Business is about building relationships. Sure, there are a myriad of ways to approach selling vehicles or services, but meeting your business goals will always boil down to relationships — employee-customer relationships and employee-employee relationships.
What’s the number one reason relationships fail? Communication.
Efficient and effective communication is critical to healthy relationships and thus, your business operations. A dealership team that works together and communicates with one another, helps everybody remain engaged and keeps operations running smoothly. Here are three ways to improve communication at your dealership.
Find the Bottlenecks
The first step toward any solution for dysfunctional internal communications should be to figure out what’s causing the dysfunction. Deploying new tools — whether intranet messaging, radios or a public address system — will be ultimately worthless if you don’t first address the underlying cause. If employees aren’t using email properly (i.e. unanswered emails and full inboxes), are you certain changing the tool will fix the problem?
Take a look at how your staff — sales, F&I and service — works together, and search for the slip in the gears. If certain employees or departments aren’t making efforts to work together, you could have a toxic situation that a new tool might not fix. Address these issues before you start making changes to your processes.
Make Technology Work Together
You probably already have a DMS and other digital tools that help your departments meet objectives on a daily basis, but do these tools serve any communication purposes? Effective communication between departments improves how your dealership operates and by extension the experience you provide your customers. If your various software programs and tools don’t work together, you might be limiting your employees’ communication potential.
Consider how you manage your keys. If you use a pegboard, an employee could easily take a car for a demo without informing anybody else in the building. What happens when a salesperson needs that vehicle for a demo for a customer with an appointment? To fix this issue, an electronic key control system that automatically tracks access and syncs with your DMS would make it easy to know who took keys and when, as well as to reserve cars for demos in advance. Using a tool that forces employees to log access will drive better communication and a better customer experience.
Reinforce Dealerships Goals
When the dealership is successful overall, everybody on staff benefits. That’s why it’s important to reinforce your dealership’s goals and promote teamwork across your entire organization. Your departments shouldn’t be out to compete with each other for revenue opportunities, but rather should understand that there are ways they can work together to benefit the dealership.
Better communication between employees and departments will help your dealership operate more efficiently and provide a better experience for your customers. Don’t let your relationships fall apart because of poor communication.
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