Optimize the Use of Mobile Devices at Your Dealership While Avoiding Common Pitfalls

Boats sit in dry storage at a boat dealership

Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in April 2016, and has been updated to reflect the new features of MyTaskit.

According to the Pew Research Center, 77% of American adults own a smartphone and more than half own a tablet. From sharing information and reading articles to playing games and even controlling home appliances, mobile devices have made their way into every aspect of our lives.

In fact, most customers even prefer to communicate with businesses through messaging apps rather than telephone calls.

Your customers and employees are likely using a mobile device every day, so why not get more out of this technology at your dealership? Mobile devices can significantly boost communication and coordination when used effectively. Read on to learn more about the benefits of using mobiles devices at your dealership, and common pitfalls to avoid along the way.

Get More Done, Faster with Mobile Communication

It can be difficult and time-consuming for your service teams to take notes or get in touch with the back office during a complicated job. Going mobile improves the efficiency of communication between your employees. Using speech-to-text conversion software — available on all mobile devices — your teams can enjoy hands-free communication, removing the need to take handwritten notes.

You can also use mobile devices to get your service teams on the job faster, so the work gets completed sooner. Thanks to GPS capabilities, you can track where your mobile technicians are located. That means when a customer calls and needs service on the double, you can deploy your closest resource. Photos and videos can easily be shared with subcontractors, manufacturers, and internal staff members to ensure your service teams get the real-time information they need to complete the job right away.

Get Organized and Get Control with Mobile Technology

You might still have a number of paper processes in place at your dealership. This may include forms that employees fill out by hand to assign tasks, track labor hours, request parts, or view inventory listings. Someone at your dealership then needs to manually enter the information into your management or accounting system. This process can be time consuming and inefficient, even if your management system has automation features, and may even lead to mistakes.

Enabling your workers to enter information and fill out forms via mobile devices can maximize productivity, allowing your team to spend more time with customers and less time in front of a computer. When your team operates with a common set of mobile apps, all of the critical information you use to manage your dealership is kept in one place. Collaborative apps like Google Docs and cloud storage technologies like Dropbox, iCloud, and Google Drive allow your team to stay connected and send instant updates.

When all data can be viewed and managed from a mobile device, your team is always on the same digital page, regardless of where they are.

Make Mobile Devices a Positive Addition to Your Dealership

The key to not letting the mobile revolution completely undermine your business is to ensure that mobile devices are only used to enhance the customer experience; not to replace it.

Your dealership can take the following measures to avoid pitfalls and keep mobile device usage above board:

Keep the Focus on People

Your service teams need to concentrate in front of customers and while working on their boats. Mobile devices don’t replace human interaction, and they certainly don’t turn wrenches. Just like scrolling through social media at dinner, staring down at your smartphone or tablet while a customer is in front of you doesn’t strengthen the customer relationship. If anything, it creates a barrier between your customer and your staff member.

When a staff member has a customer in front of them, they need to know that it’s time to put down the device and look the customer in the eyes. The management team at your dealership must set expectations for when mobile devices should and shouldn’t be used on the job.

Provide Training

Mobile devices can boost productivity on the worksite — but only if your workforce knows how to use them. This is especially true when your customers are present. Fumbling around trying to find an app while your customer waits can sour the experience you want to provide.

If you want your dealership to succeed with mobile, you must provide training on how to use each specific app. With a diverse workforce, you may find that extra training is required for all of your staff to be able to use mobile devices efficiently. After training is complete, give everyone an opportunity to practice using the new technology, so they feel comfortable with it before trying it out on the job.

Ensure Clear Expectations

Many dealerships let their employees use their own devices at work with a monthly allowance to defray the expense. The last thing you want is for them to use that allowance to distractedly check their social media accounts or favorite news sites on the job.

Some businesses have started to incorporate smartphone monitoring tools, like Checky and Moment, that actually tell users how many times they unlock their phone and how much time they are spending on it. These apps are good at providing daily usage, but keep in mind that they haven’t evolved to the point of breaking down the usage within certain time periods, such as on work days between 8:00 am and 5:00 pm.

Whether you provide mobile devices or let your team use their own, the best way to set your dealership up for success is to communicate expectations clearly with your entire workforce from day one of digitization.

Using MyTaskit on Your Mobile Device

MyTaskit is an intelligent work coordination platform that can be used on mobile devices to help everyone at your dealership get more done, faster. From scheduling work to tracking time, parts, and expenses, our software helps you optimize your jobs and stay in touch with your teams. We even offer onboarding training to prepare your workforce for success.

Schedule a demo of MyTaskit today and see how you can use mobile technology to get organized and get control at your dealership.