Imagine your lot is filled with only one model, all the same color and with all the same features. Would you expect sales to soar through the roof? Just as customers want different models and features when shopping for a new vehicle, they also have different styles and preferences when communicating.
In the age of personalization, moving customers through a scripted interaction makes it impossible to be “in the moment.” More focus and pressure is applied to the script versus the actual interaction. Scripts limit the ability to listen. If you’re following a script during a conversation, you’re subconsciously worried about getting it correct, which gets in the way of focusing on what the other person is saying.
Data suggests that the most important part of the call is to answer all of the caller’s questions. In fact, 82 percent of consumers that say the No. 1 factor that leads to a great customer service experience is having their questions answered and issues resolved quickly.
Scripts limit the ability to read and respond to customer cues and don’t allow for much individual personality on the call. Business development representatives, or anyone who wants to be more successful and produce greater results when making and taking phone calls, should trade unnatural scripts and adopt playbooks to assist them in their approach.
A playbook is a framework for the caller’s journey and common touch points, from the first impression to closing with an appointment that shows. If you want to improve your ability to read and respond to customer cues and provide a better caller experience in the process, trash the script and embrace a playbook.
Tools, like a checklist of best practices or a call guide, can be effective in teaching the basic framework to agents. Role-playing with suggested word tracks can also lay a solid foundation, but agents need to learn to read the nuances of the call and the caller. How?
Active listening can give clues into the caller’s situation and should be responded to in kind. Is the caller using positive and descriptive language (great, sweet car, excited)? Agents should use similar language in their responses to align themselves with the caller. Is the customer sharing a difficult or frustrating situation (totaled car, car at another dealership sold from under them)? Communication that expresses empathy and reflects the customer’s angst will help the agent connect with them. Matching the communication style to the caller’s situation or preferences sets the stage for a better call.
Remember, part of the customer’s experience is driven by the customer. A playbook begins with identifying what the customer wants, recognizing how they are asking and then responding accordingly — no more “one-size-fits-all.”