In today’s technology-driven culture, email, chat and texts are increasingly popular ways to communicate. Dealers are learning and mastering these channels of communication as a necessity to progress. However, all the new technology out there cannot replace the efficiency and personal interaction of a phone conversation.
A phone call for sales reps is the best opportunity to make a lasting first impression on a customer who still may be in the beginnings states of the buying cycle. On the service side, a phone conversation is an opportunity for the advisor to ease a worried customer who needs to bring an RV in for maintenance or repair.
Talking about answering a phone call correctly may seem simplistic, but make no mistake this is an important first part of a successful phone process at the dealership. We all know the saying, “You only have one chance for a first impression.” Phone greetings should always be friendly and enthusiastic. Talking into the phone with a smile on your face is a proven technique to project that quality. You’d be surprised how many call recordings prove a half-hearted and monotone response. An appropriate greeting is:
“Thank you for calling [ABC RV]. My name is [John] in Sales. I can help you.”
The dealership’s operator is the “director of first impressions.” A customer who is left on hold, or transferred repeatedly to wrong departments, won’t be your customer for very long. Dealers need to train operators so they know and can handle the basics. Here’s a sample short list for the operator “musts.”
- Understands the tech features of their phone
- Has department hours
- Has extensions list
- Has employee directory with updated emails and mobile numbers
- Knows employee schedules
- Knows which managers will handle serious customer service issues
- Conveys enthusiasm
“Thank you for calling ABC RV customer information. My name is [Julie]. I can help you.”
“Would you like new or pre-owned?”
”Are you calling to set an appointment, or did you need to check status of the repair?"
“I’m sorry, _______ is not available but I know our manager would love to speak with you…please hold briefly while I locate him for you.”
I addition to that first great greeting, their job is to direct phone traffic seamlessly, which bolsters customer satisfaction, confidence and helps with appointment setting. Correct departments and warm transfers are the name of the game here. Long hold times or disconnects are not. Their last resort is a message or a transfer to a voice mail.
The caller’s perception of dealership begins at, “Hello.” How you start with a customer will determine where you end up. So start with correctly and with the right greeting. If your dealership can use some help handling the phones and making the most of each inbound opportunity, let us know—we'll get you on the right path.