Do you ever call an organization’s customer service line and hope that you get someone on the phone that is friendly and willing to walk you through the process? I know that when I make that dreaded call, that I am always hoping for that to be the case. Most times, I’m calling an organization that I either don’t use all that often, or they usually work in the background for me and now I have an issue.
We have all run into the customer service rep on the phone who is dreading picking up the phone to help you, and then cannot anyway and you get transferred around or must call back a few times to finally figure out your solution. That, of course, is no way to run a company and we all know it; however for some reason it still happens.
Now let’s talk about cars. Why is it that when we call a great car dealership that the person helping on the phone seems like your personal assistant? How did they know you were going to ask that question? How great was it that they had the answers you needed and helped lead you to getting an appointment to seeing the car? Why do you feel like you just got what you thought was a 30-minute conversation done in 7 minutes? I know why, dealership phone training!
Dealership Phone Training is a crucial part of a successful dealership. It provides the store associates with confidence and a process. We all know there are Customer Service agents out there that read through scripts when someone calls, and they don’t really listen when you speak; they just move to the next line of their script based on your quick answer, cough:: (large satellite radio provider):: cough. We also know that you are just a number to them, and their end goal is to have you continue a subscription or service with them no matter what you may say. Dealerships know that their customers cannot be treated like a number. Dealership phone training provides them the skills and foresight to create a sales associate that yes, may use a script, but they still listen to their customers wants and needs.
Dealership phone training is also more of a constant if done correctly. Thank you, automotive manufacturers, for always looking to give us the bigger, better and badder vehicle. It has kept us on our toes and really made us work for our sales. Consistent training both in product knowledge and on the phone is something that sets the great dealers apart from the rest. Their staff is up to date, knowledgeable and always learning from their previous customer encounters. Has the market changed? Great news, some dealership phone training offers live one on one conversations with coaches that assist with exactly that. How does the coach know how to make that adjustment? They have heard the same scenario 15 times already across the country and have created a process to help that associate pivot and move forward. They are also wiling to hold the associate responsible for making sure they are working towards the greater team goal.
Do other industries do this, or do they simply claim to record calls so that they can cover themselves when it comes to potential legal issues? Just like professional athletes, the only way to stay at a great level of performance is to continue to train. Why is it that some industries forget this FACT? The players in the NFL didn’t get to where they are by hoping that their play book from high school will get them to the big show. They continue to grind out the process and work to correct tiny issues until they are performing perfectly. Dealership phone training does this as well. It provides the sales associate a “film” of their previous performance and points out positive and negative aspects that will lead the sales associate to a better performance on their next call. Dealership phone training also provides a one-on-one experience where the sales associate can sit down with their coach and ask questions, go over scenarios and even practice a few “plays” before getting back out onto the field to perform their best.
So how does dealership phone training help the customer then? We can talk about the sales associate all day, however what all this training comes down to is taking every opportunity someone is given and capitalizing on it. We all know business is a numbers game, and in today’s market it’s no different. Even if we don’t have inventory on the ground, dealership phone training helps you sell your associate and your dealership.
We have all called our preferred retailer during the holiday rush for little Timmy’s must have Christmas list item and we get a burnt-out associate on the phone telling you, “No, that toy’s sold out”, they mouth breath into the phone waiting for your response before going “sorry” and hanging up. That leads to a frustrated customer. Great dealerships that implement dealership phone training, go above and beyond for every customer, working to provide them with as much information as they can. What does this do? It gives the customer confidence in the person that they are speaking with. It gives that customer confidence that the sales associate cares for their needs. It gives the sales associate a better shot at selling the car once one does come in because they cared enough to give information and explained the process on how things go from there. Not just a sad excuse for an answer and a “you can try other dealerships if you want” before the call ends.
These other organizations, and dealerships for that matter, need to learn that consistent phone training, like what is provided in great dealerships, is the ONLY way to go. You not only are working to create an employee that can handle both the phone and customers in front of them, but these employees are confident because they have a process that works. The right type of confidence in a sales associate, also builds confidence in a customer. That is what keeps them coming back. We should all want to work to get better at what we do; because at the end of the day, when we are better as a team, we all succeed. No NFL team got to the Super Bowl because the team didn’t play well together, and their fans hated them. They all work to improve their individual skills and processes to create a well-oiled unstoppable machine and a fan base that would stand behind them no matter what. It all starts with training (and ongoing coaching).