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Experience Insight takes scientific approach to staff retention

Tim Routledge, chief experience officer, Experience Insight

Staff retention is one of the key areas where car dealers can improve their processes according to a business which has spent a decade analysing the science behind car sales and customer behaviour.

Experience Insight has spent the past ten years working in a partnership with 40 Honda UK dealerships to learn more about behaviour in the dealership environment and apply its scientific approach to sales training.

Now the business is poised to roll out its services to a wider audience and is preparing a White Paper with the University of Reading to prove the theories behind its methods.

But while Experience Insight is confident of the success of its scientific approach, chief executive Tim Routledge has been left concerned about staff retention within automotive retail.

He said: “Our industry has a shocking reputation for staff retention and our studies into this have clearly shown that this is down to the stress of the working environment.

“So much of a productive work balance is the ability to rest and unwind, whether that is with good sleep each night or breaks throughout the day, and our data shows that those working in automotive retail find it harder to shrug off the stresses of work than most professions.

“It’s a bit of a crisis and something that employers really need to start taking seriously.”

Routledge said that schemes like AM’s Best Dealerships to Work For initiative help to focus the minds of employers to relieve the stress of the workforce and consider rebalancing the work-life balance.

Gopod training is part of the path towards more confident, relaxed workforce Routledge told AM.

He said: “Across sales, customer satisfaction and aftersales the dealers we have worked with have seen an improvement averaging 30%, but our techniques are all about the science behind the sale, so we’ve teamed up with Reading University to gain further scientific proof that our methods work.”

Experience Insight’s methods centre around the identification of possible hurdles that need to be overcome to achieve a sale. Each hurdle is referred to as a “Tripping Point”.

Routledge said that a “Tripping Point” can be anything from failure to offer a hot drink to a sales executive’s struggle to find a pen that works.

The business recruits real car buyers to measure dealerships performance and target areas of improvement.

Experience Insight’s studies into customer behaviour have extended to heart rate and body temperature monitors to closely analyse how certain situations may cause stress.

Routledge said: “We have hidden camera footage of two salesmen squabbling over a pen. That’s an extreme example of a Tripping Point, though, even tiny things can stop a customer feeling at ease and put the sale in jeopardy.”

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