I hope you’re off to a great day when reading this because I have some critical information to share for this month’s article that may ruffle a few feathers.
When we make adjustments to our playbook ahead of time, closing appointments that actually show on time, coming inside for a manager or representative, implementing and/or perfecting the reverse T.O. process and connecting at delivery is much more seamless.
We must utilize the resources available to create a ripple effect of sales and service customers from social networking. Despite the pitches for “catching you more fish,” perhaps it’s time to learn how to do some “fishing for yourself.” You can do this and a lot more in house when, not if, everyone agrees there is no longer “down time” in the car business. It starts with each of us, but can’t all be done by one.
No dealer need be left behind! Unless, of course the choice (inaction is a choice) is to ignore best practices, changes in processes and to not clearly document, track and train adjusted protocol, which requires preparation.
An excellent starting point is your own quality control. Write down what you expect out of a lead response, phone call or live chat, then mystery shop yourself and compare your expectations to reality.
Next, mystery shop your competition, because serious differentiation is needed now. Trust me, you will be shocked at how little people really listen, engage and remain “appointment minded.”
I urge you to implement and utilize, what we refer to as our: playbooks and modern evidence manuals. For example: Do you have your customers reading and viewing (while waiting on first offer in the showroom) validating articles about their “new vehicle” and about the company they are now trusting (as they read testimony about you or your representatives, pictures of family and fun further differentiating your dealership(s) from the stereotype)? Or do we just give them a soft drink or coffee, leaving them focused on their smartphone? If so, they are likely reading your competitors: e-mails, text messages, listening to VMs, shopping prices online, etc.?
This takes intellect right back over emotion!
I’m glad I was a Boy Scout, because I learned what too many people seem to have missed: be prepared! Some examples of what to prepare for and why position coaches are essential are:
- One hundred percent support and live T.O. regardless of who takes the call, chat or lead. (Who is present during these conversations?)
- Accountability – How long will you allow shared leads to rot before they are re-delegated? (Who is the BDM?)
- Online presence, SEO, networking and reputation management are not the same as IT. For instance, the social networking coach will be doing your F delivery assurance, company policy and the friends and family program. SEO will do all the You Tube video uploads, Ping.fm, Twitter, etc.
QRCs (Quick Response Codes) are not just for customers’ reading or viewing enjoyment. We get their data instantly! This is just like live chat’s benchmark: contact at once, five seconds or less. Quick means as fast as possible!
Smartphones now dominate. One out of every two Americans will have full-blown PC phones by year end! Dual core phones are already out and my iPhone 4 is getting upgraded to the new 5! We use Blackberry, Android and iPhone devices but, and this is just me, they must be company owned and protected with any sensitive customer data. Keep that in mind when delegating “on call people or support” after hours, etc. Be aware of all applicable FCC and FTC regulations and next month’s compliance additions.
Are we smart to use smartphones like our customers do? I say yes and we do it thousands of times a day. No successful company or life can be run on fear. If they have negative things to say, they will anyway! Overload with quality content, resolutions and “humanize” yourselves! These are not to be confused with a feature phone and will help you spike your correspondence by knowing which device they use. The most progressive and professional yet personal means of making the quickest and most preferred way of communicating today will double your appointment-to-show ratio by sending your picture and the physical address in an SMS or MMS. Never give them an out appointment confirmation. “Still on for today, right?” equals an out!
Who is your position coach to assure your folks are doing the deal instead of dealing with what they are or are not doing? Because the average “confirmation” doesn’t even have a confirmation number associated with it so as to “activate” their confidential file. Make a DL swipe or copy and reverse T.O. with a manager after reading the notes in the CRM and allow the product specialist or Internet sales rep, etc., to pull up “their” vehicle.
Now we have everything necessary for a demonstration. When done properly, the customer(s) is in the passenger seat(s) and the PRO presents the vehicle and drives off to complete the demonstration. Double your testdrives with the reverse T.O. and confirmation numbers. I have used GR177 for over 15 years.
Your team must have a common goal to increase both shows and demonstrations, empowered with the proper tools and most importantly the leadership to make the necessary critical decisions for change.