Resolving the Most Frequent Problems with Dealership Communication
Are you aware of the communication problems at a dealership? There are several ways that communication may go wrong and drive customers to a competitor, whether your auto dealership staff is speaking with customers face-to-face, checking in with them on the phone, or reaching out to them via email. The likelihood of communication issues has increased enormously as digital communication has become more common.
Three of the most frequent communication difficulties car dealerships encounter were described in Part 1 of this series. Let’s talk about how to handle these challenges in this essay.
The Three Common Communication Pitfalls at Dealerships and How to Avoid Them
Set a brand-specific tone across all platforms to avoid the first pitfall: failing to establish a company-wide tone.
Auto dealerships should be marketed as brands, just like any other type of company. At a high level, they operate as brand ambassadors for the makers of the particular automobiles they sell—contractors recognized for producing sporty cars with powerful engines or quirky, little cars marketed toward millennials. Dealerships do, however, also stand in for the personal brand that each owner has developed, and what your brand becomes recognized for will set you apart from other dealerships that deal in the same kinds of vehicles.
Your entire workforce needs to be taught to represent and communicate whatever the core of your brand is—high-end and exquisite, fun and lively, or family-friendly—during every client interaction. All employees, from salespeople to service consultants, fall into this category. Consistency across all channels, including phone conversations, in-person contacts, and social media posts, will be ensured by proper training.
Management at auto dealerships must not only exhibit this consistency themselves, but also take the time to clearly express expectations to all employees and offer helpful criticism. Having everyone on the same page makes it much simpler to execute brand-consistent communication.
Pitfall #2: Not Taking Different Writing Capabilities/Styles — Workaround: Develop Templates for Different Communication Scenarios
In the digital age, where sending emails and texts is the norm, having bad writing abilities becomes very difficult to cover up. While an employee might be approachable and effective when speaking with clients face-to-face, the company may suffer if they have trouble writing clearly.
According to Inc., many companies are addressing this issue head-on and investing upwards of $3.1 billion in remedial writing training for their staff. However, you don’t necessarily need to spend money on writing classes: you can probably overcome this communication barrier by creating a collection of templates that staff members can use in a variety of customer-related scenarios.
Examples include, “I appreciate you stopping in to talk with me about our selection of vehicles!” Alternatively, “I’m sorry you had a bad experience at our dealership; is there a good time to talk about it on the phone so we can make it right?” Employees can add a personalized welcome at the start of each message to make it more unique; templates don’t have to be cold and pre-set. Not only would setting up pre-written communications help ensure picture-perfect communication, but it will also help you maintain the corporate tone established when you avoided Pitfall #1.
Avoidance of Pitfall #3: Fail to Address Written Communication’s Limitations; Remedy: Recognize When Written Communication Is Insufficient
Despite how convenient written communication may be, it’s crucial to teach staff members to use excellent judgment while calling a consumer. For time-sensitive issues, such as when a car is on the rack and a service adviser needs the customer to approve an expensive repair before it is carried out, in-person communication is preferred. Talking live will allow the client to ask questions in real-time, but written communication like SMS and emails sometimes fall short when attempting to deliver complicated or confusing information.
When a significant customer service issue occurs, it’s also crucial to exercise caution when writing. It’s usually better to have service/sales workers or management reach out in person to discuss any issues a client may have encountered in their connection with the dealership because it can be challenging to determine the tone or meaning of an email or text message. To get things back on track, this personal touch can make a huge impact.
Communication can be difficult, especially with the variety of digital tools available now. Your dealership can avoid many traps that can harm both sales and customer retention with careful planning and the appropriate training.
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