For whatever reason, dealerships can be slow to adapt to changing market conditions. The writing is on the wall for those dealerships who have turned a blind eye to the shift to digital in every facet of dealership operations from marketing to sales, F&I and service.
But even those who make technology purchases but fail to deploy them to advantage do so because they fail to focus on adoption. Simply rolling out a new way of doing things with a lot of fanfare isn’t enough to make it a success.
Where does the disconnect begin?
It is one thing to mandate it, it is another thing for Dealership owners and managers to make employees accountable for ensuring that technology is actually put to use. Management expects that adoption and use will take care of themselves. Adoption of the investment you’ve made is key. It should be a routine part of the way you do business.
Knowing all this, how can dealership owners and managers convince more of their employees to embrace and use new technology?
Priorities become the central focus
Don’t roll out a lot of new software and expect to see results instantly. Instead, take the time to figure out what’s important to your business and where improvement is needed. Focus on the software’s impact versus its cost and how easy it will be to implement.
Budget time and money for training
The most overlooked aspect of a new software roll out is the need to train the staff properly. Not all people can pick up the ins and outs of new software all on their own, and simply thrusting an employee into a new technology is a recipe for disaster.
Make sure your employees have the needed support to properly utilize the software, and progress should be monitored. Time should be spent showcasing the time savings and elimination of redundant tasks that the software will provide. Proper training and continued support should be given the time and attention they deserve. Employees should never feel as though they weren’t given the help they need to be successful in using the new technology.
Set the right example
Adoption of new technology should always start at the top. Department managers should eagerly embrace the new technology, setting the example for others. As these leaders set the tone, other employees will follow. Also make sure that your most influential employees and those who are most comfortable with new technology are brought in early in the process so they can set an example and assist others.
Provide rewards and recognition
Lunch and learns where food is supplied in exchange for a lunch hour’s worth of training is a great way to eliminate disruptions in an employee’s day. Just make sure that these are not so frequent as to make people feel like you are taking their breaks from them.
Everyone appreciates being recognized, so why not offer contests and rewards for your employees who are effectively utilizing the new software? Reconditioning software and other technologies designed for dealerships can save money, so if you reward employees who are utilizing it to its fullest potential, you’ll still come out ahead. Even a small gift card, bonus, or other form of recognition can be a powerful incentive.
Taking proper care with new technology roll-outs will result in great rewards for both your business and your team. At AMT, we’ve seen that a small amount of extra attention can mean the difference between confusion and success. We work with our clients to ensure that both the product and the team using it are providing the greatest benefit to the business.