“That’s 20 times the opportunity for the business, not just the aftersales department. It is vital that we include them in the same pay structures as the salesmen.”
The service adviser team have a basic salary, they are bonused on customer satisfaction, financial performance through labour and then there are seven different upsell avenues they can also earn bonuses from.
The bonus process is transparent for the team. Each service adviser can see how much they have earned from each upsell. The bonuses are not capped.
“They’re treated very much like a salesman. BMW is realising this too and it has started recognition programmes for service advisers now.”
One of the advisers has been nominated for BMW service adviser of the year. “He’s in the top five so far, so we’ll see if he can win it,” said Birchall.
Given Rybrook’s record, few would bet against him.
Creating an aftersales department and team
When the business was refitted in 2011, Birchall set out to create an aftersales department, not a separated service and parts department.
The booking team sits within six feet of the workshop manager, the bodyshop, parts, warranty, costing and service advisers all sit within talking distance of each other. If a customer ever has a question on aftersales and an employee doesn’t happen to know the answer themselves, they can swivel in their chairs and ask someone who will.
“Organising the department in this way has trebled the efficiency,” said Birchall.
How does Rybrook Warwick recruit the right people? It may sound simple, but it’s through word of mouth and recommendations from current employees.
“The people we already have here have a lot of experience,” said Birchall.
“To me, if someone has been recommended it already raises them in my expectations.
“There isn’t a magic formula. The people we have are enjoying what they’re doing here and they’d like to pass that on to their friends that want to be a part of this team as well.”
The recruitment process is basic, there’s no psychometric testing. “It’s about me feeling it and weighing that person up within an hour. You’ll know whether they’re right for the role or not,“ said Birchall.
“I always ask, ‘if I was to pick the phone up to your current employee what would he say about you?’ and if they offer up their number straight away with no hesitation, you instantly know they’re right.”