Virtual education is a proven way to learn something new from anywhere. It’s been around for years, and there’s no doubt you’ve participated in a self-paced training for your dealership or even been part of a full-scale live classroom.While we’re big advocates of training any time of year, most of the world is stuck at home now due to COVID-19. Time is a luxury more people have access to, and an opportunity has presented itself to use virtual training to hone your skills.
As members of the automotive industry, you know how crucial training can be for improving your dealership’s performance. A well-trained team that has a deep understanding and knowledge of topics like Sales, F&I, Service and Leadership will always outperform a team with less training and understanding. This makes considering virtual training worthwhile.
The immediate benefits of online dealership training are that you have access to materials, chat and direct feedback, as well as the ability to go at your own pace. In the long run, that means you’ll have a robust and dynamic set of tools and tactics your team can use.
Investing in an effective training program that boosts your team’s education and skills will empower them and give them something they can have throughout their professional careers.
Here are seven reasons why you should consider virtual training for your dealership.
There’s no doubt convenience is a primary factor with virtual training sessions. Anywhere with Wi-Fi can turn into a classroom, and there are no associated travel costs. With those considerations in mind, you can see how this form of education has the lowest barrier to entry, and nothing is more convenient than that.
Most trainings feature slides, interactive media and recordings you can take with you after completing the session, which is convenient for the attendees to access and use later. And pre-recorded sessions offer the added convenience of enabling you to hit a pause button and pick it up where you left off - a simple but valuable tool when you’re operating a busy organization. Which leads us to...
With digital learning, you can maintain your schedule and find times to fit training in. If you find a platform you like with multiple trainings offered during the week, you won’t miss a beat balancing work and education, which is critical when navigating a busy day and shifting priorities - something we can all relate to.
Flexibility is one of the biggest advantages of virtual training. It works with you and your busy schedule, saving you time.
Another notable benefit is the ability to scale the associated costs of training for your dealership teams.
Virtual training can be an inexpensive option because it represents significant business savings for line items such as travel expenses, food and staff. Since so much, if not all, of the traditional overhead is mitigated with virtual training, it usually costs less to get involved, making it easy to get approval from managers or owners.
The best part?
If someone missed out, all of the materials can be downloaded and distributed amongst your team. Another plus is that you can get training anywhere in the world, not just at work, so associates can take a course at home and learn when they have the time.
Smaller sized virtual classrooms can offer the same interaction and engagement with instructors while getting the one-on-one attention that is usually found only in an in-person environment.
Thanks to the ability to harness communications tools and video platforms, you can get pretty close to that in-person atmosphere. And you can always follow up with a question or comment after the class if you have the instructor’s contact information.
Video conferencing tools continue to be the primary form of interaction and collaboration, especially now with how COVID-19 impacts our corporate environment.
It is that same reason - that instantaneous connection from anywhere - that education is more focused and precise than ever. The attention you receive from virtual training will impress you and positively impact your skills.
For many, pre-recorded online instruction delivers a more effective learning experience because of the ability to have short, interactive modules that can be repeated if needed.
These short modules, also referred to as microlearning, help participants quickly find what they need and break up learning to make it more manageable and memorable.
HubSpot, a tech company that hosts several software products for inbound marketing, sales and customer service, does a great job of utilizing microlearning in their online academy. Over the years, they have come to learn that this model offers the right learning environment for optimal knowledge retention, which is ultimately the goal of every training, conference or development course you participate in.
With online dealership training, learners and trainers alike can get immediate feedback on how well they comprehended (or delivered) the information. For learners, it could take the form of quizzes at the end of each training module or at the culmination of the course. For a trainer, features like survey apps and quizzes can provide feedback directly to the host to make future sessions even more effective.
Increased Participation & Engagement
It may seem like there would be more opportunities for participation and engagement in traditional classroom settings, but the power of online training may surprise you.
There are many ways to interact in virtual classrooms through chat, rating features, live Q&A, as well as social learning through pre- and post-lesson discussions.
The interactive comment and share features help learners engage and connect. It also allows learners who may not be as comfortable with interacting in-person an opportunity to contribute. Rating and comment features enable administrators to determine the quality of their content and adjust accordingly to ensure the most effective learning experience.
At the end of the day, virtual training exists to make our lives easier while still providing much-needed value. During the pandemic that is currently sweeping the world, it is a great tool to utilize because we have limited options, but when COVID-19 safety measures end, virtual training won’t be going anywhere.
The huge change sweeping our industry right now is setting into motion a more permanent shift in how we train within the automotive industry.
Virtual learning offers immediate results. With almost no gap between work and training time, your team can take their newfound knowledge and apply it with the very next customer they interact with. This means your dealership operates with leading-edge knowledge from industry professionals in real-time, all at a low cost and a low barrier to entry. Plus, your team will appreciate the time you’re investing in them to pursue continued education. Talk about a win-win.