Spaced Repetition: improving knowledge and sales in the automotive industry

Looking at the automotive industry as a whole, it is evident that advancements in technology are causing rapid changes, particularly from a consumer perspective. For example, electric cars are becoming more desirable due to their environmental and financial benefits, which alters the way cars are manufactured and sold. Consumers also have increased accessibility to extensive research online, meaning they may be more informed about the vehicle they intend to buy than the salesperson.

From this, it is clear that training, such as health and safety or compliance, is essential for workers who are involved in manufacturing cars, whereas sales and product knowledge training is a vital investment for sales teams, as this additional knowledge is crucial to securing a sale.

Traditional learning strategies tend to squeeze as much content as possible into short training sessions, trying to get the most value out of it. However, research refutes this approach and indicates that to embed large volumes of information into an employee’s memory, Spaced Repetition is the most effective method.

Hermann Ebbinghaus’ forgetting curve demonstrates that individuals can forget up to 70% of what they have learned just one day after training, showing that ‘cramming’ is counterproductive. Employees experience ‘brain overload’ and trying to cram in more information would actually be a waste of time and resources. Whereas, strategically spacing learning events can vastly improve employees’ knowledge retention. Research shows that revisiting learning three times is the perfect amount. Even just revisiting training once can improve memory by 40%!

Research from Towards Maturity found that automotive manufacturers are spending 25% of their L&D budget on learning technologies (up from 20% in 2011), and that one-third have increased the size of their L&D teams in the same period. Therefore, there is a desire within the industry to invest in effective learning that will not only increase productivity, but also revenue.

The same research also found that 40% of all learning is still entirely face-to-face. While this is a 5% decrease over the last two years, it is still a large portion of training across the industry. This means investment in digital training is needed to complement what is learned in face-to-face sessions. Learning platforms, such as Wranx, are designed to work in tandem with existing methods, by acting as a reinforcement tool. This allows information to be presented repeatedly to employees, helping to refresh knowledge and increase retention.

The technological disruption the automotive industry is facing could actually be beneficial from an L&D perspective. The use of AI is improving Spaced Repetition further, as algorithms can work to personalise information and differentiate the time in which it is presented to the learner, adapting to each individual’s learning journey. This proved beneficial for Groupe PSA, who saw a £200k reduction in training costs after using Wranx as a reinforcement tool.

Combining all of this with mobile learning means dispersed teams receive the same quality of training and have wider accessibility to relevant learning materials curated by their organisations. Learning platforms commonly have a central online library to further reinforce information, as employees can visit additional resources when convenient to progress further with their learning and close any existing knowledge gaps.

Ensuring quality and consistency of training across the whole spectrum of sales and service personnel in the automotive industry is vital to the provision of an excellent customer experience and high satisfaction rates. It is also vital from an employee perspective – training will have an impact on increasing awareness around health and safety and reskilling staff as technological disruption continues to shape the industry.

The automotive industry is a diverse market and the amount of organisations, and employees, included within this line of work is on a huge scale. Spaced Repetition learning is one way of reskilling existing employees and combating lack of knowledge, as it beats the brain’s natural tendency to forget information over time. Combining this with mobile learning allows information to be presented to learners at their point of need, actively supporting employees’ progression long after their initial training session has finished.

Written by: Persia Shahkarami

Published: 15 Jun, 2022