21 May

It’s all to do with the training: you can do a lot if you’re properly trained.

Queen Elizabeth II

Car dealers have been hearing that training their staffs is important for years now, including Buy Here – Pay Here dealers. As true as that has always been, it may never has been as important as it is today. Let’s take a look at three reasons that training your employees is now critical.

1.     Compliance

Never has the BHPH industry faced such intense scrutiny from state and Federal regulators as it does today. The Federal Trade Commission, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and the US Department of Justice are all looking at policies and practices common to the BHPH industry as are many State Attorneys General.

The list of regulations that Buy Here – Pay Here dealers are required to comply with could fill this blog. They include the Fair & Accurate Credit Transactions Act, the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act and the Fair Debt Collections Practices Act, to name just a few. Acronyms like OFAC, TILA, FCRA and more have become a part of dealers’ vocabulary.

Many of these laws and regulations require written compliance plans. Training on these compliance plans is a required part. Choosing not to train your employees on compliance matters is flirting with disaster. The penalties are severe and could easily force you out of business.

2.     Consistency

In many ways, this is closely related to compliance. Making sure that every customer is treated in the same way and told the same thing is critical in maintaining regulatory compliance. Many of the regulatory agencies are focusing on practices that create discrimination under the Equal Credit Opportunities Act. It is essential that all customers receive the same information and are dealt with in a consistent way.

Treating customers consistently provides more benefit than just compliance, however. Employees need to be trained that every application be completed in the same way, supporting documentation be collected for every application and that the information provided be verified in a uniform manner. Doing these things religiously will help keep the underwriting process consistent; hopefully eliminating mistakes and improving collections.

A consistent collections process will also save your dealership time and effort. Again, treating every delinquent customer the same way is important to staying in compliance but it also standardizes the process which will help the collection process run smoother and more efficiently.

3.     Competition

Every dealer faces at least some competition in his or her marketplace. In many areas, that competition continues to grow as new dealerships are opened nearby. Car dealers, including BHPH dealers, are constantly looking for a competitive advantage to set their dealership apart from the rest. Training can play an important role in attaining and maintaining this competitive edge.

Dealerships where there are structured sales and collection systems are better organized and things seem to run smoother. Properly trained staff appear more professional. Conversely, dealerships where no one seems to know what’s going on and where staff cannot provide ready answers to questions definitely do not make that all-important good first impression.

Properly trained staff helps you maintain a competitive advantage in another way, as well. By providing excellent training to your employees, you show that you care about them and their career development. Dealerships that provide such training have lower turnover than their competitors and this stability, in itself, makes your dealership look like the place to do business with.

There is an old saying in business, “Training doesn’t cost, it pays”. The more complete the training, the more professional the organization appears. Are you providing enough of the right training to make sure your dealership’s practices are CompliantConsistent and set you apart from the Competition?