh, we do have a video that we can show everybody so we can let them know exactly what we're talking about. You can kind of walk us through it to what we're what. We're looking at.
So this two, like our service drive through but not a lot of dealerships have this right like?
You would have to come And kind of wait outside or park outside and walk in.
00:06:09 Allan Sylvester
Yeah, there's still a lot of dealerships that don't have Drive throughs. it's pretty much the standard these days, you know, but certainly even the ones that do. Don't have these hunter alignment quick check machines that you're witnessing right here Uhm, this is right in our in our drive-thru area. It's very, it's a it's amazing technology. Uh, the, there's cameras that take hundreds of pictures of the car as it goes over the machine, and it it takes a quick picture of your license plate number.
And with that we get your vehicle information information number.
Which we use to get the specifications and those specifications are compared to the pictures that are taken and if there is any discrepancy in the in the pictures it it will show as a misalignment and also as it goes over the machine you will see it's taking pictures of your tread depth. And so there's many things that come out of this 5 second drive over this machine and it'll also tell us if if there is any outstanding recalls on the vehicle so.
00:07:33 Kimberly Osborne
Oh, I didn't know that.
00:07:35 Allan Sylvester
Yeah, it's amazing.
00:07:40 Kimberly Osborne
That's amazing so. You never had that machine at any of the dealerships you worked for previously.
00:07:47 Allan Sylvester
No no, I haven't.
00:07:48 Allan Sylvester
Uh, there there are different kinds and and some of them I I believe are better than others, but ours is because we had a a new construction with this dealership. We got to build it right into the floor, which I believe provides the best readings, and not only that, we've we've designed the building to be perfectly level, no slopes in in the concrete, in in the range required to get a proper reading.
00:08:20 Kimberly Osborne
Well that's that's amazing.
00:08:22 Kimberly Osborne
I know when I first came for my first oil change here and then, you guys told me that I needed an alignment and I thought it was just and I've always thought that like you know it's just a money grab from the dealership or whatever But then understanding what the machine does and what it's reading and showing in your vehicle then I I'm on board now so I I believe in it for sure.
00:08:49 Allan Sylvester
Yeah, I mean, I think I've only come across maybe two incidents where it read needing alignment and when we put it on our actual alignment rack it was fine and you know borderline.
00:09:05 Allan Sylvester
So even even then even the alignment rack could have showed a misalignment. But it was just right on the edge, so it's very very effective. And of course you know if we put it on the alignment rack and it and it doesn't get alignment. We don't. We don't charge for that, we just yeah, but certainly it's an assurance to know that your vehicle is aligned properly.
00:09:24 Kimberly Osborne
so you also mentioned our car wash as something that that that's amazing for for this dealership and something that we can offer our customers when they come In for service. Uhm, now do we Wash everybody car or is it only people that have our car wash card like I actually don't? Even know that.
00:09:48 Allan Sylvester
Well, I think. You know it's this is fairly new to us, but you know on the service side of things, we'll wash any car that comes in for service. You know there's a a few stipulations if we see that you know, maybe it's got some accessories on it that we're concerned about, or.
If somebody left their receiver in the hitch, that can cause a problem, but other than that you know we'll wash every service car that comes through, and I believe too, that sales is also offering car washes with the purchase of a new vehicle, new or used vehicle, yeah.
00:10:28 Kimberly Osborne
That's awesome, So what you know, those are amazing technologies that we have here that we use that makes your job easier. And you know, benefits the customer, but what's your favorite part of our whole service side?
What’s that one thing that when you got here you were like, yes, I can't believe I have that.
00:10:51 Allan Sylvester
Well, you know what, just just everything I mean, as you can see in the background, we have, uh, you know, floors painted with yellow and that's those are safety zones.That's where it's safe to walk. Whether you're an. Advisor or an employee? Or if a customer wants to see their vehicle, these are the areas where we allow to walk, and I, I think. The the the built in benches and tool boxes are an amazing dealers don't have to spend money on that you know a Lot of technicians have their own tool boxes, but it providing them can save thousands of dollars for technicians.
13:47 Kimberly Osborne
Alright, that's awesome I know even we just did some updating. You know, we just you know the the building is brand new. We would from updating and to make the job even better in the back, especially with all the guys tool Boxes, so that's pretty cool.
00:14:07 Kimberly Osborne
Yeah, but what would you say like what's still like tell like challenges that you've run into even though we have the best dealership ever. And all this amazing technology. What are some of the challenges that you face you know on? A daily basis in the shop
Well, you. Know what I think? In the service industry in general, there is a lot of misunderstanding about. What we do what needs to be done to a car. Uhm, you know, I think even rightfully so. Over the years there have been some good good service centers and some bad service centers.
Uhm, So what we try to do here at Midland Honda is be just as transparent as possible.
Now, how we do that is we have a communication system called snap cell and our technicians will will take videos of the car they're working on.
