Successful customer interactions are just as important today as they were when the first cars left factories at the turn of the century. That said, how dealership staff carry out these interactions has changed significantly. A vast bulk of initial and follow-up communication is not conducted in person, as car dealers were wont to do only a few decades ago. Instead, the majority of customer-dealership interplay is virtual, held over the phone or email.
The ubiquitous nature of email and phone communication in sales means that dealerships need to place a greater emphasis on how to handle these interactions. Poor phone and email etiquette can cost sales and impact a dealership’s overall reputation. Here are some simple ways to improve your dealership’s phone skills and email etiquette, setting your sales staff up for communication success!
Powerful Phone Skills
The good news is that more and more customers rely on cell phones, rather than landlines, making them more easily reached throughout the day. The bad news is that despite this opportunity, many still fumble calls. In addition to being polite and helpful, sales staff should try to use curated details and ensure follow-up.
Get Details and Use Them
When calling or receiving a call, make sure to confirm the other person’s name, and then use their name at least once during the call. This strategy creates a personal connection.
Additionally, make sure to get and record important sales details, like an email address. It can help to create a list of which relevant information you want to collect and keep them in front of you while you take calls.
Another missed opportunity is not scheduling a follow-up while the customer is on the phone. Before the call is over, pin down a time or place for your next conversation or appointment.
Let Them Hang Up
Finally, it is important to let the customer be the one to end the call. For one, it allows them to feel as though they’re in the driver’s seat. Also, it ensures there are no uncomfortable moments where they’re left listening to a dial tone.
Excellent Email Etiquette
When it comes to crafting impactful emails, here are the three most important things to keep in mind.
People get hundreds of emails a day. As much as you might think a tantalizing subject line will get a click, more often than not, it will be seen as spam and deleted. Straightforward subject lines are more likely to be both accessed and appreciated. So instead of writing “Great News!” or something equally enthusiastic but ambiguous, get to the point with specific subjects like “Follow-up to our conversation about insurance.”
Keep Things Formal
Humor doesn’t translate well online. Neither does sarcasm. Though it might be tempting to pal around with customers via email as you might on the lot, remember that email doesn’t work the same way as in-person interactions. Formality is a lot more effective in this case, even if it feels less personal.
Leave No Email Unanswered
Not only is this considered rude in today’s virtual world, not responding means giving up valuable possibilities. There’s no telling what information and leads you could get through timely email responses, and quick answers create favorable impressions. Make it a habit to check and respond to emails at different intervals throughout the day.