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Communicating Helps Soften Change

by Dealertrack
on June 13, 2018

Successfully integrating new technology at a dealership is a daunting task. It’s more than just adopting new software. It involves operational changes, contemplation of compatibility issues, and buy-in from the entire dealership team. Although changing technologies can be challenging, proper communication can help soften the sting of change.

Communication with Leadership

As with any major decision, it can be difficult to get everyone on the same page with new technology. That’s because even if every member of the leadership team has the same end goal in mind, the steps each department must take to get there sometimes involve competing interests and viewpoints. The key to getting leadership on board is to explain how new technology will benefit each department and employee. And once there’s buy-in from leadership, the process of taking the message and benefits of change to the rest of the organization becomes much easier. Share your vision with leadership and be upfront about the realities and challenges of change. Then, invite managers to help employees understand the vision, again highlighting ways that new tech will make their jobs easier and more efficient.

Communication with Employees

Integrating new technology can be especially jarring for employees, whose lives will change as a result of having to learn new processes and programs to complete their jobs. And that means emotions are involved, creating a natural tendency toward pushback. But with leadership on board, it’s easier to get buy-in from every employee. Remember, these are the people who implement your operational processes and will be most affected on a day-to-day basis by a change in technology. You want to make your employees’ work lives happier and more enjoyable, while at the same time improving efficiency across the board. It’s your job, along with your leadership team, to convince them that a change in technology is for the better. Because when your employees are on board, your dealership is in a position to take full advantage of new technology.

Communication with Vendor

Finding a tech partner that’s willing to facilitate communication among staff members can be invaluable. Before implementation, work with your tech provider to discuss requirements unique to your dealership. Then ask your provider to tailor training and communication with staff accordingly. During implementation, your tech provider should be on-site to provide support and help to ensure that there are no interruptions in operations. And after going live, communication with your tech provider’s performance managers and ongoing support team will ensure that you stay focused on meeting your business milestones.

Implementing new dealership technology is no easy task. But proper communication between leadership, employees, and technology vendor can ensure that all parties move forward together for the betterment of your business. If you’d like to learn more about ways to communicate as a part of change management, download our free guide, Real-World Advice for a (Practically) Painless DMS Transition.

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