Nearly every week we spend training in a Dealership, we try to identify and help correct deficiencies in production, CSI and dealership employee performance. The rub is that every dealership has different issues and problems.
And 100% of the time when there is little progress in performance or profit improvement, the dealership employees and management say “It’s a TRAINING ISSUE!” Of course, it must be a training issue because there is no way on this green earth that is could be the dealerships employees or management team.
So, let’s tackle the myth of the “Training Issue.”
Inconsistent application of processes is not a Training Issue. Once a process has been introduced, trained on and implemented, it can’t be un-introduced, un-trained and un-implemented. It can be ignored. It can be discarded. It can be disregarded.
Processes are systematic steps completed in a specific order to achieve a desired result. Once personnel have been trained on them, practiced them, implemented them and used them, training is complete.
When they are not being followed, it’s because a human being decided that they were not going to follow that process. This means, it’s not a “Training Issue. “
Lack of follow through on promises made to the Customer is not a Training Issue. As an Advisor, when I made a promise to the Customer to call them by 2:00pm with an update on their vehicle, if that did not happen, it most definitely was not because I had not been “trained.”
There may be any number of reasons (excuses) that I missed my call back time. What’s not important is the reason, what is important is the implication, not only to the Customer, but to the Service Team.
If I as a Service Advisor, do not follow through on my promise to the Customer to call them back, take care of an inquiry, make sure a part got ordered…etc., why would that Customer trust me or the Service Department to take care of their needs in the future?
That is the real consequence of lack of follow through. Customers stop coming back. And that hurts the entire dealership. And it is most certainly not a Training Issue.
Absence of performance results is not a Training Issue. Performance increases remain the end result of repeated application of processes. Stop applying the process, start deceasing performance. It does not matter if you are talking about a sports team; orchestra, business team or dealership team, the performance achieved is directly related to the consistent application of a process.
So, what is a “Training Issue?”
It’s when someone does not know how to do something. They require Training to understand the process, what steps need to be taken in what order, how to circumvent obstacles and how to implement what’s been taught.
As a young Advisor, I needed to be shown how to write a repair order. I needed Training to understand the steps necessary to make a piece of paper print on a printer so I could present it to the Customer for their signature. Someone had to Train me to do that.
If I did not follow the steps, a piece of paper did not print and I could not get a signature. It was not a matter of not being Trained and entirely a matter of not following the steps.
In the CarBiz, we all have processes in place to help us take care of the Customer whilst making a return on the investment of time we put into following that process. Anytime we deviate from that plan, we risk losing all that we put in plus we risk losing the Customer.
Make sure that what you believe is a Training Issue is really a Training Issue by asking the simple question “Do they know how to do what we are asking?”
Because most “Training Issues” are really “Leadership Issues.”
By Leonard Buchholz