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Training staff in automotive dealerships

Training staff in automotive dealerships

Staff training. It’s a key challenge for all organisations. But whilst training staff in the core responsibilities of their role is probably a familiar task, training staff in how to use the software associated with that role can be a newer one.


If you have made the decision to invest in specialist software, you clearly want your staff to be able to use it properly. If they don’t understand how to operate it, you risk either wasting your investment, as staff won’t use the software to its full potential, if they even use it at all, or even actively damaging your business by allowing staff to use the software incorrectly. It is easy to fall into the trap of thinking that once you have chosen, purchased and installed a particular software application that your work is done. But staff training is a critical piece of the puzzle.


This applies to automotive dealerships deploying AutoVHC’s electronic Vehicle Health Check software too. As we have discussed many times on this blog, our platform can drive major benefits for dealerships, helping them to streamline processes, generate new business intelligence and cross-sell new services. But those benefits can only be harnessed if your staff are comfortable and confident using the software.


So how best to train them? Here are three core approaches to choose from.


Intensive courses

An intensive approach to training focuses on giving staff as much information and as many skills as possible in one go. From a few hours to several days, a block of time is allocated exclusively to training on the new platform. At the end of the period, staff should be empowered to use the software to a sophisticated level.


Intensive courses work best when several staff members need training at once, as they are resource-heavy to put together. They also work well as part of a broader period of training, combined with sessions on, things like sales techniques and customer care. They get staff up to speed very quickly, and can be tailored to ensure that all key skills are covered in one go.


You also need to think about staffing the dealership whilst the course is running; larger dealerships may choose to run more than one intensive course so that one group is manning the dealership whilst the other undergoes training. Following an intensive course there should be no need to undergo mass training for quite a while.



On-the-job training does what it says on the tin, guiding staff through the nuts and bolts of how to use software whilst they are carrying out their day-to-day duties.


The advantages of this approach are that the individual typically gets very focused, one-to-one attention, and they also work through the mechanics of the software in line with their responsibilities, so it is a very active way of learning. On the other hand, this approach can end up being inefficient, because the individual may not get an overarching view of the software and what it is used for, and if more than one staff member requires training simultaneously, it can be difficult to deliver.


E-learning courses

Many software applications now come with inbuilt training courses, online resources, or apps which enable individuals to work through a series of lessons or tutorials at their own pace. This approach combines some of the benefits of both an intensive course and on-the-job training. It gives the flexibility of on-the-job training, enabling individuals to work through skills and advice at their own pace and in line with their responsibilities, but it also offers the clear structure of a planned course, and ensures that all the important skills and information are covered. E-learning resources work equally well for individuals and groups.


The most important thing is to take staff training seriously, to recognise that the investment you have made in new software will only be truly realised if your staff are empowered to get the most out of that software.


AutoVHC is always delighted to advise and assist with training on our platform. To learn more, contact us today