Despite the many tools available and the best of intentions, many dealerships struggle with providing ongoing professional development for their staff. Whether it’s because of the volume of customers that need handling; lack of time; or worry about taking a technician or salesperson out of commission – even for a short period of time – training presents many challenges to dealership management.
A recent article in Automotive News reported that Chrysler thinks they have found a potential solution – video games. According to the article, Chrysler has developed “four video games to help salespeople learn the fine points of Chrysler, Jeep, Dodge and RAM vehicles.” The goal is to provide interesting product knowledge exercises to the sales staff that can be studied at their convenience. The staff can quickly review the exercises on their own smartphones and mobile devices during periods of low activity, without any large time commitment. A salesperson could be waiting for their next customer while playing quiz-style video games on their smartphone; a medium that many of us enjoy as entertainment.
This innovative mode of training could certainly be expanded to other areas of dealerships outside of sales. Imagine technicians learning new features and technology for new models in the same fashion. If Chrysler deems this experiment successful, it’s certainly a possibility.
Let’s face it, many staff now entering our industry grew up on video games. This is a medium they know and love. And training is that much more effective when the student is engaged with it, enjoys the process and participates because they want to, rather than because they are forced to.
It’s great to see manufacturers utilizing new and innovative ways to bring product knowledge to sales staff. As technology and resources become more innovative, there’s little doubt that salespeople and service staff will be better equipped to provide a better and more informed buying and service process for customers. Rather than the customer leaving to “think about it,” your staff could be better equipped with the knowledge they need to help customers make buying decisions immediately. And that is a great thing.