The digital transformation has had a major impact on customers’ experience online, offering personalization and convenience like never before.
It has also transformed the way we do marketing—the way we strategize, implement, and track results. And with transformations come growing pains: Every new tool or process impacts workflows in ways big and small.
This is certainly true at your dealership. A new lead-capture tool might require the BDC to read and follow up with leads differently. A new data source likely requires setting up processes for tracking and integration.
Change takes time and effort—and is not always welcome. Research shows that changes in companies fail 70% of the time, and it’s not hard to understand why.
Aside from the fact that we all get used to our routines, change is often not implemented well.
The need for new technology is not explained well enough, training and support are lacking, or changes are introduced too often, causing people to stop taking them seriously.
But staying ahead of the curve with digital means change is necessary—and can truly be great for your dealership. That’s why getting your team on board is essential.
The good news is it’s also completely doable. Here are some strategies to make implementing new technology at your dealership a success.
1. Clarify company goals
One of the most crucial steps to getting buy-in from your team happens long before onboarding: determining what your dealership’s specific goals are.
Maybe you need to increase ROI on ad spend. Or perhaps you need to improve your lead-to-appointment ratio.
Whatever your dealership’s needs, having clear goals means that you can choose the tools that are the best fit for your dealership—and that makes explaining the change and getting the team on board much easier.
2. Get input in selecting tools
Part of clarifying your goals means taking into account not only the larger company goals, but also specific needs of your employees.
Get input from your entire team on how its workflow is going, and where there are gaps to fill. Maybe your team needs a solution to make lead follow-up easier or to find ways to streamline data more efficiently—or maybe it’s looking for ways to make communication between departments easier.
Understanding the specific needs of your team not only massively lifts buy-in, it also helps you select technology that will actually solve your problems.
3. Communicate early and often
When you decide to make a change, communicate to everyone what the change will be, why it’s being made, and how it will affect each department. Set a clear timeline and process for implementation, and let everyone know how they can get support during the transition.
If everyone understands the what, how, and why of the change that’s about to happen, buy-in will improve, and so will the actual implementation.
4. Be transparent about goals, successes, and failures
It’s crucial to make sure everyone understands what the goals of the new technology are. But the follow-up should be clear as well: Schedule regular check-ins to make sure everyone knows whether these goals are being met.
Celebrate successes and be transparent about setbacks, but if it turns out results are not as strong as expected, explain the plan for improvement to maintain your team’s confidence that its efforts were worthwhile.
Continue to incorporate team feedback into the dealership’s new process so people become invested in it.
5. Actually train
Many of us have had the experience of a new product or process being introduced with grand plans, only for there to be no real training or concrete plan for implementation, so people don’t know how to actually integrate it into their routine.
It’s crucial to follow up on the big ideas with clear steps for the transition. One way to do this is to select a few people (such as employees who will be using it the most) to become experts at your new technology, set aside time for them to truly master it, and then have them run workshops for others. This process encourages mastery, buy-in, and camaraderie.
Another key is to use all the resources you receive from your vendor: how-to guides, manuals, videos, or even better, in-person training sessions.
6. Set up clear channels for feedback, and then welcome it
Your team needs a place to submit its feedback, and it needs to be taken seriously. Set up a process for addressing concerns, bugs, or any other issues.
You should always have your finger on the pulse of whether the solution is really working for your team—and if it’s not, you’ll be able to optimize or make a different choice.
7. Encourage continued use and learning
Implementing a change can be difficult, so be sure to reinforce it. Offer praise for using the new technology, and highlight team members’ successes that were impacted by it.
If someone figures out a way to optimize the technology or some component of it, encourage them to present it to others. Continually show people that this new technology benefits them.
Taking all these steps won’t happen overnight, so pick a few to start with, and implement them fully. The point is to make it as easy as possible for your team to optimize new technologies so you don’t have to start the process over in a few months.
There’s also an added benefit to using great buy-in methods: It fosters a dealership culture of innovation and creativity.
Adaptability is a key component to business success, and when your dealership team is empowered to voice feedback and implement the tools for change, staying ahead of the curve becomes second nature.
As content marketing manager at AutoLeadStar, Devorah Wolf works to extract actionable tips from the latest in AI, marketing technology, and customer experience. Devorah is always open to industry interviews and reports, so please reach out to collaborate: [email protected].
Latest posts by Devorah Wolf
- 7 Ways to Get Your Team On Board When Implementing New Technology - August 22, 2018
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- A Dealer’s Guide to AI, Machine Learning, and Predictive Analytics - March 20, 2017