Technical Staff Get Training at Dealerships to Boost Consumer Confidence
Consumer confidence has only recently begun to return to the car industry, and retailers are doing whatever they can to get consumer attention and pull sales away from other dealerships that are also trying to recover from more trying times. As a result of this, many dealerships are working hard to provide additional to their staff this fiscal year than they did last fiscal year. A recent report from Castrol Professional discovered that the number of dealerships providing training to technical staff has increased by a wide margin over the past fiscal year. In 2011, only 93 per cent of dealerships carried out training sessions for technical staff. However, in 2012, the number of dealerships carrying out the same kind of training rose to more than 97 per cent. The number may be even higher in 2013.
The study not only examined dealerships at a national level or worldwide level but also on the franchisee level. Franchisee level reports indicated that 92 per cent of franchisee dealerships that provided technical staff with training in 2012 believed that it would increase the profitability of the business. Only two per cent of those franchisee dealers that participated in training technical staff found the training to be useless in terms of increasing profits.
Training in more recent years has focused on the technical aspects of the business and more than 99 per cent of businesses that offered training to their staff members offered technician training specific to the brands offered. More than 93 per cent of the same group provided training opportunities that focused on the electrical systems of motor vehicles on the lot, which are becoming more and more complex with each passing year. Although technical staff received a significant amount of training amongst dealerships in 2012 over 2011, there was still a portion of staff members that were left out of training: customer service and sales staff. These individuals reportedly received little to no training in either 2011 or 2012. Only 54 per cent of those dealerships that were surveyed reported providing any types of training to sales, customer service, or reception staff, though these individuals frequently have the greatest impact on sales and referrals, and have the greatest impact on the profitability of the business.
The problem with not training sales staff and those working in reception and customer service is that these individuals are the ones that are able to help customers make the decision to not only purchase a vehicle, but also to purchase the upgrades, and specialty items that go with each and every vehicle on the lot. The technician does not sell the upgraded warranty or servicing packages or the customised model of a vehicle. That is up to the sales staff. These same staff members are responsible for keeping customers happy when repair bills are expensive so that the dealership can continue to make money on repairs that could be made more cheaply elsewhere. Without a well-trained sales staff, the future may be bleak.
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