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Do you struggle to build rapport over the phone? It really can be challenging, especially if you have not received phone training. I have always found that phone training is essential for any business, in any industry. The phone is often our first contact with the customer and is what builds their impression of the business. This is why it makes perfect sense that folks taking phone calls, receive adequate training.
If you do not understand the goal of your call, whatever it may be, how will you know what you are expected to accomplish when you pick up the phone? Having a process for handling phone calls ensures you not only have a clear understanding of your goals, but also a path to reach them.
Many things can happen during a call and training can prepare you to handle a variety of situations. Knowing what to say and when to say it, paves the way for a smooth, successful call.
It is possible to build rapport over the phone. Start by listening to their needs. Why has the customer called? Perhaps they are interested in something they saw when they drove by, or maybe they are just looking for a vehicle in general. Regardless, there is a specific way to handle these calls, based on why the customer has called.
If your customer has called in on a specific vehicle, I would suggest you start by obtaining a stock number if available. This guarantees you are both talking about the same vehicle and it helps to build trust within your customer. If they do not know the stock number, ask them for the year, make, model and color of the vehicle.
Once you are on the same page as your customer, I would compliment their vehicle choice. How you choose to compliment them is up to you. Perhaps you say "awesome vehicle" or "excellent choice", either way you are building confidence in your customer. This may seem like such a small step, but it actually establishes the foundation of a successful call.
Next I would think about the attention this particular vehicle has received. Have you obtained a lot of leads or phone calls on it? Create urgency by explaining to the customer that the vehicle has been popular. This is important because if they truly love the vehicle, they will want to know it's possible it could be sold rather quickly.
In a specific call we should also ask about alternate vehicles. We may have something else on the lot that would be perfect for the customer, in addition to the vehicle they called in on. If they are open to something similar, ask them a few choice-based questions to help you narrow down the search. For example: car, truck or SUV.
We also take calls where the customer is looking for something in general and has not chosen specs. In this case, I would handle the call differently than a specific call.
Start by asking the customer a few questions to help you determine what you have in stock that will work for them. I suggest keeping your questions relevant and choice-based. Asking open questions can lead to trouble.
Choices allow you to establish how to meet the customers needs, while controlling the conversation. This is much different than a customer asking "do you have any F150's?" and us replying "sure, want to come see them?". Most often their next question is "tell me what you have". The customer is asking that because they feel as though you have no idea what they are looking for. When we ask questions, we give the customer a sense that we understand and that we are here to help find the perfect vehicle. Now when we say we have something in stock that will work for them, they know it's true, because we took the time to understand how to meet their needs. Try it, it makes a difference.
It may not seem like much, but these small steps really do help you control the call and provide great customer service. If those are your goals, then these tips can get you headed in the right direction.