When many dealership managers think about getting their own mobile applications made, they often consider this a means of customer engagement; understandably so. External apps have become highly effective tools to market products and services, increase brand awareness, and allow dealerships to be readily accessible to customers. Managers forget that there’s another very important group of people who could benefit from a mobile app: their employees.
For years, managers have worked to enforce cell phone policies that leave employees disengaged and frustrated. There’s no arguing that mobile devices have become an essential part of our lives and they often cause distractions at work. In fact, according to Business Insider, between handheld devices, time-wasting websites, and office gossip, workplace distractions cost U.S. businesses an estimated $650 billion per year. For most people, being on their phone is about impulse, with 67% of cell phone owners checking their phone even when they don’t notice their phone ringing or vibrating. Instead of combating the inevitable, dealerships can capitalize on this impulse and put an internal app to use, giving employees the chance to be on their phones while still being productive.
Creating an effective internal mobile app can boost productivity and increase engagement. Engaged leaders are steadfast in finding ways to improve upon these things for the sake of their employees’ productivity levels, as well as their dealership’s bottom line. There are several benefits to implementing internal mobile apps:
As mentioned above, employees are likely to be distracted by their phones even if they don’t have a reason to be on them. Giving employees an outlet through the use of an internal app allows them to be productive while fulfilling their urge to have their phones on them. One of the best things about mobile technology is that it allows teams to work in all kinds of situations and locations. This is especially key for professionals in the automotive industry because they need to go to the customer to sell, rather than stay at their desks. Whether employees are taking a break, eating a snack or lunch, sitting at their desks, working on the sales floor, or interacting on the lot, they have their phones with them. Allowing them the means to not merely access the web but use an app that supports the internal processes of the dealership is a surefire way to boost productivity.
An essential component of mobile apps for businesses is messaging. Messaging tools are capable of many things. They allow managers to push information to their team, individuals, and rooftops in real-time. For example, a constant complaint of car buyers is the way they are addressed over a loud and obnoxious intercom when they need assistance. With a messaging tool component incorporated into an internal app, the co-worker who first assists a customer can send a message in seconds, notifying a co-worker when a customer is there. Additionally, suppose a salesperson is with a customer in the lobby and the customer has an inquiry for the service department about a car he or she is currently looking into purchasing. Instead of leaving the customer behind to go to the service department, the salesperson can instantly message the service department and receive a response, all the while engaging their customer. This quick and discrete communication improves the customer experience and increases the likelihood of sales.
With an internal app, dealerships can share with their teams. Content can include car comparisons, recall information, car reviews, a company blog, new promotions, and more. Since all content will be readily available to employees through their mobile device, sales professionals have the ability to pull up articles to share with customers at the point of sale, such as car comparisons. Having content in the hands of the sales professionals who are helping customers reach buying decisions will present a prepared, professional, and knowledgeable appearance. Additionally, if the sales floor is not busy, employees can access content their management team posted through the app. This content can be used to learn more about the cars they are trying to sell, the automotive industry as a whole, and information specific to their dealership so they can be of better service to customers in the future.
Build the Dealership’s Database
When salespeople talk to customers on the lot or on the showroom floor, how does the customer information get into the dealership’s database, especially if the customer doesn’t stay long or buy a car? When a dealership sends employees to conferences and they network and pick up potential leads, how do conversation details and contact information make it back to the dealership quickly and effectively? With the use of an internal app, they can take notes and update a contact profile right on their mobile phone. This automatically reduces the possibility of inconsistencies popping up or of the information being lost. For a dealership’s promotional work, sales calls, and market research, equipping the people sent out with a way of logging the details and answers of customers they contact is efficient and practical.
Gamification is the implementation of game-like elements and digital game design techniques to non-game problems. It has proven to be a speedy, effective, and fun way to train and motivate employees. Games normally require the player to retain information, rules, and procedures as well as make judgments and work toward certain outcomes. Additionally, according to the Gallup Employee Engagement Index, the average 1,000 agent contact center loses $2 million per year due to disengaged employees. Businesses who have made an effort to reverse that statistic with the use of gamification have had great success. Companies that use gamification have reduced on-boarding or training time up to 90%, increased employee skills by more than 70% and retained their top talent by 78%, confirming the need to implement a game aspect into companies’ internal apps.
Being an engaged leader is more than just being approachable, respectful, and helpful. Engaged leaders constantly search for ways to improve business and better equip their employees to do their jobs. Mobile devices have the capability to channel distractions into positive outcomes for dealerships. Through elements such as messaging, content sharing, efficient database entry, and gamification, internal apps boost productivity and improve engagement.
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