By Stephanie Licata, M.A., A.C.C.
You may wonder why your “best salesperson” left your dealership or why you keep investing in people who don’t stay. There is a critical insight for dealers to retain top talent that is RIGHT under their noses.
Dealerships are hyper focused on customer satisfaction for good reason. In a time where CSI is king, dealerships can’t afford inconsistencies in their service delivery. But no two CSI scores tell exactly the same story. When customers are not getting served — there is usually a connection with employee satisfaction and performance as well. Sure, a process can be broken here or there, but if leadership and effectiveness is lacking, a customer program is a clue to an employee problem.
The secret isn’t really a secret at all: treat your employees like your customers.
Satisfaction is contagious. Informed, developed and engaged employees take their jobs very seriously they don’t overlook details. They CARE about the customer. They even might care about one another. They go the EXTRA mile to ensure exceptional service.
If we can’t understand why customers aren’t satisfied, we have to look directly at our workforce and ask the following questions:
- What is our company really about? Why do we do what we do? Does anyone really care or do we just want to sell cars? Dealerships don’t sell cars – people, relationships and good brands sell cars. Your employees are a reflection of whatever you say that brand is. How they perform is what you stand for. They have to be aligned.
- What is your hiring and onboarding process? Do you have one? Are we just getting people “processed” and out there working or are we creating an experience that engages the employee and empowers them with tools, resources and support to succeed?
- Our are managers leaders? You may think those things are the same, but they are drastically different. We usually promote people that are great at THEIR job to be a manager. Are they good with people? Can they inspire and motivate? Have you invested in their leadership development to help them succeed. Individual contributor success does NOT equal management success. Take the time to make sure your managers have the leadership development they need to properly lead others.
We can never ignore that human beings are the ones leading our companies. They are not robots. They need to be interacted with,motivated and engaged to perform. It’s not 1950. People don’t just work to get a check anymore. They want to feel valued. It’s the least an organization can do. Your first customer is ALWAYS your employee. Strengthen your relationship with your workforce, and watch your customers benefit.