The Importance of Cross-Training in Automotive Customer Service
Cross-training is a concept that can be seen in almost any industry, including the automotive industry as well. What that term refers to is taking people from one role, such as those working in the customer care side of an automotive business, and giving them a chance to work in other departments for a brief period of time.
During this time, the trainee will be a part of another department or team under the supervision of a mentor or a ‘buddy’ who will show them everything they need to know. Cross-training is not a passive learning experience, but a hands-on journey where the trainee will assume the day-to-day roles and responsibilities like everyone else. Imagine this: an automotive customer service professional spending time in the workshop, learning how to conduct basic inspections and even basic repairs on a motor vehicle.
The question here is, “How does this benefit the trainee, as well as the automotive business as a whole?”. Let’s take a look at a few possibilities.
Discover hidden strengths
You never know how strong you are until you’re outside of your comfort zone. This holds true not only for management, but also for the employee his or herself. True, you may have signed up to work as an automotive customer care professional, but by challenging yourself through cross-training in another department or with another team, not only will you gain new exposure, you might actually find a talent you never even knew you had!
Best of all, these hidden strengths of yours won’t just be for your own benefit, your colleagues and managers will also be able to see it.
Who knows; by demonstrating your ability to learn, or your positive attitude when faced with new challenges, management might remember that when they want to offer new opportunities or responsibilities to you in the future!
Develop new skills
Even if you do not get a chance to demonstrate hidden or unknown strengths or talents, cross-training presents you with an amazing opportunity to develop brand new ones!
Working in an automotive business is very useful because you’ll be learning all about motor vehicles, be it cars or even motorcycles; knowledge that you can apply to your own personal vehicles as well.
Think of cross-training as a free upskilling opportunity; not only will you be exposed to new skills and knowledge, you don’t have to skip work or even pay for the training. Through this perspective you can see that everyone wins!
Mitigate risk of disruptions
Another way that everyone wins through cross-training is the ability to mitigate the risk of disruptions. Basically what this means is that if for whatever reason another staff member was not able to fulfil their responsibilities, perhaps if they suddenly fell sick, you would be able to cover for them that day!
This is great from a management perspective because cross-trained, multi-skilled staff members such as yourself could be moved around to other teams on short notice and for short periods of time to ensure that the business continues normally, even if some employees didn’t show up to work that day.
This works in your favour because if this scenario takes place, you’ll be demonstrating your talent at being a team player, helping wherever you’re needed.
Build Rapport, Enhance Teamwork
After all, being a team player is one of the most important abilities you could have, especially when working in automotive customer service. Being a nice and friendly colleague is a good way to make friends at work, but do you know what’s even more effective?
Working side by side and doing heavy lifting with colleagues from other teams. That truly builds rapport, because like soldiers fighting side by side, you’ll develop a much closer relationship with your colleagues once you experience the same work and challenges together.