An interesting article on the Forbes website shared the results of a recent study by Deloitte Global Human Capital Trends. The study was the result of an extensive survey of over 2,500 companies in 90 countries. Based on the survey results, the author shared the importance of engaging employees in growing a business and how this relates to customer retention. The survey found that over two thirds of employees today feel overwhelmed, which prevents them from engaging with their employer. The survey further found that company executives recognize that their businesses have difficulties in this area; over 75 percent reported challenges in the following areas:
While I do not know if any auto dealerships were included in this study, the data certainly rings true for our industry. Bell-to-bell shifts for salespeople are very common and sales and service employees tend to work long hours. Add to that the stress involved in meeting sales expectations, and the problem is only exacerbated. High turnover is all too common and is something that many dealerships struggle with. This turnover absolutely affects customer experience. In sales it creates an orphan owner with no known point of contact at the dealership. And in both sales and service causes inconsistent individual follow-up with customers.
There is a delicate balance within a dealership when it comes to staffing. On the one hand, management doesn’t want to flood the floor with salespeople, as it can potentially affect their income by distributing sales amongst more people. On the other hand, if employees feel overwhelmed due to an imbalance in their work and personal lives, this can affect performance, engagement and revenue.
Businesses cannot expect to earn a customer’s loyalty when their own employees aren’t engaged with their business. If their customers aren’t loyal, dealerships increasingly have to focus their marketing efforts on customer acquisition to replace those lost customers. This then leads to inadequate retention marketing, which further increases customer defection.
The bottom line is that there is a direct correlation between customer and employee retention.
It’s absolutely necessary to recognize the interconnectedness of employee engagement, employee retention, customer retention and the customer experience. These are not independent of each other and it can help to face these challenges with a holistic plan that is inclusive of all of these areas.