Business Development Centers and Sales/Service Staff: There’s typically a difference in their phone-up process… but should there be?

There is nothing better than a well-oiled machine when it comes to working efficiency. On a dealership level, by that, I mean – everyone has a set of specific tasks, they focus on completing while co-workers perform separate/similar work for the greater good as well. In theory, this is the way a great business operates and succeeds. But is that truly the case when it comes to phone etiquette and process at a car dealership? I say not.

Each customer interaction on the phone can make or break whether we continue to see business transactions at our dealership. While a seasoned BDC rep should move a customer through a call comfortably because that is what they do all day, there is no reason that a sales rep or service advisor cannot do the same thing.  A superior dealership will have a specific standard of decorum when it comes to how a customer is worked with over the phone. When a unified front is presented and expected, the level of professionalism expected also falls right into place and rises, for that matter.

This starts with reception and moves right down the line. We have all heard the green salesperson/advisor hop on the phone and completely mangle a call, which will happen occasionally. But what if we include that in the training process from day one and give them a set of tools to utilize and practice, so those failure statistics are much less? We would all succeed.

There should be no difference in how a BDC rep and floor rep handle a call, as the phone is merely an extension of the dealership experience. We should be creating a unified front and experience, as the first impression can make or break whether we ever see a customer set foot in our store.  We have all heard that seasoned “vets” have their own way of doing things because it works for them, however, there is NEVER anything wrong with working to improve upon a process – especially if it’s needed.

Lest not forget that the process put in place should be practiced in an ongoing manner and perfected. We cannot have a process in place and then it not be used. We should be working to have all staff up to speed and proficient in their phone etiquette skills ASAP as again, that first impression can make or break a deal. There are a lot of places these days that forget that a team of people all working together for a common goal will always move more efficiently than a group of people moving in opposite directions.  Keeping that team aspect in play and holding the line when it comes to a customer service standard not only keeps current business but will also attract new business. 

There will always be an imperfect call experience, however, if we’re not working on learning from it and improving then we’re failing ourselves and our customers. Let’s keep working on improving ourselves even if it’s 1% better every day, regardless of the staff position. Then we are making progress and making money.

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