6 Goals Dealers are Setting in 2017

Top performing dealerships set goals in all areas of their business. Goals give focus, direction, a target to aim for and something to get excited about. Goals don’t necessarily need to take a year to complete. Achieving short-term goals gives a sense of achievement and builds confidence for larger initiatives. When you establish clear goals, you have a benchmark to measure progress and provide incentives for your employees that go above and beyond.

It’s not too late to set goals for 2017, or to re-examine goals you set earlier. To help you out, here are 6 goals dealers are setting this year.

Begin with the end in mind. – Stephen Covey.

1. Increase Training Efforts

A top reason employees leave an organization is too few opportunities for growth, learning and advancement. To combat this, dealerships are investing in formal training programs for both employees and management teams. Customer Service provided ‘the dealership way’ focuses learning on how to deliver the dealership’s unique brand promise and exceptional customer experiences. Management training and development focuses on leadership, coaching and listening skills.  In addition, dealers are incorporating specific leadership training that focuses on improving concerns that arise with generation gaps.

2. Improve Customer Follow Up Processes

Dealerships are prioritizing follow-up after the sale. Store or department managers are contacting the customer to learn if their needs were met, their first impression, and how they can be served better. Follow-up provides early signals for process improvement and avoids surprises down the road. It also lets the customer know their satisfaction is important, and is a key step in becoming their dealership of choice.

3. Consistently Track Issues and Close the Loop with Customers

Issue management has become a competitive differentiator and dealerships have set new standards. Location and department managers are contacting customers with issues within 24 hours of receiving feedback. They are documenting the root cause and issue resolution to prevent future recurrence. They know that a timely response when closing the loop is crucial for retaining future business. By tracking the steps for issue resolution, dealerships can update processes quickly to improve future customer experiences.

4. Take Customer Relationships & Retention to the Next Level

Dealerships are re-energizing their customer loyalty by assigning managers to on-site customer visits with key customers. By getting out and spending time at their place of business, you can stay closer to the customer, learn their future goals and address concerns before they become issues. These visits can be used to improve dealership processes, increase loyalty and as sales opportunities.

5. Incorporate Customer Journey Maps

Customer journey maps help dealers understand how the customer interacts with the dealership from their point of view. Dealerships are creating journey maps to document the customer’s experience at various touchpoints across their business. Journey mapping shows employees how they contribute to specific experience outcomes and ultimately how it impacts your dealership’s experience score and revenue.

6. Improve Employee Engagement

Motivated and engaged employees provide better customer experiences. To increase motivation and improve morale, dealerships are adopting a management approach of coaching and mentorship. Managers are asking for input, listening to different perspectives, using employee ideas and treating mistakes as learning opportunities. By showing employees they are valuable, dealerships can transform the culture, attract high performance talent, reduce turnover costs and drive growth from within the organization.

If you don’t know where you are going, you’ll end up someplace else. – Yogi Berra