The Importance of Training

Education & Training

Greg DewaltBy Greg Dewalt, PRVCA Education Director

I was recently sitting in on a sales training and thought to myself the lesson the instructor was teaching the salespeople can really be applied across the entire dealership, particularly in the Service Department. I wonder why more people do not attend the training events. I spent an hour with a sales trainer and came out of the class with several ideas to apply to the Service Department and a few for the Parts Department, as well. The cost of this training for our members was Zero. Talk about return on an investment. Just because the training was for salespeople and sales managers, does not exclude other department managers from attending. I believe it to be a great way to broaden your management teams’ horizons.

So why is it so important to train our personnel?

Training and education have a profound effect on business in four major areas. It improves your team’s skills and knowledge. It prepares your employees for leadership roles or higher positions of authority. It demonstrates to the employee that you value them to the point you are willing to invest in them and they are a valued asset to your organization. And Lastly, training provides feedback to management.

Let us first look at improving skills and knowledge. Training of skills and knowledge for our employees will enhance our productivity. The better trained an employee is, the more efficient he becomes at his job. The more efficient he is, the more he can produce at that position. The simple act of making a phone call to our customer versus waiting for the customer to contact us can reduce our phone time with that customer in that conversation by 80%. If a customer calls us asking questions about a service process, we often spend 20 minutes or more looking up the data, finding answers, and answering all the questions the customer asks. Whereas, if we call the customer and answer the three questions “How much?”, “When will it be done?” and “What we did?” the conversation is very blunt and to the point and gives the customer all the information he really wants or needs. The service advisor or person making that phone call does not have to spend time looking up the information, trying to find the work order or chasing down a technician to answer questions. This also enhances the customer’s experience with our organization. We look much more professional. If we are a proactive organization in taking care of our customers, the customers’ experience is enhanced by training on a regular basis. Our processes and the performance of our processes, the skills we use, and the knowledge we obtain become consistent across the team and with all customers. This consistency of the process performance also heightens the customer experience. With all this put together it is a reduction of waste and more importantly an increase in efficiencies and productivity.

Training prepares our employees for leadership roles and/or positions of higher authority. Training will help our employees to meet their maximum potential. This training will help us be able to promote from within, thereby reducing our initial training costs across the organization. A better trained employee accepting a higher authority also requires reduced direct supervision allowing our managers to manage their department’s more effectively.

A businesses largest investment is in its personnel. We can demonstrate to our personnel that they are a very valued asset by providing them with training. Training reduces your employee turnover as your employees realize how valued they are within the organization. Training provides for opportunities in team building and morale building as well and this all provides for a better work environment.

Training also provides feedback to management on how processes are working. Training is an opportunity for the team to reflect upon how well our processes are working for them. They will come together as a team and provide important information about how the process can be improved. This opens a line of communication within the team and allows the team to grow and build.

Make it your goal to provide continuous process improvement training throughout your dealership, not just the sales and service technicians. Educating your staff will greatly enhance many aspects of your organization.

PRVCA offers Free and reduced cost training to our members. Visit our website to view the training calendar and register for your next training.