The automotive industry has seen a sales boom since 2013, but experts predict automotive sales may plateau in the coming years. To keep your dealership competitive – no matter the economic conditions – your people strategy should focus on creating the best customer experience possible.

On both the sales and service sides of your dealership, a positive customer experience is critical to business success, so hiring and retaining your best team should always be a top priority. In the long run, having the right people in the right seats will help your dealership build customer loyalty and attract new business.

Build Customer Loyalty

Customer service strongly influences customers’ decisions to buy a car from your dealership – and whether or not they choose to service the car with you after the purchase. According to Cox Automotive Sourcing research, 42% of retail automotive customers cited a great sales or service experience as the reason they decided to make a purchase from a dealership. And if a customer has a great experience, they’ll be more likely to stay loyal to your business – either through returning to your dealership for service work or to purchase a car in the future.

Make sure your people strategy includes a repeatable hiring process every hiring manager can follow easily, so you can weed out any potential bad hires and build a team that provides a top notch experience to your customers. Also implement a training program, so your dealership employees have everything they need to excel in their roles and build long term relationships with your customers.

Encourage Customer Referrals

Not only will satisfied customers return to your business time and time again, but they’ll be more likely to recommend your dealership to a friend or family member. For example, a family member might be in the market for a new car, and if a customer had a great experience with your dealership employees, he or she will jump at the chance to recommend your dealership to others. On the other hand, when customers have a poor experience, they’re far less likely to recommend your dealership – and might even tell others to steer clear, causing you to lose business.

Get Ahead on Your 2018 Human Capital Strategy

During Elevate 2017, the first retail automotive summit focused solely on human capital management, you’ll have the opportunity to spend a full day assessing what’s working and what’s not when it comes to your people strategy. Each Elevate attendee will receive a human capital management playbook, which will guide the day’s discussions and help dealers develop 2018 human capital management plans. At the one-day summit, Isabelle Helms, Vice President of Research and Market Intelligence at Cox Automotive, will exclusively present key findings from the 2017 Dealership Staffing Study, which includes research from more than 1,000 dealerships, their employees and the broader U.S. workforce.

Don’t Miss Out – Join Us at Elevate

Elevate will take place on September 19, 2017 at the Hilton Rosemont/Chicago O’Hare, located at 5550 N. River Road in Rosemont, Illinois. Click here to register for the first-ever automotive human capital event.

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