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Training to Help Your Employees Return to Work Effectively

Article Highlights:

  • Online training can help prepare your employees to return to work.
  • Training employees can make a big impact on efficiency.

In this episode of Reynolds’ video podcast, Connected, Willie Daughters, senior vice president of customer service and support, talks with us about our evolving online training opportunities to meet the wants and needs of dealerships to prepare employees as states release plans to reopen the economy.


Greg Uland: Hello, I’m Greg Uland, marketing director at Reynolds and Reynolds, and this is Connected, the podcast with best practices and ideas to help navigate what is happening in the automotive retail industry and the world today. As the COVID-19 virus continues to change our world and how we live and work daily, this podcast discusses ways to continue operating in this unprecedented social environment. On today’s episode we have with us, Willie Daughters, senior vice president of customer service and support at Reynolds and Reynolds. Willie, thanks so much for hopping on.


Willie Daughters: Hey, it’s good to see you, Greg. I have to say, it’s been a while and it’s nice to see you’re still out there. It will be good to see you face-to-face here soon. Thanks for having me.


GU: Absolutely. It’s good to see you, too. Willie, I’m glad you’re on today. With states across the country taking steps and announcing plans to reopen the economy, it’s a time that’s pretty important for dealers to make sure that employees are dialed in and ready to roll once business starts coming back a little bit. With that in mind, I’m hoping you can talk today about training opportunities available for Reynolds customers in today’s environment.


WD: Absolutely. I mean, training is always important. And at Reynolds, we’re trying to take advantage of this extreme period by beefing up and expanding some of the training for our associates, so that when we get back into the office and into what was a previous normal, we want our folks to be prepared to provide the best possible service and support to our dealer partners, and use our tools and support processes effectively. It will be critical for that. But it’ll be just as critical for dealers and their associates to use the software and tools effectively when they get back so they can maximize their efficiency. You know, coming out of this deal, demand won’t be back to normal immediately. And as a result, we’re going to see that the dealers won’t see the same number of prospects they had seen before and that’s going to mean that they’re going to really need to maximize each opportunity that they get. And as their associates get back to the dealership, there’s a chance some of them may not have the same number of associates, at least right away, whether that’s because of a gradual return or other reasons. But this is going to make it even more important to be able to operate at a real peak efficiency for those that are back. So as folks get back to their functions, it’s been a while. In some instances, they haven’t done things in a while and when you’re not doing it every day, it stands to reason that there’s sometimes you might need some retraining or missed some steps that you’ve done before. So all that being said, training is important. And for us, it looks a little different right now for obvious reasons. We’re not able to get into the dealership and into the store with customers to train them face-to-face and we hope that changes soon. But for now, like everyone else, we’re leveraging remote channels and using that to help train our dealers and train their associates so that they can continue to learn how to use the software effectively and to its fullest potential.


GU: And Willie, can you go into a little more detail on that? What are some of those remote channels that dealers are able to leverage or some things that are popular right now?


WD: Sure. We’ve got several training options that we’ve built over time, and we’re really proud of what we provide for Reynolds dealers today. There’s a few I can touch on quickly. —Initially, we have our computer assisted instruction courses. These have been in the system for years. They’re very effective at finding specific functions that users, based on their access, need to be able to do effectively. And that training is self-paced. It’s embedded inside the software itself. It takes only a short time to complete a course and those courses are a really important part of our training regimen.

Beyond that, we have help videos that have been built over time and they’re integrated into ERA-IGNITE to reinforce some of the training you’ve already received and be kind of on-the-fly assistance as users are doing their job day to day and using the tools.

We’ve recently rolled out something called the Smart Center and it’s also embedded into ERA-IGNITE. It’s a tool that’s accessed really simply by hitting the F1 function key from any screen that you’re on inside ERA-IGNITE. And when you hit that function key, you get a pop-up window that provides a list of some options for all of the built-in tools in one place, including the computer assisted instruction and help videos and things that you’re able to get out of real easy. So that’s a really nice feature that’s out there.

Another option is our online webinars. These are high level system, kind of “how to” webinars on general topics. There will be things such as keyboard shortcuts for different areas of the dealership and how to complete daily tasks and generating reports. So the webinars are a very popular type of training inside Reynolds and with our dealers. We had a recent add that’s been very popular, which we set up really quickly, and built a step-by-step instruction for pulling together the necessary payroll information to apply for a Small Business Administration payroll protection program loan and that has been a huge success for us. We’ve had a lot of people that needed to know the ins and outs and we put that class together and it filled up quickly.

We have a third option even, which is our Internet classes, our ‘net classes. These cover some more specific topics and provide live, hands-on training and interaction with instructors. Being able to do that in a class makes this really a highly valuable class to our dealers. Everybody that goes to these classes, students, associates, dealers alike, they come out with great reviews and they get the most out of their software after having had an opportunity to take all these. So between the computer assisted instruction and the web classes and the net classes, and the online webinars, there are a lot of training options that we put out there for dealerships.


GU: All good options for sure. Willie, what’s the best place for dealership personnel to access those or to sign up for online training?


WD: All of our webinars and net class information can be found on our website at reyrey.com/training. That is the area specifically for you to see what options there are. From there, you can see the courses and register for a course. If you see a course that you think might be beneficial to someone else in your organization, you could stop and say, hey, I want to share this one with a team member, or recommend some training to maybe some of your associates as a dealer, or a controller, or something like that. You might see a class that you think would be a real benefit to your team and you can recommend that training to your folks. So we’ve been making some of our popular webinars, our most popular webinars, available on demand so they can be provided as needed. The easiest way to get those is to email our software education department mailbox, which is SED@reyrey.com. But you can use either of those methods and get access to all the training we have.


GU: Great. Well, Willie, really, I do really appreciate you taking some time today and hopping on and talking through this stuff. I think it is timely. But while you’re here, while we have the audience, and before we cut out, is there anything else that you want to touch on or anything you want to say?


WD: Well Greg, it’s been great to see you again, and I appreciate your time. At this point, there’s no doubt that we’re going to come out of this and, as we do, as we come to the backside, we need to make sure that our teams are ready here at Reynolds and YOUR team is ready to make the most of every opportunity that comes through the door. It’s going to be key, and training and support are part of that. At Reynolds and Reynolds, we’re going to continue to focus on taking care of our associates so they can take care of our dealer partners. And as we are able to start turning the corner towards reopening our communities and our economy across the country, you all stay safe and keep your customers and employees safe and follow the guidelines provided by our health professionals and our leaders. And Reynolds and Reynolds service and support teams, we’re here to help and we’re just a phone call away. You guys stay safe.


GU: Excellent. Well, thank you again, Willie. I really do appreciate your time.


WD: Thanks, Greg. You have a great day.


GU: You too. This has been Connected. Stay safe and we’ll see you on the next episode.


Continue to tune in often to see new episodes on best practices and tips for navigating the automotive industry during this unprecedented time.

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