TRENDS, TECHNOLOGIES & TRAINING
By: Robert Sevigny, VP, Sales
Managing change doesn’t have to be overwhelming, if your dealership partners with the right training provider.
From technology innovations and new mobility models to customers’ expectations of the car-shopping experience, the automotive industry is transforming in a number of ways. As your dealership navigates these challenging new trends, find the right training partner to expedite how your business evolves. Your training partner should help you stay ahead of industry trends and support you in providing exceptional customer experiences. As you determine your dealership’s 2019 training strategy, look for these five key qualities in your training partner’s services: convenient, personalized, holistic, practical and forward focused.
Convenience is king in this day and age, so why should your dealership expect anything less from your training partner? Let’s face it— most dealerships don’t want their employees taking excessive time off work to attend off-site training. This year, demand convenient training on your schedule.
Unfortunately, the high turnover that dealerships often face creates a need for repetitive training. When training is offered on a fixed schedule, it can be problematic, as new hires may not receive training for weeks. Look for training solutions that adapt to your schedule, so if you hire a new employee, they can receive training on day one.
Employees should be able to access training through various channels to improve performance, including face-to-face and online via mobile, tablet, and desktop. Convenient learning can also include micro-learning options, meaning video clips that employees can watch in three to six minutes. Access to a variety of short online training modules allows employees to learn even when they have limited time to spare.
Training is not one size fits all, and it should be adapted to the unique needs of each employee in your dealership. For example, some learn better in groups, one-on-one, or on their own time. Ensure your business is set up for success by looking for a training partner that offers a blended training approach, combining one-on-one coaching with personalized training development plans for employees.
To reap the benefits of personalization, discuss your dealership’s business priorities and challenges with your training partner before developing any plans. This collaborative approach can ensure that training development plans for your employees will align with both their individual needs and your dealership’s needs.
Don’t wait for someone else to dictate what certification your employees should have. Consider a training provider that gives you the power to determine a training standard for your dealership, with a focus on the areas in which you want to excel.
Just like a vehicle, your dealership consists of numerous moving parts, which all contribute to your overall performance. Therefore, your training partner should consider a number of areas, such as the people, tools, motivation, and leadership that contribute to your dealership’s success, rather than solely focusing on one component.
According to a 2018 study by Cox Automotive, a lengthy amount of time spent in the financial services office can significantly lower customer satisfaction. With this in mind, find a training solution that doesn’t just focus on objection handling and selling practices, but also how to create a better customer experience. Training that helps your financial services managers shorten the sales process can increase profitability, free up more time for employees and have a positive impact on customer satisfaction.
Try to avoid training partners that favour certain products or suppliers. Your training partner should offer a product-agnostic approach and support your dealership in areas that you identify as important to your business performance.
Functional tools such as menu selling and performance monitoring can benefit your financial services office when used correctly. Consider a training partner that also offers expertise and guidance on how to best utilize these tools.
Ask your potential training partner about a learning management system, as it can provide a number of benefits to your dealership. For example, it can help your management team monitor the proficiency of each employee, develop certification programs and create flexible training development plans based on your employees’ unique needs. This would allow your management to determine if novice employees are ready to meet with customers or if further training is required.
The seemingly endless new technologies and changes in customer expectations have some dealers and OEMs diving head first into the digital space, while others are falling behind by not adapting to the digital customer. With this in mind, look for training options that support your dealership in exploring these online trends.
Considering the automotive sector’s ongoing transformation in your training strategy can be an effective way to ensure your dealership is prepared to implement new services and processes, such as a digital retailing tool. More importantly, a training partner should provide your team with the necessary support to learn how to adapt your internal process and ensure that your dealership can evolve with these trends.
No matter what new trend or technology you are tackling, your training partner should support you in change management for your business and employees. By choosing the right training partner, your dealership will be prepared to take on the emerging trends and customer needs in 2019.