Years ago, I worked at an organization that would literally move walls around in the office overnight so that when we came back into work the next day, we barely recognized the place.
I was young, so I mostly thought this was fun (though slightly weird). Now I see that there was probably a method to the madness.
As Bill Eckstrom outlined in his 2017 Ted Talk, out of the four overlapping “Growth Rings” of business environments (stagnant, ordered, complex, chaotic), the two on the ends – stagnant and chaotic – offer the least potential for growth. Complex environments are the most fertile.
Some businesses have become stagnant and need to create order so that they can move into complexity. The factor that pushes an ordered environment into a complex one is discomfort, according to Eckstrom. Moving walls might be one way to create discomfort.
Dealerships seem to teeter more on the edge of chaos. Turnover currently sits at about 74 percent for sales consultants (and even higher for female consultants), and 40 percent for all positions. A constant fear of losing your job is more than just uncomfortable. Most dealerships recognize this and are looking for ways to bring turnover under control.
Adding to the chaos, the industry also faces an unknown future with a decreased sales forecast and changes to generations-old ideas about car ownership.
The challenge for today’s dealerships is to find ways to keep chaos at bay without regressing out of complexity.
A Flexible Business Solution
Although some of us do thrive on chaos, a chaotic environment has proven not to be conducive to growth and success in the long run.
One way to transform your dealership into a more workable environment is through employing a software tool that addresses the two chaotic elements mentioned earlier: high turnover and a decreased sales forecast.
Both can be overcome at the individual store level by, well, selling more cars in a sustainable way.
Customer Experience Management (CXM), employed by all sorts of businesses to oversee and track all interactions with a customer, offers an innovative solution. The right tool can help you get a better grasp of your customers’ current needs and wants, understand customers’ habits and patterns, provide personalized journeys, and even unite your team throughout the process.
AutoAlert developed its dealership CXM platform – the only one in the industry – with these aims in mind. By unifying the team through this single, flexible business tool, you can increase sales, gross profit, and employee engagement.
Julian Johnston, AutoAlert’s Vice President of Innovation and Platform Philosophy, recently outlined the basic benefit of the company’s CXM platform in his interview with Modern Dealership magazine: “Every single touchpoint is the most important moment to [the] customer and should be treated as such. It should come as no surprise that we believe communication is the most important aspect of any positive relationship and if we can use data and modern technology to help manage the entire customer journey and communication strategy with the customer’s needs in mind, then we have a better chance of creating customers for life.”
The tool has complexity built into it, through the nature of its predictive algorithms applied to thousands of data points. At the same time, it’s easy for your team to use.
In regard to keeping employees engaged, Johnston added: “The final phase of our journey in creating the CXM platform was taking the personalized experience that customers have come to expect online, and transferring that same experience to the brick-and-mortar. In order to do that we have to make sure we are not only communicating the right message to the right consumers, but also communicating the right message to the right employee at the right time.”
This is what keeps employees engaged, keeps them building relationships, and keeps them selling more cars.
Implementing and adapting to innovative, agile software like AutoAlert’s CXM platform is the kind of discomfort – not chaos – that leads to success!