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Connected Operations

Want to Improve Employee Retention and Satisfaction? Everyday Tools and Technology Can Help

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Article Highlights

  1. Employee retention and satisfaction is an industrywide challenge. 67% of dealership salespeople will leave within a year of being hired, with service advisors and technicians following shortly thereafter.
  2. While employee-facing technology solutions are often primarily thought of as a way to enhance the customer experience and reduce transactional costs, they can also improve employee happiness and retention.
  3. Employee-facing technology solutions should be easy to learn and, ideally, should integrate trade-in appraisal, CRM, DMS, F&I and fixed ops into an efficient, connected workflow.

Happy employees make for successful dealerships.

It’s hard to disagree with that statement, right? Everyone wants employees to enjoy their work, be motivated to succeed, and to relish the idea of coming to work every day.

But we all know that it’s not so simple. Boosting morale – and maintaining it – is a complex mesh of salary, opportunity, culture, and the day-to-day requirements of work. In fact, here’s the real question, and one all dealer managers should be asking:

How do you balance the cost and return of happiness?

From a big-picture point of view, many dealerships aren’t doing that so well. In fact, it’s a well-studied area of concern, and possibly the #1 issue facing dealerships today. Consider the fact that 67% of dealership salespeople will leave within a year of being hired.1 This poor retention rate is followed in short order by service advisors, and technicians.1 Altogether, it reflects an industrywide struggle to hire and keep the right employees.

It’s about Efficiency, Simplicity and Integration

One way to help improve retention and job satisfaction is by taking a hard look at the tools employees use. While we often think of these solutions as a way to improve the customer experience and reduce transactional costs, they also serve as key factors when it comes to employee happiness. In fact, a report by Hireology found that access to the right tools was a common feature among the Automotive News’ “100 Best Dealerships to Work For.” 2

The 2017 NADA Workforce Study also cited the importance of technology tools in terms of making tasks more efficient.In fact, according to the study, technology efficiency is especially important to millennials – a key recruiting demographic.

So how do you measure up? Evaluate your current employee-facing technology based on the following three criteria:

  1. Efficiency: How many open windows does it take to handle a typical transaction? Efficient systems keep work steps on as few separate screens as possible. An efficient system also leverages mobile technology, making access convenient from anywhere in the dealership.
  2. Simplicity: How easy is it to learn? No one likes to be trained on a complicated system. Worse yet, dealing with confusing, non-intuitive steps every day is a sure recipe for employee frustration. Operations software that features a user experience similar to the mobile devices that employees are accustomed to using makes tasks easier to accomplish and creates a more comfortable working environment.
  3. Integration: Does it integrate with other systems and solutions, reducing needless work, errors, and missed connections? For example, gathering and leveraging data throughout most of the sales (or service) journey, from digital retailing and credit apps to registration and title, can eliminate needless and time-consuming data entry.

There are countless intangible ways that effective technology can improve the employee experience and have a significant and lasting impact on employee satisfaction. Think of it this way: Many of your employees spend more time with systems than they do other employees. Making sure that relationship is pleasant, easy and empowering will go a long way toward rebalancing the cost and return of employee happiness.

Cox Automotive can help streamline your dealership operations with connected tools and technology with the industry’s only solution that integrates trade-in appraisal, CRM, DMS, F&I and Fixed Ops into an easy-to-use connected workflow. Boost efficiency with a process that gives your customers AND your employees a faster, more enjoyable dealership experience.

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