“The only thing worse than training your employees and having them leave is not training them and having them stay.” — Henry Ford
If you’re looking for a sure-fire way to reduce efficiency, frustrate your employees and ultimately have them move on to other dealerships, neglect their ongoing training. At most dealerships, training is a two-day crash course in following up on leads and closing tasks, then it’s time to start pounding the phones and selling.
That approach doesn’t take into account updates to your systems, new user interfaces, new features and brand-new technologies — how can your staff be expected to retain it all?
Not prioritizing ongoing training leads to inefficient and inaccurate use of your tools, as well as frustrated employees. It’s a contributing factor to the high turnover in our industry. Each one of those departing employees costs dealerships an average of $10,000 in lost productivity, recruitment and training before the cycle starts again.
When hiring managers and finding new vendors, be sure to make sure they value ongoing training. Start building a plan to retain your staff and ensure valuable process knowledge isn’t lost when they leave. As you evaluate new technology partners, start asking the these two key training questions:
1. Do you understand my business as well as your product?
Make sure they can combine retail automotive sales backgrounds with intensive training and a deep understanding of how product utilization affects a dealership’s sales and service processes.
To help reach your unique goals and tackle challenges, part of your initial onboarding should include in-person training at your dealership. The sessions should focus on improving overall dealership performance through consistent use of your new product’s capabilities.
By training employees to use tools in a way that allows them to see results they care about, your team will be more likely to retain the information and start putting it to good use immediately.
2. Do you have ongoing training resources for my team?
A regular training schedule is important because of what’s known as the Ebbinghaus Forgetting Curve, which shows that employees forget a substantial portion of what they’ve learned within just two weeks unless it is reinforced by additional training.
As you evaluate new partners, make sure you know the training programs available:
• Are there on-demand training videos?
• Is there a knowledge base with how-tos?
• What in-person or webinar training opportunities are available and how frequently?
• Are there certification programs available?
Technology tools change, new features become available and processes shift when management identifies more effective ways to work with customers. The business climate is ever-changing, and tomorrow’s customers may not respond the same way to communications as today’s customers do. Continuous training keeps your staff members on the same page, helps them quickly adjust when something new happens and adds to their overall satisfaction. That, in turn, leads to better performance at your dealership.