Pro-Active recently partnered with a premium Japanese OEM to develop online micro-learning “bursts” aimed at delivering customer-handling skills to their sales and service staff.
These bursts, covering topics such as questioning skills, identifying behavioral styles and more, can stand alone as bite-sized learning segments, enhance and reinforce Instructor-Led Training (ILT) programs or combine with multiple bursts to deliver a more traditional e-learning “course."
Micro-learning bursts from Pro-Active provide learning “just in time, just in place,” available when, where, and however they are needed.
Pro-Active designed a full suite of training and performance support components to engage sales and service personnel. Components include: Web-Based Training Modules, developed in HTML5 and available for consumption via the web or on a variety of tablet devices/platforms (Android, iOS, Windows 8). A promotional video dramatizing what makes their CPO vehicle different from other pre-owned vehicles, and delivering an overview of program features and benefits. In-market Instructor-Led Training, for Sales Consultants, Pre-Owned Managers, and Service Managers, to support consistent application of the program and build it into the culture. An iPad-enabled tool to support Sales Consultants with product information, competitor information, inventory searches, CPO Program information, and a variety of other features and functionality.
Our client had an aggressive and seemingly contradictory three-year goal - increase sales by 30% without adding infrastructure or hiring more sales people. There's only one way to do that: the existing sales force must become more effective and productive. In this case, that means taking a group of already-high achievers, and making them better. Pro-Active is helping our clients to profile, replicate and recruit the elusive professional and personal traits that define "top 10%" and the working environment that makes them thrive. The goal was ambitious - to infuse those attributes throughout the retail channel, creating a culture populated by top performers. The client's key metric of "Average Sales per Sales Advisor" has increased by 25% in the three years since program inception.
Service retention is one of two major corporate objectives in this sporty import brand's three-year plan. It's been said that to achieve an objective, you must "inspect what you expect." To help their dealers better "inspect" their performance, Headquarters provided enhanced reporting capabilities for Service Loyalty, Visits per VIN, and Spend per VIN for each dealer. To complement this monthly scorecard, Pro-Active developed a web-based reference tool to help dealers improve their processes, develop standardized practices, learn from their peers, and create action plans to improve and monitor their performance. The resulting "Service Retention Solutions" portal consolidates and provides easy access to all of the company's information, forms, programs, and tools - and enables them to be continuously updated and expanded to better support service retention efforts.
New vehicle concept. New market. New retailer network. New technologies. New ways of thinking. Simultaneous European and US launch in multiple languages. These were just some of the opportunities and challenges this niche manufacturer faced as they prepared to launch the world's first true luxury-performance plug-in hybrid vehicle. Their approach to customer care and training were equally impacted by these factors. To address them, a "virtual launch training" strategy was developed, using iPads to arm Consultants (a single retail contact point dedicated to forging customer relationships) with education and training. The iPad applications developed by Pro-Active served the dual purpose of both customer education and Consultant training. Pro-Active developed training assets (video, images, animation), created the iPad app in four languages (English, Italian, German, French), and deployed training via an open-source Learning Management System (LMS).
At a critical time in the business cycle (bottom of the recession with SUVs out of vogue), the executive team turned to Pro-Active to help them strategize the right plan and tactics for maximizing their 2010 product launch. Three major refreshes of current models created additional challenges related to product positioning, training, and logistics. Pro-Active's Performance Support Framework helped the team deliver and execute a plan. We also participated in delivery of in-dealership training that was integral to the plan's success. Despite market conditions, the company was able to increase year-over-year sales of each of their 2010 models.
Being in the enviable position of having a series of rapid-succession product launches over the course of 18 months - all brand-critical products in each of their key markets, this OEM wanted to ensure a smooth and successful rollout of all three models. Working with their training academy, Pro-Active developed an iPad-enabled launch learning platform that was used to make training sessions more dynamic and collaborative on-site during the training events. Even more importantly, the "iTrainer" tool supported ongoing learning, customer education, and participant collaboration long after formal training was completed, back in the dealership. By all measures (participant surveys, post-tests, ongoing iTrainer usage) each program was a success, outpacing the success of its predecessor training. More importantly, our client recently completed a record sales month and is poised to exceed its target volume goals in the US Market.
