What is listed under the “responsibilities” section of your Internet manager’s job description? (Provided you’ve written one). Monotonous multitasking may as well be. This phrase defines more about what your Internet operators do during their daily grind than any other phrase I can conjure.
When stepping foot into dealerships week after week to train new clients, I hear one of three statements from general managers and dealer owners:
1. “I don’t know if I have the right people back there.”
2. “I don’t think they are doing the right stuff back there.”
3. “I have no idea what they do back there all day long.”
First off, I do find it amazing, as I pull phrases out of my head while typing, that the term “back there” pops up so often. Isn’t it time we give the BDCs and Internet staffs of our industry a more suitable, front-of-the-dealership, work environment? How many of your Internet departments and BDC’s are in the back of the bus? Oops. I’m sorry. I meant “back of the dealership?” Do you keep them back there so they can be undisturbed throughout the day and have quiet time for all their “monotonous multitasking” or is it to be more “out of sight, out of mind?”
With that rant over, let’s look at these three scenarios.
1) You don’t know if you have the right people back there:
Who hired them? What criteria were you looking for? What was their orientation like? Have you provided them all of the training to prepare them for their position? Do you listen to their requests for new technology? Or do they maybe just want more seamless communication with your sales management team and need you to facilitate it?
All of these questions must be answered internally (or reviewed by a trained practitioner) if you truly want to know if you have the right Internet team leading the department into the future.
2) You don’t think they are doing everything they could be doing:
Quite possibly, you are right here. This is something that almost every trainer/consultant will admit after reviewing an Internet team’s process. There are cracks in every foundation. The question is, do you know where to look? Do you have a process, tool or technology that monitors your Internet team for you? Inevitably, when you do the same thing over and over and over, day in and day out, (read: monotonous multitasking), you will lose some of your focus and your passion for what you are doing. Leads can start to look less like customers and more like words on a screen with no value so ensure they are always recognizing the cost of the customer lead. Give your team all of the motivation to perform at a high level, but most importantly, TRAIN them so they understand what the right daily duties are. Then measure.
3) You don’t know what they are doing back there all day long:
Have you provided them a job description detailing their duties and your expectations of them? How do you measure them? If you are being provided reports – as is one of the chief duties that coincide with all of their monotonous multitasking – are you pleased with their performance? Do you even know what metrics they should be achieving? While it is up to them to complete their tasks competently, it is up to you inspect their performance and hold them accountable. If you need to know the metrics you should be achieving, don’t worry about industry standards at first. Just focus on improving upon your past month’s numbers…every month.
So… what does your Internet team do in their room all day long? Know that the position of Internet sales manager/director consists of many small duties (that are major ordeals if not done correctly) repeatedly:
- They answer the lead, but have to do it quickly.
- They must answer all of the customer’s questions, but must do it thoroughly.
- They must send out the perfect e-mail, but must do it in a way that it gets through spam filters.
- They must answer the phones promptly while smiling, but must do it in a way that leads to an appointment while still capturing the customer’s information.
- They must respond back to customer replies, but often have to remove themselves from behind a computer to get the correct information they need.
- They must keep a vigil eye on multiple tools and CRM pages to ensure they are properly engaging every customer every time. (Leads don’t stop coming in when the store closes its doors.)
- They must answer questions for salespeople – as Internet managers have become the “mall information centers” of the dealership world.
- They must solve IT problems and bugs in the system daily, even though they have no experience with IT. (Information technology and Internet sales are two entirely different gifts.)
- They must gather data and reports from multiple sources in a myriad of amalgamations, but they must simplify them enough so they can be graded on them.
- They must answer an unending stream of calls from vendors, though they have no final decision-making power usually.
- They must actively seek solutions to problems, vendor ticket issues, qualms and process breaks, all while fielding calls from others in the dealership asking questions about the very same tools.
- They must complete a number of other issues.
And they must do this every day, every time, with zero discrepancies. That is why the “monotonous multitasking” of your Internet team should not be overlooked as anything but the requirements of their positions. Give them credit for the balls they keep up in the air while juggling a myriad of other tasks asked of them.
Those individuals who can take on several tasks simultaneously to this extent, all while sitting in front of a computer for the majority of the day, are some of the most valuable employees you can bring into your organization. Being adept at monotonous multitasking is a true skill. It is not a problem with your team’s work or work ethic.