People and Skills in Automotive Retail – how to adapt to an omni-channel world?


Publication Number: Management briefing 144/18

Author: Pascal Haubenreisser

Date: January 09, 2018

Tags: Dealers, Customer insight

Downloads: 6Rating:

Consideration of how retail and aftersales channels are changing and will continue to change in the future is at the core of ICDP research, and an area we have been tracking from different angles.  In this research, we have been looking at issues around customer-facing staff at dealership level, either salesmen or service assistants – who in the majority of cases are located at physical sites, but increasingly work in back-offices to answer calls, emails and live chats.  As staff quality has a significant influence on the decision-making process for new car buyers, the retail level must ensure that it employs people with the right attitude, including more soft skills capabilities alongside hard skills, which in many cases is the opposite of the traditional and persistent approach in the sector of following short term objectives, leading to high staff turnover.  However, this need has recently been recognised by a number of larger dealer groups, resulting in the emergence of new approaches towards recruiting, training, developing and rewarding customer-facing staff.  Nevertheless, there is still room for improvement, especially in addressing the gap in soft skills and attitude, plus the related question of new approaches to remuneration.  For this research, we spoke to a number of large dealer groups, service providers and accreditation authorities across the EU-5 markets to gain in-depth insights, and supported this with desk research.

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