At their core, the basic processes involved in getting your vehicle serviced at the dealership are generic and well-established - reservations, consultation, delivery, etc. - whether you're a Ford, KIA, or Mercedes dealership. As part of a company-wide push to improve its CSI rankings, this niche (some would say "quirky") automotive importer worked with Pro-Active to develop methodologies and tools to brand their Aftersales processes by personalizing them to their brand. Field personnel worked with targeted dealerships to identify internal and external customer needs, develop specific plans to meet those needs, and monitor the results. With this program as a linchpin to an overall CSI improvement effort, the brand jumped from 32nd place to 9th place in J.D. Power and Associates CSI Studies.
A luxury car manufacturer had one of the most enviable reputations in the industry for product quality, performance and engineering, but that was just the problem. After decades of selling luxury sports cars to brand enthusiasts, and riding the wave of creating the Performance SUV category, the brand's customers were changing. Over time, a new customer appeared in dealerships - ones who had minimal loyalty to the brand, little knowledge of the company's design heritage and philosophies and most of all ... choices. Suddenly, the way its North American retailers diagnosed, treated and accommodated customers was just as important as the way it built cars. To meet this challenge and change culture within dealerships, we created and piloted a three-part skills curriculum consisting of intensive, workshop-driven two-day learning programs for dealership Sales, Service and Parts personnel, along with Manager's modules designed to support the learning within retailers. The program is now being adapted as part of its Global Certification System.
Faced with a dramatic increase and sustained volume of off-lease vehicles, this SUV importer turned to Pro-Active to help them develop an integrated "suite" of activities and tools including a Communications Plan, Dealer and Consumer Incentives, Analytical Tools, Planning Tools, Training, and ongoing Sustainment Activities. Well ahead of the initial "wave" of off-lease maturities, regional meetings with dealership GMs and Pre-Owned Managers presented the opportunity and the mechanisms in place to address it - along with a call to action for dealerships to develop their own plans and approaches to the opportunity. A website was created to help dealers and field personnel evaluate their pre-owned operations/practices and create improvement plans in key areas. Finally, ongoing communication and training were provided to sustain the effort long after the first wave of maturities hit and these higher levels became the norm.
Working together with the client, Pro-Active developed a competency model, and job-specific competencies for retail Sales and Aftersales positions. We then developed a set of system requirements to aid them in selecting a Competency Management System to replace their legacy training management system. Finally, we worked with the client to develop learning objectives and define specific courses as part of a Curriculum Development initiative.
More than just a system, one OEMs new Market Based Ordering (MBO) is an inventory planning and management tool - strategic in nature and requiring a true "change management" initiative. Pro-Active helped the program's business owners to develop a communications and rollout strategy, supported by in-dealership, web-based, and instructor-led training. A web-enabled "resource portal" was established as a communications hub, where dealership Sales Managers and Field personnel could access Quick Reference Guides, training materials, video segments, and online "help" segments. High participation rates in the initial Preference Setting stage indicate solid adoption rates by dealers.
To further support Sales Consultants in presenting the value and peace-of-mind stories to customers, we developed a customer-facing "interactive brochure." This reference guide was designed for use both internally and customer-facing, optimized for both web and tablet/iPad presentation. A rotating vehicle display gives the customer a chance to interact with the digital brochure. Divided into three sections, pages are broken up into "bands" of content small enough to be viewed easily on tablets and mobile devices. Participants can navigate linearly up and down, or swipe to the side to for more content.Expanding "accordion" tabs give the user detailed information about aspects of the program, without monopolizing screen space. Hotspots organized by category demonstrate product features and benefits. Clicking on program benefits allows the user to explore them in more detail.
Much of this OEM's success can be traced to a strong sense of history and heritage - and a management team that continually positions that heritage for future successes. To enhance this philosophy, we designed a unique "Leadership Institute," a three-day advanced training program for executive managers. It included, among other things, a half-day "leadership tour" into the nation's capital. Here, participants scour the city in search of leadership lessons "straight from the mouths" of our founding fathers and other memorialized figures. The focus is on applying leadership skills to everyday situations ... converting theories, plans and strategies into everyday practices.
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