Bozard Ford’s Ed Roberts discusses pivoting their service strategy during the pandemic

Across the industry, service directors have often said that qualified technicians are hard to come by. Ed Roberts joined CBT News to discuss his methods of recruiting technicians in the current climate of the industry. Roberts is the Parts and Services Director of Bozard Ford Lincoln.

In the midst of a worldwide pandemic, Roberts says the business has been blessed to be up 10% year over year. It’s all about the mindset, he says. When the COVID-19 pandemic first hit, phone traffic at Bozard Ford cut in half. Which meant that the dealership staff has to get creative and come up with new ways to drive traffic.

In their efforts to generate leads, they found that many previous customers wanted to have service done. The idle time during lockdown seemed like a good opportunity, however, customers were hesitant to go to the dealership. So, Bozard Ford leaned heavily into pick up and delivery service appointments.

They did not lay off any positions, however, they did send home at-risk employees; over 65 years old or with compromised immune systems. Executing these alternate sales and service methods meant that Bozard Ford grew by 47 employees. In fact, they expanded their Lincoln showroom which needed more support staff. The service department grew as well with additional technicians and service advisors.

Finding quality technicians who are in it for the long haul is a difficult task to begin with, let alone during a global pandemic. However, Roberts says that Bozard Ford takes a more involved approach to recruiting and training. They bring tehcnicians in a for a trial period to see if they mesh well with the dealership culture. During that time, they begin with test drive service and graduate to their tech development program where they work with managers to develop their skills. This process has helped shape 60 technicians over a four-year period.

Did you enjoy this interview with Parts and Services Director Ed Roberts? Please share your thoughts, comments, or questions regarding this topic with host Jim Fitzpatrick at

Be sure to follow us on Facebook and Twitter to stay up to date or catch-up on all of our podcasts on demand.

While you’re here, don’t forget to subscribe to our email newsletter for all the latest auto industry news from CBT News.