RECT – No. 1 KPI to Boost Your Service Customer Experience

Imagine for a moment one single, perfect summer day.  Some people may picture themselves in a hammock on a gorgeous white sand-covered beach listening to the waves roll in. Others imagine a chair in the shade with a cool drink and a new book. Still others imagine their whole family at the baseball stadium watching a game and singing together “Take Me Out To The Ballgame” or “Sweet Caroline.” 

But boat owners picture a perfect summer day being spent on the water doing everything boating. Imagine that one day. Water, wind, waves, cool drinks, a swim, some tubing, going to dinner by boat and watching the sunset while sitting on the swim platform with a glass of wine. There are only so many of those perfect summer days.

What is missing in this perfect summer day? THE BOAT!

It looks like a nice summer day in my picture. Yet for many boaters it is not the perfect summer day because there is no boat included. You may be asking, “why is the boat missing?” That is the same question many service customers ask when their boat is stuck in a Repair Event Cycle Time (RECT) cycle at the dealership. 

How many perfect summer days can a customer miss out on (there aren’t that many to begin with) while the service department fixes their boat before their frustration builds to a problematic level? Perhaps the No.1 way to improve your service customer’s experience is to lower your RECT and get the boat back in the picture.

So, how do you get the boat back to the customer before their frustration sets in?   

  1. Are you measuring RECT?
  2. What are you doing to shorten your RECT?

First, making the decision to measure your Repair Event Cycle Times is an enormous step forward for your service department and your dealership’s success. It will give you specific targets to aim for. The measure will give you specific ways to gauge your progress. Most importantly, it will give you insights to help guide your decision-making on how to improve the cycle times and how to get the boat back into the eagerly waiting hands of your customer more quickly.  The act of measuring that key performance indicator (KPI) will create an awareness that, if acted upon, will improve your customer experience.

Second, once you have made the decision to measure RECT, and you are fully aware of how many of those beautiful summer days your average customer is missing out on, it becomes time to act. Remember, you want to put the boat back into that picture of a beautiful summer day as soon as possible for all of your customers.  

Here are a few potential steps you can take to improve your RECT.

  • Focus on your tech efficiency
    • Do they have the right tools for the job?
    • Do they have the parts they need in a timely manner?
    • Are there delays in getting a boat moved into or out of the shop that decrease efficiency?
  • Examine your management efficiency
    • Are jobs scheduled to enhance technician efficiency?
    • Are jobs assigned to the tech who can best and efficiently complete them?
    • Are communications to and from the service desk and parts department working with the technicians?
  • Implement a “Triage policy”
    • When a boat is dropped off, ensure that it is inspected within 24-48 hours for diagnosis.
    • Order parts, if necessary, immediately upon diagnosis. Don’t force a customer to wait a week for a diagnosis and then another week for parts to arrive before work even begins.
    • Ensure the diagnosis is communicated clearly from the technician and properly shared with the customer.
  • Create brand or condition limitations
    • Are there boats older than your technician’s education? If so, don’t accept them, you probably will lengthen your RECT and disappoint that customer.
    • Are there boats in a certain condition (for example, saltwater corrosion) that will lead to delays in what would otherwise be a “normal” repair?
    • Are there brands that your technicians are not trained in or that you lack the equipment to work on?
  • Consider resources for your employees to help efficiency, proficiency and RECT
    • Consider individual technician incentive pay to support efficient and proficient work.
    • Written and shared job descriptions clarify what individuals need to accomplish and lead to improved efficiency.
    • Review and refine your service process map to influence success throughout your service department.

Those are just a few of the steps to take that can help reduce your dealership’s Repair Event Cycle Times. 

There are several other MRAA educational service resources that will help you provide for your service customers a picture-perfect summer day that includes their boat. Help restore the boat in their dreamy picture sooner with some of these links: