Caller ID plus landmark directions equals success
Caller ID was developed to simplify everyone’s lives. It does occasionally happen in a dealership situation, particularly when a consumer has a heavy accent or has trouble remembering their phone number. The caller ID is a communication killer 98% of the time, and staff members should avoid using it at all costs.
Why does caller ID destroy communication? We’ve all heard the adage, “Assuming just makes an ass out of you and me;” Well, assuming that the caller ID information is accurate is one assumption we should never make! We frequently hear staff members repeating caller ID information that is displayed on their screens, forcing the client to correct them or, even worse, agreeing only for the information to be incorrect. It is not a trustworthy source of correct information, so we should ALWAYS try to verbally engage with our consumers to get their contact information. Every time we connect with a consumer over the phone, we want them to readily give us their information. That is how we can be sure we are fostering vital client relationships and a worthwhile consumer experience.
Caller ID also raises the question of whether or not the customer is aware of the dealership’s location. This is a subject that needs to be freely discussed with the client. No one wins when a salesperson just blurts out an address, assuming the consumer is unaware of the dealer’s location. However, if the customer knows the dealer’s location, it is a waste of time; if the customer doesn’t know the dealer’s location, the physical address doesn’t signify all that much either. It takes up time during the call, and anyone can throw out an address. When a consumer requires instructions, we should speak with them first and then use nearby landmarks and other readily observable visual signals to provide them. And it’s always best to confirm that they really do know. Nothing is worse than having a successful call with clear communication only to insult the customer’s intelligence by yelling out an address to them without asking if they require it or not. This is particularly evident when the customer’s caller ID displays a number other than the neighborhood area code and the associate is making an assumption about the customer.
How can we then make adjustments and ensure that our communication is effective? Make sure a system is in place that provides our associates with a surefire approach to obtaining accurate consumer contact information right away. Throughout the entire call, the system should lead the associate and ensure that the communication is efficient, clear, and instructive. There is minimal room for error when a sales or service employee has a procedure that keeps the call moving and communication clear the entire time. When that occurs, we provide excellent customer service, and that ought to be our aim in every engagement. Direct questions should be raised, followed by active listening and subsequent interaction. When we are genuinely invested, our services are always of higher quality. The moral of the story is to always get a customer’s information verbally and to never give them landmark directions without first making sure they are aware of the dealer’s location.
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