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Zenith Dealer Solutions Blog

The Key to Customer Satisfaction Is Synchronicity In The Sales and Service Departments

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Happy customers become retained customers who stay in your sales cycle. Since customers experience both sides in your dealership, Sales and Service should support one another to improve customer satisfaction. Keep in mind that for every 20 calls to Service, there’s one call to Sales, so New Sales can get started in Service, especially if you’re a dealership taking steps to improve satisfaction and retention.

Don’t Create a Sense of Division Between Sales and Service

If there’s a clear wall between the sales and service departments, customer experience suffers and so do sales. If there is tension between the two groups in your dealership, the customer easily perceives the division and his/her perception of the dealership becomes negative. Sales doesn’t have to be concerned anymore by what the customer will “see” in Service (i.e. grungy bays, grumpy technicians). Today’s dealership’s Service Department offers plush waiting areas with coffee bars and free wi-fi. They can wow the customer just as well as Sales does. Likewise, Service can perceive Sales as a partner in customer satisfaction and retention.

Service to Sales Back to Service

Experienced service pros know a lot about the latest products and features. They also know which models are reliable and trouble-free. They have the knowledge that when shared with the customer, can improve satisfaction AND sales. Consider this. If a the person making repairs on your RV or boat tells you about a newer model that is better, more reliable, suits your lifestyle better, would you listen? Let’s even go so far as to suggest that you can take a test drive on the suggestion from the service department manager. There’s no reason Sales cannot begin in your Service Department.

People in Sales should proactively and personally introduce the customer to the Service Department. Before the customer even needs assistance, the service manager will already know his/her name and vehicle. Makes sense that this improves customer satisfaction, never mind the maintenance and RO dollars coming in. Good service begins in sales.

Strong Phone Skills in Both Departments Are a Necessity For Success

Statistics show that 33% of all calls don’t reach the intended agent! If you don’t pick up that phone your customer can’t spend money while you cannot provide outstanding service that leads to high CSI scores. In addition to synchronicity between Sales and Service, both should shave synchronicity on the phones, that initial perception the customer will have when they need maintenance or a new boat. Both departments should follow a similar process of:

  • A warm and courteous greeting: Answer the call and self-identify
  • Addressing needs: Assessment and/or objection handling
  • Obtaining customer information: Get contact information and ask for additional information in a non-threatening way
  • Scheduling the appointment: Ask for the appointment/Schedule the appointment/Closure.
Great customer satisfaction starts on the phone, and every call and text should be a positive experience. Make great customer experience a top priority and sales and RO’s will happen.

Build Relationships Not Transactions

Today’s customer has a lot more choices, resources and experience with great customer service. Reputation and reviews become ever more important in the this age of social media, so make sure that improving the sales experience gives the your dealership the opportunity to connect the customer to your Service Department, establishing a relationship that leads back into the sales cycle. The gross profits for a dealership are much higher in the Service and Parts Departments than the Sales Department. A stressful experience in Sales, however, may turn that customer away from Service. Make sure the customer’s experience is a VIP treatment in all profit centers, which ideally, will complement each other, building high customer satisfaction and long-term relationships.

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Topics: phone process retention Sales Cycle Customer Satisfaction Dealership Sales Service Department