Commitment To Training

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How to prioritize training in your shop

Monday, April 3, 2017 - 07:00
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Steve Jobs wore the same outfit every single day — a black turtleneck, jeans and sneakers. He was in good company; many successful people, including Mark Zuckerberg and Albert Einstein, chose to wear the same clothes every day as well. Why? They had more important things to worry about than clothes. You’re no different.

I’m not talking about clothing, of course. For most people, what they wear each day isn’t a taxing decision. But, just like those innovators, when you can get rid of micromanaging, chaos and stress, you can spend more time concentrating on more important things like growing your shop, which means you need a team that is empowered to make the right decisions.

Every one of your employees must know exactly what they’re responsible for, have the tools and training to hit their target and know where they stand in hitting those goals every day.

In other words, you need a shop culture that prioritizes training — not one class or one day or training only for new hires. I mean ongoing training for the entire team.

Why should you prioritize training?

Because until you do, you’re trapped. You’re stuck working in the business instead of growing it. Consider marketing. What’s the key to get the most out of your marketing dollars? Delivering on what your advertising promises!

If your advertising promises superior customer service, then your customers will come to your shop expecting a great experience. But if your service advisors aren’t delivering on that promise, then you risk burning and losing every new customer your advertising brings through the door.

How can you make sure that everyone on the team is delivering on every promise with every customer, every time? You can do that by breathing down their neck every day. You can look over their shoulders to make sure they perform thorough inspections, advise the customer properly and don’t make any mistakes. You can micromanage or do everything yourself.

Or you can free yourself from that burden by making sure your team is empowered through training to deliver on those promises.

In other words, you need a team that understands your expectations, knows what to do and has the authority to do it.

Through training you can ensure that your employees have the knowledge and tools they need to make the right decisions — not only for one issue, but for every aspect of their job, their responsibilities and the shop.

Training your employees may require more time up front, but it frees you from the time, demand and stress of controlling every aspect of your shop yourself.

How do you make time for training?

Training isn’t optional in our shop; it is required. Every time I hire a new employee, they spend two full weeks in training before they even get to touch the cars or the phones.

It’s not that I don’t trust them. If I didn’t, I wouldn’t have hired them in the first place. But their role is about more than ability to perform the job. They have to learn the processes in our shop. They have to learn how we answer the phones. They have to understand how we treat our customers.

One of our clients once told me, “I cannot find an employee worth a darn.” When I asked about his training process, he said, “Any qualified employee should know how to do their job without me having to show him.”

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