Getting processes established Admin In the Media (0) From the many motor-vehicle dealers I’m in contact with day to day, I am frequently asked questions along these lines:- How do I track my leads? I don’t feel they are being correctly captured.- How do I measure my referral traffic?- Why does my reporting have unspecified or blank referral sources?- I don’t feel my team is capturing all the information the business needs for customer retention or reporting. What’s not being done correctly?As I work with dealers to discover answers, the issue commonly tends to be there has been no process established to assist in these areas, and that are aligned with goals the business wishes to achieve.There’s nothing documented or agreed on for staff to refer to when completing a new task as part of their role. This is generally something that’s important – regardless of whether they are new to the role, it’s something they haven’t done for some time, or them going about their work with old habits.Think about how many times you have had a new staff member come into your dealership and you have been unsure where to start with their training, or you’ve been unsure of how an existing or a previous employee was completing a task.Generally in this scenario, past staff never shared their process with anyone else and never documented it. The important aspect to remember here is the process of completing a task associated with someone’s role should complement business objectives, not just the way the individual wants to do it.Once some form of agreed process is created, it can then be shared with appropriate members of the dealership to provide a uniformed approach. This not only provides for a professional customer experience, but also leads to reporting and other functions within the dealership that rely on the accuracy of data capture.Creating processes can feel overwhelming especially if you are completing them for the first time. Therefore, it’s important to keep them simple. Initially think about the processes and activities that happen in your dealership day to day, and start by documenting what these could be at a high level.This is an example of areas to consider: 1 – purchasing a vehicle, 2 – transport, shipping and customs, 3 – getting the vehicle yard-ready, 4 – lead management, 5 – test drives, 6 – creating a sale, 7 – after-sale process and customer relationship management (CRM).From here, you will be able to break down each section into the process that meets your business requirements and helps achieve your goals. Get your team involved in completing these in identified areas.This can also create a great level of engagement and allow employees to apply their knowledge, have a better understanding of tasks, the benefits to the dealership and, in many situations, themselves.It is important staff understand how their actions, or lack of them, impact the business.If employees don’t understand the outcome of their actions, or lack of them, they won’t see the importance of what they have been asked to complete, and therefore be less committed and disciplined with the process you are trying to implement.RECORDING TEST DRIVESCapturing information on test drives allows you to see how many are converted to sales, how many times a vehicle has been test-driven and how many a sales person has completed, while securing customer details can reduce time when converting to a sale. The process can also:- Provide confirmation of customers accepting the terms and conditions of your test drive.- Meet your insurance requirements.- Record customer information in case of traffic infringements while on a test drive.- Trigger CRM functions to aid in pre-sale conversion, automated or manual follow-up.The process outline doesn’t have to be a fancy timeline with multiple colours explaining each step in detailed paragraphs. It can be as simple as bullet points outlining each step with key activities and data required.TEST-DRIVE PROCESSThe test drive can be captured by the sales person at the time and added to the test-drive management system.Mandatory information to be captured should include a copy of the driver’s licence, customer’s first and last name, email address, mobile number, referral method, time and date of test drive, acceptance of test-drive terms and conditions, and client’s signature.The next action should be a phone follow-up that’s recorded against the customer and vehicle. If the test drive was in the morning, follow up in the afternoon. If in the afternoon, the follow-up should be completed the next morning.Sound and adhered-to business processes also assist management in assigning tasks to most appropriate staff members, when writing job descriptions, business planning and reviewing implemented procedures easily.Well-documented processes are key factors for a successful business no matter the size.What information or customer experience are you missing out on because you have nothing defined or practised?One thing you will find when you start exploring these areas of your business is many lost opportunities that were ultimately in your control.