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How to Make Training Stick (and Pay Off!)

David Rogers


Hopefully you're getting ready to attend CARS in a few weeks. If you're coming, be sure to stop by our booth and see us!


But no matter what your plans, I wanted to address a problem we dealt with in our shop for years: training that didn't stick.


There's no denying that one of the greatest things that ever happened in our shop is service writer training. We have tracked our training experiences and how they affect each individual, and have at times actually experienced an increase in our sales, average repair order, and of course, our profits...sometimes as much as 30% after a single training!


But the downside (as I'm sure you know) is that it usually didn’t last! It seemed we could not sustain the results from training for more than a range of a few days to several weeks…but almost always, the majority of the information was either lost, forgotten, or discarded within 90 days.


The good news is you don’t have to put up with wasted time and money...here’s how we’ve reversed that trend in our shop...

  2. Constant training...every day, every week. We never stop teaching our staff what we expect and how they can improve.
  3. We measure everything they do, and hold them accountable to our expectations daily. We also are able to better appreciate them when they are doing it right. The key word is accountability…set benchmarks, track their numbers daily, and make sure that both you and your service writers can see their training turn into real dollars.
  4. We make sure that ownership is on the same page by having owners attend the training with the service and sales staff. If the owner is above what we’re trying to teach, then he’ll never get the employees to do it 100%. Why? Because he doesn’t even know what the training specifics were, so how can the owner hold the staff accountable to performing something he didn’t attend?

So, with only a few weeks left until CARS in Vegas, what do you do with your team in your shop to make sure the training sticks? Please share!

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You certainly hit the mark on this one. I have been in aftermarket training for over twenty five years and I believe about 40% of my clients ever took the advice you gave here.


And it makes sense. If you are going to train your people, how will management ever reinforce the training afterwards?


Second, to further solidify your point, training is an activity that has to be ongoing and continuous. Don't expect to have training conducted one time and assume that it sticks - it won't, and people naturally fall back into the same habits (bad ones) as before.


This is called adult learning! It must be continuous.

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