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An easy-to-use DMS can do more for employee retention than a company party

by Whitney McCarthy
on May 23, 2018

You know the drill: morale is languishing. It may be because sales are down, or a top producer just left. A change in the dealership’s workflow may have been the culprit, such as a required new compliance or accounting step.

Or perhaps the GM just gave everyone a good old-fashioned lecture over missed numbers and runaway expenses. Point is, lots of things go wrong when it comes to dealership employee retention. It’s a problem that’s not going away; it’s getting worse. According to a recent Cox Automotive Staffing Study, up to 41 percent of the typical dealership’s new sales hires will leave before a year is up. The reasons include poor hiring and recruiting practices, a lack of proper training, and little to no career development.

It also includes bad, slow, and outdated technology.

According to a recent study by Sharp, the typical employee wastes 21 days a year waiting for technology to do its job. That’s enough wasted time to make the most patient person grind their teeth. It’s so bad that 32 percent of employees surveyed have pretended that the technology was broken – just so they didn’t have to use it. What’s more, 41 percent said they prefer to use their personal tech, because it’s better than what their company offers.

The result isn’t pretty: lack of productivity, loss of good employees, and frustration all around. For automotive retail, that’s a prescription for failure: the highest producers in an average store are the ones who need systems to work quickly and reliably. That doesn’t mean they have to be new – or the latest thing on the market. They need to simply get the job done right. That’s an important consideration when the time comes to consider an upgrade to your management system.

Is the system easy to use, and learn? It’s critical that all employees can jump into a system without issue and use it efficiently day after day. The entire point of technology is to create efficiencies of process…so it simply must be easy to use.

Ask your team these three questions to better understand pain points caused by technology – and how to solve them:

  1. Does it come highly rated? Don’t just count on what the salesperson says. Ask peers and colleagues if they’ve used a system being considered and how it went. Ask about the onboarding and launch process – that’s another potential roadblock when it comes to employee retention.
  2. Does the system feel like home? Make sure the interface is a common representation of best-in-class user experience – the kind people are used to interacting with at home, and on their mobile devices. That helps promote a feeling of comfort and confidence among employees.
  3. Will it improve and iterate? Software development never stays still – there’s always a better way to get the job done. Make sure your system includes continuous upgrades that focus on helping you increase productivity.

Ultimately, the system that’s best for your dealership is the one that improves efficiencies in the day-to-day process of doing business. That helps build profit and reduce expenses, an objective that starts with an easy-to-use system that helps employees reach their potential – and not the front door.

To learn more about how other dealerships are creating efficiencies through technology, check out Goode Motor Auto Group’s story.

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