One hour into a six-hour drive, my check engine light came on. Turns out, after almost 200,000 miles, oil and coolant leaks, and lots of wear and tear, it was time for me to buy a new car. Buying a car is never easy, especially during this time when the lots are half empty. Luckily, once you find a salesperson or dealership you trust, this process gets easier.
I was lucky enough to find a salesperson I trusted who found me the perfect car that matched my every want and need. Additional upgrades after the purchase were also promised — some at cost and some free of charge. Everything was perfect and I drove my new car home. As I awaited upgraded parts to come in — a new leather package, car mats and new safety features — I continued to call for updates to hear there were delays due to low inventories. After another status call, I was disappointed to learn my salesperson had been transferred elsewhere. Even more frustrating, his manager was not up to date with the remaining upgrades promised. I slowly lost trust as I had to argue to get what was already promised to me … some of which I had already paid for.
Whether you are aware or not, situations like mine happen frequently. Losing trust with your customers is detrimental to a dealership hoping to drive new and returning visits. Relationships between GMs, sales reps and clients are extremely important. Ensure every purchase made at your dealership ends in a win/win/win scenario by utilizing these three tips.
- Track EVERYTHING
Transparent, clear communication is critically important to prioritize as a dealership. Miscommunication can often be resolved by ensuring each call and text with a customer is tracked and recorded. Furthermore, when calls are appended to customer records in CRM, you’re able to gain easy access to the recordings of calls and texts where necessary details are discussed. Managers can stay in the loop and make click-to-calls with any upset client not properly helped by their team. By tracking every instance of communication, details will be readily available for reference, or the verification needed so there will be no confusion for the dealership or client.
- Be Readily Available
A customer isn’t going to pay $40,000 for someone to not be responsive. Call connection plays a vital role in revealing prime opportunities to pursue and allows the customer to feel like you prioritize their time. First impressions matter and, in fact, only 59% of callers in 2021 connected to someone who could help when calling a dealership. Most often, unconnected callers are hanging up while on hold or being sent to an unchecked voicemail. While it’s inevitable that calls will get missed, it’s important to try to get ahead of this statistic and prioritize a ringing phone. Make sure customers who do get missed however, are being followed up by dealers ASAP to salvage those missed opportunities. If you aren’t accessible, you could be losing a loyal, long-term customer.
- Push Status Updates
When you hear status updates, you often think of your service department, not the sales department. After purchasing a vehicle, it may require some sort of maintenance — inspection, safety repairs, upgrades — that your sales representative will schedule upon purchase to guarantee a bay in service. After making a seamless introduction and handoff to service, the salesperson should proactively check in at various intervals to build trust and encourage ongoing business. Another example of providing status updates is when a customer expresses interest in a vehicle that has a lot of activity. Sending updates as soon as you are aware and keeping them informed of current inventory builds trust. Having a proactive approach shows you prioritize their business and value an ongoing relationship to keep their business with you — not your neighboring competitors.
It may seem like once your client signs for a car and you get your money your work with them is done. By focusing on ongoing and valuable relationships, however, you win, the customer wins and your dealership wins.
We prioritize the importance of connecting calls, setting firm appointments and pursuing opportunities that will enhance every relationship involved in finding everyone their dream car.
To learn more about how sales and service departments can gain valuable insight and capture more opportunities over the phone, visit https://carwars.com/home/.