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Auto Success February- 3 Ways Conversational AI Yields More Satisfied Employees

Originally seen on Auto Success magazine

By: Jennifer Sanford
Jennifer Sanford is the vice president of marketing and industry relations at Telepathy Labs for STELLA Automotive.

It’s 2023. Your dealership has survived a global pandemic and a challenging workforce for two years. Now the U.S. Chamber of Commerce — and every media outlet — is forecasting a recession.1 It’s been a rollercoaster the past couple of years not only for your business or your customers, but also for your staff. Given that companies with high employee engagement are 21% more profitable than those with low engagement2, it’s critical to get a handle on this now. The only question is how. How do you keep automotive employees satisfied and thriving at your dealership — regardless of whether you have a single point store or a large dealer group?

While there are a lot of areas that you could tackle — pay plans and commissions, for example — there are three small changes that can make a big impact.

1. Provide Additional Training & Specialized Skills
Good employees want to grow their skill sets while working for your business. Investing in training attracts better employees, and helps you retain them as well. In a survey conducted by Better Buys to 2,000 working professionals, 92% said that having access to professional development was important.3 The same study also found that employee retention increases by 34% when training and professional development opportunities are provided to staff.

With 4.2 million Americans quitting their jobs in November 2022, providing access to specialized learning can help prevent your dealership’s employees from being a part of this statistic.4

Even if you did offer professional development or training opportunities, how do you create time for your employees to take advantage of them? The answer is simple — by removing redundant tasks.

2. Remove Redundant Tasks from Their Workload &
3. Honor Their Time Off

Points 2 and 3 work hand-in-hand. If your service advisors or highly trained business development representatives spend all their work hours scheduling customer appointments, that’s a waste of their potential. It’s also a poor use of the salary you are paying them. Remove the redundant tasks — the oil change scheduling or the appointment confirmations — and suddenly, they not only have available time to learn new skills, but also time to focus better on serving customers and solving complex problems.

Conversely, if your employees are not able to take necessary time off or have a backlog of voicemails to catch up on when they leave the dealership to go home at night, they will get burned out and leave.

So, how do you remove redundant tasks from your employees’ roles and not worry about those same tasks at night, over the weekend or during the holidays? The answer is including intelligent conversational AI in your dealership. True conversational AI is just that — a conversation that the customer has with your store. It’s not a menu of options or limited selection. It’s as if the customer is talking to an employee regardless of whether he or she calls day or night, weekday or weekend. Want to remove your appointment scheduling tasks to free up your employees? Conversational AI can handle that. Want to offer appointment confirmations over the phone but don’t want your employees spending hours on that? Conversational AI can handle that too.

Implementing intelligent conversational AI software in your store — whether in sales or service — is truly putting your employees first. It is choosing to help your employees’ career growth by honoring their time and leveraging their individual skill sets. It is partnering to remove the redundancies so that your staff enjoys working for your dealership. Want to begin offering development opportunities but need to create time for your employees to take advantage of them? It can help with that too. Intelligent conversational AI is a win for your staff, your customers and your managers. It’s a win for your entire dealership business.

1: What to Expect for the Economy in 2023 | U.S. Chamber of Commerce (uschamber.com)
2: Four Ways to Improve Employee Engagement at Your Dealership (cbtnews.com)
3: The Impact of Professional Development: Exclusive Research (betterbuys.com)
4: Job Openings and Labor Turnover Summary – 2022 M11 Results (bls.gov)

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