Begin with ‘GOOD’ to Become Great!

Have you ever uttered the word “good” when something goes wrong at your dealership? Chances are you’ve said a different word, perhaps one with a negative or “bad” connotation. Jocko Willink, author and retired Navy Seal officer, has shared on his podcast his philosophical approach to responding with “good” when problems crop up. How comfortable are you firmly using the word good in the face of disruption at your dealership?

Jerrod Kelley, MRAA Content Manager dressed in blue shirt standing outside by a tree
Jerrod Kelley, MRAA Content Manager

Let’s say one of your technicians just quit. Immediately, your mind shifts to how understaffed this will make your store, and you wonder how will you complete all the repair orders in time with Memorial Day right around the corner. Instead of going into despair and hitting the panic button, according to Willink, it’s better to decipher what has just happened, accept the reality of it and then say “good.” Once you deal with all the possible negatives and pressures this change will undoubtedly create for you and your team, you move on! 

Your GOOD statement means you’re now seeking the positives and solutions to address this person’s departure. You don’t say good to deceive yourself or your staff or to keep everything and everyone remaining hunky-dory, as Jocko explains here. You do it because you want to find the good that will come out of this loss of an employee and make something happen. “Good, now we can promote Dave to Service Manager.” “Good, we now have an opportunity to refocus our efforts to improve our service process and efficiency.”   

One of our key goals at the MRAA is to drive dealer success through education. With resources such as our monthly MRAA Spotlight pages, Training ‘N’ Tactics online learning, the MRAA Certified Dealer program and MRAA’s annual Dealer Week Conference & Expo, to name four, dealers gain insights, best practices, proven processes and expert advice on improving their business. Continuing education and participative learning help with career advancement, employee engagement and create a self-improvement mindset, all of which contribute to a stronger culture.  

I was recently part of a meeting with an MRAA Education Champion that shared an overview of MRAA’s educational offerings and why we do it. One critical aspect that came up during our conversation involved key objectives the MRAA and its partners can address to help drive dealer success. 

Goal one of four shared goals in the MRAA 2023-2025 Strategic Plan includes four objectives MRAA is currently focused on, but that can also guide your dealership to greater business achievement. They are: 

1.     Overcome workforce shortages and challenges

2.     Position-specific education and credentialing

3.     Improve Repair Event Cycle Times (RECT)

4.     Elevate customer experience (CX)

Certainly there are many other pain points out there currently, but these are four strategic focal points and areas of need that, if handled correctly, will help you rise to the top. The four topics are intertwined within your business. It reminds me of science class and the term symbiosis, which is defined as a relationship that’s mutually beneficial for different people or groups.  

Let’s first look at your workforce shortages. This involves hiring (or lack thereof), onboarding, engaging, growing and retaining your current employees. Your workforce also relates to No. 2 above, “position-specific education and credentialing,” in that you want your employees to keep learning and training to improve. Because you’ll have educated, confident employees that also understand their potential for career advancement. Additionally, because you invest in their continued learning, you will increase their engagement and improve employee retention. 

When you find the best-fit hires for your dealership and help them grow and become a pillar within your corporate culture, you can improve in other ways. For instance, highly engaged, certified service technicians will have the knowledge, accountability, resources and proficiency required to improve your service department’s efficiency. In turn, when they are effective and stick to a process that aims for timeliness and addresses the needs of each unique client, your service department will elevate your customers’ experience. 

Put simply, properly trained, satisfied employees are invested in your dealership, produce better results and help create a better CX. And we all know that happier customers quite often become repeat customers and those who give you rave reviews. They display loyalty to your staff and brand, and recommend you to their friends and family members. This helps to improve the satisfaction of your workforce, which directly relates to a happier management team and ownership. 

You can clearly see that everyone benefits when you proactively look to improve your situation rather than sit around complaining about it or any other related problems you’re facing. That’s why the MRAA Certified Dealership Program, which will help you become better in many areas, exists; to improve your business. It’s especially valuable if you feel you’ve been grasping at straws trying to overcome all your challenges.

It’s time for you to say “good” when issues arise, because your goal is to be great!