Spotlight: Amber Mann
SHOP STATS: Amber Mann Company: Ricart Automotive Group Location: Groveport, Ohio Position: Service Advisor
Amber Mann was riding her motorcycle next to her husband in 2017. One moment she was on the road, the next she was hit by a car coming into her lane. Mann spent a day in the hospital with a broken collarbone. Despite having the time to rest after the accident, she took the time to text a customer and update them on her condition, and what would be happening with their car.
“Since she had her accident, it was a reflection on her part,” says Dan Bryan, service operations director at Ricart Automotive Group. “It became a career, at that point, rather than a job.”
Mann first started working as a service advisor at Ricart Ford near Columbus, Ohio, to move back home to her family. She needed a job and she had previous experience scheduling appointments at a Chicago dealership.
After 3.5 years with Ricart Ford, Mann reveals how to adapt in the service industry and self-reflect on one’s own quality of work.
1. Take ownership of your work.
For Mann, taking responsibility of her tasks and constantly asking herself, “What can I do to improve?” has been important for growth. Mann spends her time observing how other people in her business act and actively listening to customer concerns.
2. Manage your time.
Focus is key. “I was coming into work but it got a point where I was just going through the motions, she says.
Mann had to work on keeping the customer updated. If she remembers a customer hasn’t been contacted with an update, she will make sure to call them at that time, because even 20 minutes can be a pain for a customer.
Mann took her motorcycle to the dealership where she bought it and was not called for two weeks.
“It was eye-opening,” she says.
The bad communication reminded Mann that when a customer becomes upset, it isn’t just the customer’s fault—partial responsibility falls on her.
3. Stay on top of industry trends.
During her free time, such driving to and from work, Mann will listen to podcasts or books on Audible.com. Currently, Mann listens to podcasts from Focus 3, a performance tool for shop employees. The topics range from individual to team building lessons.
4. Be passionate.
Mann was one of seven competitors in the regional Hyundai Service Advisor Competition, which she won. She will now be competing in the national championships in May.
The competition took place in a large showroom where the seven competitors conducted a walk-around process as if they were trying to write an estimate and get a customer out the door. Then each person was interviewed, took a written test and waited for the other competitors to finish for the day.
“I do it daily but at the same time, it’s difficult to be judged on what you do,” Mann says.
In order to force herself out of her comfort zone, Mann joined the competition. She also wanted to bring recognition to her company and represent them well as a service advisor champion.