How ServiceSource has changed the repair game
By Paul MacDonald, ServiceSource
Its only two months into 2023, and six BrandSource members have already asked me what the group is doing to support its dealers who provide appliance service in addition to sales.
Such questions make me wonder whether my work on behalf of ServiceSource is reaching the membership, or at least the right people within members’ operations. If you are still unaware of the resources available to your service team, you might want to take a look at the Service section of YSN.
It all began in 2019, when a group of self-servicing BrandSource members, led by Bekins owner Scott Bekins, approached the AVB leadership, asking for help. They were looking for direction on how to harness the power of the group to influence positive change in the appliance warranty arena. The ultimate goal was to achieve profitable service operations.
See: Service Industry in Need of Repair
Their dream became the initiative’s mission statement, and led to the creation of ServiceSource, the BrandSource service support arm for its self-servicing dealer membership (SSD). Stated plainly:
The Mission: To make lasting, positive changes to the appliance service industry, and for BrandSource members to be profitable, sustainable and highly regarded.
The Vision: With research and data, we will educate, form strategic alliances and create meaningful programs that benefit and invigorate appliance servicers.
Bekins and his fellow dealers were instrumental in returning the focus to appliance repair operations big and small, not only at BrandSource, but within other groups that have since followed suit. Together the members formed the BrandSource National Service Committee (NSC), which sets the group’s service agenda and continues to hold quarterly meetings.
The Service Committee’s first call to action was the creation of a service operations guide called the Service Playbook 2.0. This invaluable and exclusive resource provides everything you need to know to about operating a service department. Download it today and put it in the hands of your service personnel.
The Service Committee has since spawned several offshoots at BrandSource, the first being The Service Champions. These are service members representing each region who are willing to disseminate all BrandSource service initiatives at the regional level. Find out who your Service Champion is and add them to your contacts.
Another group that was spun off from the NSC is the Service Strategy Team (SST), which was tasked with identifying and articulating the critical concerns dealers have with the warranty process. The SST has since formulated six critical issues with warranty service fulfillment and will address these concerns directly with manufacturers later this year.
The Service Committee also launched a monthly ServiceSource newsletter for BrandSource’s SSDs. Each month we share service management concepts and strategies to drive efficiency, and also hear from some of our service vendor partners on industry issues. Keep your finger on the pulse and speak with your member relations manager to get your entire service team signed up for the newsletter, which is emailed to members on the first Thursday of every month.
In addition, the SSDs created their own private, self-help Facebook page, the BrandSource Service Dealers Facebook group. There, members post top-of-mind topics and invite feedback from fellow servicers. If you are not yet a member of this influential group, join it. If you don’t trust your gut on a service challenge, try sharing it with this group and see whether other members have experienced the same issue and how they resolved it.
What’s more, BrandSource is adding service management training to its bi-annual Summits and Conventions. Beginning at this month’s Summit, ServiceSource will present the Institute of Service Management (ISM), a 10-hour management training program for SSD service managers, to be held Wednesday, March 22 and Thursday, March 23. A dinner reception and keynote will be held Wednesday night, followed by the conclusion of ISM on Thursday with a written exam for Service Manager Certification and authorization to designate their dealership as a BrandSource Certified Repair Department. This is one more way to differentiate your store from the competition, and will surely be a game changer for your service operations. Check out the ISM agenda here and register your service manager today; space is still available.
And last but hopefully not least, I must give BrandSource credit for bringing in a service subject matter expert (SME) to advise members on what they knew they didn’t know. That would be me, Paul MacDonald of PMDgroup and The Expert Service Program. Having owned and operated many appliance service operations since 1983, I’ve seen it all and helped hundreds succeed in service management. I’m on retainer with BrandSource, so feel free to call me with your service challenges. I’d love to help you!
Paul MacDonald, AVB’s senior ServiceSource lead, ran his own 38-tech service business and is a past president of the UASA. He currently operates The Expert Service Program, which helps servicers run their operations more efficiently and profitably. You can reach Paul at (647) 500-7785 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.