Harley Davidson once said “Riding any motorbike is actually a form of art that you need to master” and those exact words could be said about the art of communication. Within a dealership, communication reigns king when it comes to success on the front and back end of the business. There are many simple, yet effective tools to stay connected and informed between different departments that can ultimately enhance the dealerships day to day operations. We spoke with two veteran Harley Davidson employees to examine the ways we can build stronger communicative connections within our dealerships to help expand the longevity of our business relationships.
1. Team Meetings
Morning team huddles can be an excellent way to stay connected with different departments within the dealership. When you include all employees in brief team meetings it opens the opportunity for communication and instills a sense of unity and equality. When all employees feel included and part of the team they feel more motivated to create better customer experiences. Taking that time in the morning to talk about what is going on within each department can be the catalyst in a seamless business day. When the dealership is successful overall, everybody on staff benefits so it’s important to use meetings such as these to reinforce your dealership’s goals and promote teamwork across your entire organization. Weekly managerial meetings can also be a great way to ensure the teams get an overview of what’s going on within different areas of the dealership.
2. Note Taking
This is a very simple yet effective way to make sure no balls are dropped during an interaction with a customer. Creating physical notes has proven to be an extremely beneficial tool for communication, especially when it comes to certain customer needs. If your dealership uses a management system such as Blackpurl, you can write notes directly in a customer’s account for your entire team to review. By leaving notes, any team member helping that customer on any given day would have access to the information noted and can therefore offer a more thorough experience. The more connected the team members stay within the dealership, the better they can serve customers.
3. Use Productivity Tools
Creating a constant flow of communication between dealership departments can be imperative to a positive customer experience. This could ultimately determine whether a customer will return or try a different dealership. Each department should be working very closely with one another. For example, the sales team should be communicating with parts and services to understand if parts are ordered or back-ordered. Using tools like Slack or company emailing can help create smooth and effective communication within the dealership throughout the day. Once the team has communicated properly, they can bring the information back to the sales team to then keep the customer informed. The more informed a customer feels, the more confident they are in the work the dealership is doing for them. This type of trust can be the difference between a loyal customer and a one-off.
4. Follow Through and Follow Up
One of the most important things between team members is trust, and good communication creates trust. If you commit to a task, make sure it is always seen through to the end. This is a great opportunity to ensure interaction between different teams is happening throughout the day. Following up with other departments for updates on tasks to make sure it’s been fully completed and passing on any needed information through the dealership technology can help guarantee seamless execution. This can help make sure the customer feels fully taken care of.
5. Normalize Hard Conversations
The stronger the communication remains, the fewer tough conversations will be needed within the dealership, but that doesn’t mean they are never going to happen. It’s important to remember that constructive conversations lead to fewer mistakes being made in the future. Allowing these conversations to be had, and having the confidence to engage in them not only strengthens the understanding of the work but also strengthens the relationships between team members. Respectful conversations create less resentment within the dealership, fewer mistakes, and ultimately a healthier, safer and more enjoyable work environment. A positive work environment leads to a more positive customer experience.
By creating smooth communication within a dealership we can help create stronger relationships all around. Using technology to send information between departments, having team meetings to keep each other informed and having hard conversations on the backend can ultimately lead to a more successful business.