The “change” we as an industry are experiencing is going to require us to step it up with how we hire, who we hire and the way in which we manage our Sales, Internet and BDC personnel. In the past we have not given the attention needed to attracting, hiring and managing our sales and customer service people effectively, we have done it by the seat of our pants.
We cannot afford any longer to over look these critical areas in our stores, it’s costly, time consuming and frustrating to everyone involved, management, employees AND the customer.
How we hire and recruit our Sales, Internet and BDC professionals, sets the “tone” for the entire store and how it performs as an employer and a place to do business.
I can walk into a store anywhere in the country and in less than 30 minutes, be able to identify -with uncanny accuracy, if the store has a hiring and employee management process in place that management religiously follows (Employee Life Cycle Management System). Here are the clues:
Clue #1 ATTITUDE
WITHOUT a hiring and management process in place: There is a “feel” to the store of dishevelment, chaos and negativity observed through the actions of the employees. Smiles are not in abundance and seriousness prevails. This is due largely in part to the “uncertainty” that being an employee in the store brings to their lives. Few minimum requirements are established with a solid performance game plan for employees and management alike to follow in order to achieve these goals.
Clue #2 SALES
WITHOUT a process: The stores sales are not anything to write home about, the struggle is constant, and the “struggle” is sensed in the “attitudes” of the employees in the store. Management and employees are stressed due to frustration and fear. Lack of a game plan leaves employees feeling out of control.
Clue #3 CUSTOMER SATISFACTION LEVELS
WITHOUT a process: The stores CSI and SSI scores are below minimum requirements. This is due largely to the fact that stores employees are NOT satisfied, do not feel valuable and operate in fear and uncertainty most of the time. This “fear” and uncertainty is always passed on down to the customers.
Clue #4 CUSTOMERS
WITHOUT a process: Customers in the showroom and or service department do not appear to be at ease. Customers are in the dark as to “what to expect next”, this creates anxiety. Since the sales people are not “managed” consistently, they do not interact consistently with clients.
FACT 1 : Wrong hiring choices and mismanagement of employee’s are the leading factors in unsatisfied employees. Unsatisfied, mismanaged employees is the leading factor in low sales and low customer service satisfaction scores (CSI)
FACT 2 : It typically cost a dealership between $2500~$20,000 to recruit, hire and train a Sales, Internet or BDC professional, not to mention the hidden costs of lost sales, low productivity, poor customer satisfaction, and lack of repeat business.
THE CAUSE: Lack of a CONSISTENT hiring and management plan/process that they follow when hiring and managing Sales, Internet, and BDC professionals
We are notorious for “hoping” that we hired the right employee and that a manager will instinctively know how to manage…hope is not a plan! A simple Employee Life Cycle System is all the average dealership needs to hire more effectively as well as manage and develop employees consistently.
What is an Employee Life Cycle System (ELCS)?
An ELCS is a step by step process that is used to consistently, objectively and fairly recruit, hire, manage and develop employees- from the time they are recruited until the time they leave, voluntarily or involuntarily.
Dealerrefresh.com and HireRite, Inc. will present to you as a four part series a complete “PLAN” or “Employee Life Cycle” to hire, manage and develop your employees more effectively and efficiently. Once implemented you will:
- Attract better qualified job applicants
- Decrease your recruiting time
- Conduct more effective interviews
- Effectively motivate, develop and manage your employees (in less than 2 hours per year per employee!)
- Decrease the cost of your recruiting
- Decrease your turnover and the high costs associated with it
The 4 part series will cover:
Part 1- Recruiting effectively– how to attract qualified sales and customer service professionals- to our industry and YOUR jobs.
Part 2- Interviewing and screening consistently and objectively- get the information you need to make, educated hiring decisions.
Part 3- Managing as well as developing ALL of your sales and customer service employees in less than 2 hours per year per employee! – eliminating “seat of the pants” managing and therefore “seat of the pants results”
Part 4- Employee retention– how to keep the talent you have AND the new talent you found.
Lets get started…stay tuned!
About the Author: Wendi Venable is the author of Finders Keepers “How to find and keep the best automotive sales and customer service professionals” and President of HireRite, Inc.