Let me explain. What do you think makes up Company Culture? When you ask people how they experience culture (not define it), you’ll get a varying degree of responses. A majority of those responses will be focused on “having fun”, “easy to communicate with leadership”, or “free food”. Ultimately, these are responses you want to get, but culture is far more than the warm and fuzzies. There is a real tangible value of decreasing turnover, engaging sales staff to perform higher, improving morale, and increasing sales from an intentionally placed structure and an engaged community. How you achieve this is through planning, structure, and effective deployment. There are real steps and structures to put in place to properly achieve long-lasting growth with culture success.
A few things to get you started.
Two halves that make a whole are internal and external culture. They work hand in hand but should be focused on independently. Internally, you want to focus on your employees, internal communication, structures, mission statements, expectations meetings, defined customer experience paths, defined processes, bridging departments, improving communication, breaking silos, and creating value statements by departments as well as for the organization as a whole.
Externally, you want to address how the community engages with your store. Areas of focus that address external culture include social culture strategy, brand identity, value propositions, consistent market research, social training for the team, consumer experience awareness, and defined consumer experiences paths. They are important to discuss and illustrate to your team as well as the community.
In my experience of both being an Internet Director and running an agency, I’ve identified 5 areas where those internal and external cultures focus into.
In a hyper-connected, consumer experience driven world, culture is crucial to attracting and retaining both your customers and employees. Dealership culture seems to be the most difficult to influence or course correct. In large part due to the connotation of difficulty, most give up before they even try. I’m here to tell you it isn’t that difficult, but it does take intention and buy-in.
Culture has become an extremely hot topic across all industries, especially in automotive where customer experience is critical, and those who fail to execute that struggle with turnover at a high rate. While I see that increasingly more dealerships are embracing “culture”, I find that it is quite misunderstood and poorly structured which leads to continued turnover issues along with poor consumer experience. Solving this problem is my motivation for discussing this topic at the upcoming Driving Sales Executive Summit in Vegas this October. I hope you join me at DSES so you can walk out with a plan to conquer such an important and misconstrued topic.