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The spread of COVID-19 (Coronavirus) is resulting in restrictions that have shut down crowded places like bars, restaurants, and sporting arenas. Despite being places that can typically follow recommendations of social distancing, many dealerships will or have been forced to close, or are temporarily closing out of an abundance of caution and to do their part to flatten the curve of infection.

by Cory Wright

Whatever situation you find yourself in, we’re all in this together.

There is no doubt that this is a time filled with uncertainty and questions. Questions like: Is now a good time to buy a car, or should I wait? There are many ways to answer that. Some consumers are driven to postpone their purchase until the economy settles down. While others are inspired to shop for an epic deal due to lower demand and cranked up manufacturer rebates, incentives, and buyer’s assurance programs. We’re hearing a surprisingly large number of calls about these new incentives.

Not only should we be prepared for the customers who are still shopping now, but we should also take this time to prepare for the future. The keyword of that last sentence is time. As the Director Of Training at CallRevu, one of the most frequent reasons I hear for poorly-handled phone calls is that managers in our industry simply wear too many hats and have too little time to train.

It’s true. I feel their pain. It’s something we need to respect and embrace before it’s too late. Rather than punching someone over the last 48-roll value pack of toilet paper, it’s time to zero in on reality and analyze the effectiveness of your current training solutions, or, what you can do if you don’t have one.

If you’re dealership has closed, or is encountering slower than usual traffic, it’s a prime opportunity to press pause and use this time to step up your team’s phone skills.

Here are a few ways to begin improving your callers’ experience:

1. Evaluate Your Current State

Whether you use CallRevu or another call data and monitoring solution, you can’t fix anything until you’re measuring it.

Look at your appointment set ratio, contact information obtained, and off-lined (promised a call back without answering all questions) calls to start. The numbers should paint an overall picture but rarely tell the entire story. Just because an appointment was set, doesn’t mean that it was necessarily a good call.

We all know the pain of appointments that don’t show or never answer our calls again. This could be a tell-tale sign that calls aren’t being properly handled. The best way to find out is to listen to a few calls and ask yourself if it sounds like your agent handled the call in a way which delighted the customer.

2. Set the Expectations

We commonly find that management doesn’t know exactly what a good call should sound like. The good news is that CallRevu and our training partners can help.

While CallRevu and our 4 training partners all hold a somewhat different definition of a good call, its important to investigate what fits your culture best. While some will disagree with me, it’s a lot less important to pick out a call framework that is labeled or said to be proven as “The BEST” vs. picking out one that you commit to and properly execute. While each company has a slightly different prescribed way to handle a call, we all follow a relatively similar pathway to great customer experience.

3. Selecting the Right Method

Does your team have the bandwidth to train internally or is it time to hire a training partner? This is by far the most important question you can be asking at this time. The proof is in the results. If you’ve said you are training but your calls still sound terrible, I’d recommend hitting the reset button. Try using the self-help resources CallRevu provides.

Our customers receive complimentary access to our online university (which has over 20,000 active users enrolled), employee performance report cards, live-interactive webinars, and our training tools that range from call guides, phone-up sheets, and call evaluation checklists. While our specialty is conversational intelligence monitoring, we have access to a treasure trove of data that has helped us to compile these self-help manager-driven training methods.

The best way to determine if they work for your team is to try them out for 60 days and then review the data. If the numbers aren’t starting to reach where you want them, then it’s time to consider hiring one of our certified training partners.

Each partner is unique, and it may require you to shop around and investigate which partners will fit your team best. They can reduce the stress on your management team, improve your customer’s experience, help you to retain naturally talented employees, and most of all they produce results that help you sell and service more vehicles.

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