Let’s be honest, over the past two years how much time have you spent on hold with various companies? Whether it’s the local utility company, someone in the hospitality industry, or the government, we have spent massive amounts of time waiting to talk to someone. The automotive industry has, however, seen increased phone traffic and for that reason dealership phone skills are paramount every single day.
When the pandemic first started in early 2020, callers literally spent hours on hold trying to get a live agent from the unemployment office to help them. Call hold times were at an all-time high, until eventually they rang busy. In the mobile world, hearing a busy signal for the first time in decades was disconcerting for a lot of people.
Truthfully, how many people couldn’t handle the excessive holds to which we were being subjected and just hung up? Think about that, people waited for hours and hours, just to hang up in the end. Now, as the lockdowns have ended, for the most part, we are still encountering horrendous wait times in nearly every industry, except for one. Dealership phone skills have been consistent throughout this whole global crisis.
On Christmas, thousands of flights were cancelled en route to their final destination. The people stranded in the airports over the holidays continuously mentioned one thing in their rants to local media outlets; inability to access a live person on the phone. Many of these travelers tried to call local hotels to book a room for the night and were greeted with someone at a centralized phone bank and not someone at the local facility.
Think about what improper phone skills are doing to people in need of assistance in every industry these days. It has hurt the tourism industry, the customer service industry, the banking industry and even the restaurant industry. One industry that cannot be shaken by poor phone etiquette is the automotive market. Dealership phone skills are the one bastion to keep the industry in good favor with our customers.
How important are dealership phone skills? Picture this: your customer calls and the phone rings incessantly until a flustered salesperson picks up the phone and improperly greets that customer. Through the phone call, he seems frustrated and uninterested. Do you think you’ve made the sale or do you think that customer is going to call the next dealership on their list provided by Google?
When you think about what customers see and hear for the first time when they’re shopping for a vehicle, you have to consider your dealership phone skills. Many new buyers want to check things out before they just walk into the dealership, so they tend to call. If your dealership phone skills are not up to snuff, how many sales are you losing every month?
Stop losing sales. In fact, book more. Establishing a baseline, issuing certifications, ongoing phone training and coaching along with real-time assessments of calls offers a second to none means for sales teams that allows dealership phone skills to increase the appointment set rate by up to 80%. You need a third-party team to assist your team by making them more comfortable speaking to customers on the phone. This third-party team should work with your dealership to ensure the bad habits that may have developed are no longer an issue and dealership phone skills are improved dramatically.