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From: Jared Hamilton
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Denim Simkins

Denim Simkins Director, Fixed Ops

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How well is your team utilizing technology to enhance the customer experience and sell more service?

On the service drive there is a plethora of technology options available to help your advisor be more efficient and improve the customer experience. Most of these tools you have vetted and they work seamlessly with your DMS and generally are very simple to use.

 

My question is – How come very few engage and use it one hundred percent of the time?

 

For instance you are transforming your write up process to a mobile tablet but your employee still uses it as if it were a desktop. Maybe you are implementing something as simple as an electronic menu and your employee does not talk to 100% of the customers about the maintenance recommendations off the menu. How about a new or a improved multi point inspection report and it is not communicated to the customer every time.

These are some basic examples of current technology that will help your team improve sales and customer satisfaction but might be utilized only forty percent of the time, in most cases it is even less. Frustrating, you are shelling out dollars for a product that only gets driven on a very limited basis and therefore does not give you the complete ROI.

As a leader and tying to implement some of these new technology tools you will naturally face the naysayers, or those who are not tech savvy or the most common reason are those who simply do not want to change. Here are a couple of techniques that will help you get them not only on board but rowing the same direction as you.

 

Specific training – Every person learns differently and at different paces. Online training may not be as effective as in person training. In addition you don’t want to waist someone’s time and send them through training when they are the type that like to dive in and figure out themselves and simply need a road map or overview. Here is a novel idea, ask your employee what type of training they are “most comfortable” with and have your vendor tailor a program to help them get the most out of it.

 

Review Vision – Trying to persuade your team to adopt a new process or new technology is difficult and in this case you need to share your vision as to why this will be beneficial TO THEM. Does it help them be more efficient, sell more service, make more money or meet their quota? Identify what is the benefit to them and how it aligns with the company’s long-term direction.

 

Pull the captains on the boat first – every shop has their influencers, talk with them first and make it their idea. This way the meeting after the meeting goes well and doesn’t unravel everything you just did. A few others that are supporting the new initiative will go a long way to help with implementation.

 

Fun and Rewarding – It sounds simple but some excitement and enthusiasm will go along way. Add in a slight reward or incentive and this will help you draw attention to the positive impact of the new program. Emphasize individual gains publically and this will help encourage the other employees to get on board.  Gamification will generate a buzz and motivate others as well.

 

We all know business lately has been good and most economists predict it wont continue at this pace for much longer. When this happens the team that will help the dealership transition smoothly is well functioning fixed operations team. Identify the tools you have at your disposal and evaluate how well you are using them to maximize your profitability and customer experience.

Gary Matson

Great points.  Thanks.  The biggest change agent has to be the boss.  There has to the visible backing and support of the dealer throuighout the implementation to give the change a chance.  Not just a kick-off meeting speech but visible participation and reinforcement.

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