73% of consumers prefer to work with employees who display certificates of compliance completion
Auto dealerships that are not compliant feel the impact directly in terms of their loss of profits and reputation. Without a comprehensive compliance training program, car dealers’ bottom lines are affected.
Studies show that more than 73% of consumers prefer dealing with dealership staff that has completed compliance training and has certificates of completion on display. And more than 80% of dealers think compliance training and implementation will improve their dealership’s reputation in the community and relationships with customers.
The average dealer is probably more afraid of consumer lawsuits than the compliance violations that lead to these lawsuits. Risks related to noncompliance affect the entire dealership, however, yet less than 25% of dealers employ a compliance officer.
Dealers should understand that a partial solution to total dealership compliance is not the answer. Federal regulations apply to all departments of a dealership, meaning that a comprehensive approach to compliance is the only way to improve the reputation of the dealership and change its organizational culture.
A compliance program should contain written policy, training, and activity requirements. These requirements should be easily identified and enforced because they involve regulations that, if not followed, can result in significant fines.
To improve dealership compliance, three areas should be addressed:
- Employee training
- Operational procedures
- Audits and paper trails
1. Employee training
Dealerships should provide employees with online classes to better understand compliance rules, as well as compliance-related factors that affect their career growth. Training instills a culture of compliance and keeps employees accountable.
These online courses should be designed to provide comprehensive education on federal compliance regulations, best practices, and corresponding policies and procedures.
Every dealership should have an employee handbook that sets forth its internal policies and procedures. A dealership may even have specialized, job-specific policy manuals (F&I, sales, etc.). Having these materials available on the dealership intranet is a great way to help employees stay current with policy.
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Dealer Marketing Magazine