They will show the customer what needs to be done. What does it need to be done and put it all into video and explain why? Now these videos are sent to the customers so they can see for themselves first hand what's going. On with their car. And I believe that uhm, over the years we've lost an understanding of uhm, just automotive maintenance in general and.
Because of the complexity of cars these days, people have just sort of gotten away from this and are more interested in, you know things like Bluetooth and and safety safety items that a car offers, but they're not familiar with the mechanical.
So I think this is like an educational process that I think is fantastic and more and more people should know about their cars and and Midland is happy to teach them.
00:16:12 Kimberly Osborne
Honestly, I loved the videos and when we first started doing them I was so nervous that the guys weren't gonna, you know, jump on board and they weren't going to be. You know doing the videos and sending it but. Honestly, they all are amazing and they're all just superstars now and it it really is good.
And I mean I see all the feedback from our customers and I'm sure you get it daily when they come in that they they love our videos that that the text send. And, uh, yeah It's it's been phenomenal.
00:16:46 Allan Sylvester
Well, you know what, when, when you're putting your no, nobody is very comfortable seeing themselves in pictures, let alone in a video. Hearing their own points. It's just very odd.
Uhm, you know at first there I won't say there was resistance, there was just. That I'm afraid I don't want to do it, I don't. I don't want to be that person. And you want once everybody got comfortable with it, especially with your help and and your training. You know they look forward to doing doing them now they enjoy it and some of them are, you know, I'm afraid we're going to lose them to you.
Yeah, you know they're enjoying it that much so.
00:17:27 Kimberly Osborne
Yeah, but they definitely see a benefit for them, right?
Because you know you can call up a customer and tell them hey, your brakes need to be redone or you know new brakes put on, but when you and they'll be like yeah yeah no, that's fine next time. Next time, but. When you show them how bad their brakes they're like, whoa.Let's get that done immediately.
00:17:50 Allan Sylvester
Definitely seeing is believing. It certainly has taken a lot of the mistrust out of the transaction at at the service desk.
Uhm, you know everybody got an expectation of what they think their car needs, and if you recommend more than they think needs to be done to their car, well then you know the perception is that you're trying to cheat them. And that's what I've found over the past few years is that's becoming increasingly more of a problem because of the the lack of understanding of what a vehicle needs. Now these videos have just removed all that and and it's. It's not just, it's not just a picture It's not just a sales pitch.This is your car, your your, your vehicle. This is what it looks like and this is the person working on your car which I think is that is the biggest connection this is to know your mechanic now of course you know mechanics don't have time to come out and socialize and in that so you know, I think we all understand why But this is one step short of that and I think it's an amazing tool.
00:19:11 Kimberly Osborne
Yeah, yeah, I love it. I mean we use it for both sales and service and and honestly the the service side I think benefits the most out of it.I think it's it's just amazing for the customers.
00:19:25 Allan Sylvester
It is we we have people that just absolutely love it. Since we've introduced it, it's just been one of those things that people go home and they talk about to their family, to their go to work and talk about it to friends, I think it's that should be standard in the industry.
00:19:49 Kimberly Osborne
Yeah, well, that's amazing.
What do you think Alan? If you were to to say anything to anybody about servicing their vehicle or you know service at a dealership? What's the one thing you want people to know about?Or even just about Midland Honda?
00:20:13 Allan Sylvester
Well, you know what it's funny. You should ask that Kim I think uhm, you know what I've been here two years and one of the key things that I look at when I first started a dealership is who works there. I mean, it's it's the people that. Uhm, make the ship run it without people. It's just a it's just a building right? Yeah So what I like to do is I like to surround myself with with good people like good natured. Uhm, you know people that will have the customers best interests at heart. And I think when you build that environment and build that team, it's all good. From there, just a matter of training. Uh, you know which takes time. Nobody is perfect. There will be mistakes, but as they learn and grow, certainly the stronger team, the stronger the team will be.
00:21:11 Kimberly Osborne
Well and we have a really amazing team, so the next time you're in for service you will see everybody here and see. How much fun we have. It's a lot of fun, specially on the service side.
00:21:27 Allan Sylvester
Yeah, you know what? With the with the help of Richard and Peter, and we've developed an amazing team and you know what? I don't see people as much as I as I like to because there's. Just not a Lot of product issues here, but you know, just at the same time I I would be happy if if any But he felt that their service didn't go right, or that something should be changed or discussed. You know, my door is always open I mean that don't wait till you go home and and call me just come and knock on my door or ask to see me. I'm always happy to help anybody else at any time.
00:22:10 Kimberly Osborne
Well, thanks so much Alan. You do an amazing job here. You know you're always having fun with everybody, which is really nice. And thank you for coming on the podcast.
00:22:25 Allan Sylvester
It's my pleasure, Kim, thank you.
00:22:28 Kimberly Osborne
Alright well stay tuned for our next episode. We are going to show you our new truck and trailer that we got so stay tuned for that and have. A good day.
00:22:41 Allan Sylvester
All right, thank you.