Let’s paint a picture. We’re in the showroom, and a customer is starting to get noisy at the other end. Our ears perk up, and the first thing that is audible is, “they told me on the phone that…” The thought crossing everyone’s mind is, what DID they say over the phone? Is this customer forgetting/misunderstanding what was said to them, or is one of our customer service representatives not holding up to their end of the bargain when the customer is physically in front of them? Neither of the situations listed above is good for business. So, how can we curb this situation that happens more than we would like to admit? Two disclosures and one point:
Disclosure #1: Shoving a customer’s nose in the fact that “you’re right” and “they’re wrong” isn’t the answer! I’m NOT suggesting you do this!
Call tracking... most everyone has it these days. It can be a great tool, but how efficiently are we using it? BDC departments (both sales and service) use call tracking to see opportunities and volume coming into their dealerships which is a godsend. But are we using it to its fullest capabilities? Are we listening in here and there to see how our associates are handling themselves and our customers and working to make sure that that experience is top-notch? The better question is this: Is it an effective use of our time to do so, or should we outsource it? We know the answer is “yes,” and this is critical to do. But why dedicate a 50k – 100k team member to this task when it can easily be outsourced for between $999 and $2,499/mo? Also, does that team member have the necessary qualifications to access, process, and offer critical feedback? Likely not.
Call tracking is something that can be a huge asset to any dealership that chooses to use it to its fullest benefit. When we outsource and monitor call tracking, deploy active coaching, and maintain certification standards, it gives us the ability to ensure that our customers are getting the highest quality service from their initial hello to when they leave in their new vehicle (or as I like to say “ring to taillights”).
It’s also hard to train an associate on phone skills when the conversation is only one-sided especially since role-playing can only get us so far. Having the ability to coach and train an associate on their actual customer-facing performance with an organic customer is the BEST way to keep our associates sharp and monitor our true lead potential. There is nothing worse than when an associate gets in their own head based on how they think the conversation is going, and an opportunity is missed because they only saw the scenario one way. If there is a potential for another way, and it can be a coaching opportunity for them, THEN we are getting somewhere when it comes to our next opportunity.
Missing one lead and learning from the experience is one thing, but missing a lead and missing others like it because no correction was made is money left on the table and unacceptable.
Consistency is also something that can be monitored. That can mean amongst associates and their performance day in and day out and across departments. There is something to be said about making sure that no stone goes unturned to continue to cultivate top-notch associates who provide superior customer service. Consistent and active coaching containing corrections and attaboys will lead to consistent customer service from the entire staff. While it can be a challenge to listen to every call, if a summary of performance can assist in the topic for our next morning meeting, then everyone stays on track, and important topics can be addressed. Specifically, dangerous trends! Most likely the discussion of a correction for one associate will apply to others in the group as well.
This also leads to the topic of communication. What is clear and concise communication to some is not clear and concise to others. When we have a set of firm standards to uphold, then everyone wins. The customer is fully informed, and the associate cannot be accused of missing information or miscommunicating important points. So back to call tracking, this can all be done if we already utilize a call tracking service and outsource monitoring with active coaching. It’s just a matter of making sure that the service is fully adopted at every level.
With that all being said, how’s your call tracking? Are you just scanning a report here and there for volume, or are you digging in to get a better idea of how your associates are really handling their opportunities? How are you going to unlock your call tracking system’s full potential if you haven’t yet?
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