With each phone call that we make, the goal is the same: get the customer on the phone, then get them to come in and buy a car. When you are communicating with your customer, it is very important to take a step back and find out who you’re servicing. If you identify your customer, you will be able to easily connect with them, and create the chemistry needed to make a deal go smoothly and deliver an exceptional customer experience.
Do Your Homework. When an internet lead comes in, before you pick up the phone and start dialing, look at the details of the lead.
Are they already your customer? Pay attention to their history in the CRM. If they are already a customer, either from sales or service or both, you should have a whole different approach. This is not a “lead”, this is your customer. You know them and should act like you know them.
What is the Source? The source in which a lead comes from can teach you a lot about the customer. You would handle a new car lead from a third party differently than a trade in lead source. The source can also indicate where the customer is in the funnel and what the next steps should be to move them toward an appointment that shows.
Read the lead. Always look for customer comments and address them in your reply. This is missed a lot by BDC Agents and salespeople. When a customer asks a specific question, and you don’t address it, it really is a huge omission and not a very good customer experience.
What does the contact info tell you about the customer and their story?
- Are they local? Check their phone number, and address if it’s included in the lead information. Don’t invite them in for a test drive immediately if they live 3 hours away.
- Google their name and address. Another way to identify your customer! Who are they? Where do they live. We know one agent who looked everybody up on Google Earth and it gave her something to talk about.
- Where do they work? If they are using a work email look that company up on Google and check the staff page. If during the conversation, you can say “Hi Jeff, I see you are the marketing director at ABC sales’, this is a powerful rapport technique. People love to talk about themselves, and it can really get a dialogue going quickly.
- Are they on a specific car? Is it available? What additional information could you give them about the car as added value?
This sounds like a lot of research, but it just takes a couple of minutes and is well worth the time spent.
Identify your phone ups too.
Working a phone up is different because you’re answering the phone with a blindfold on.
To get off to a good start ask your customer “Have you purchased or shopped here before?” If they say yes, then they are already in the CRM. You may already have all their contact info, know what they are driving now and how they paid for it.
Think about going to the doctor and all the forms you must fill out the first time. What if that doctor made you fill it out every time you called or came in for an appointment? That would not be an exceptionally pleasant experience. Prevent this from happening to your customers by identifying your customer at the very start of any interaction.
Sometimes the only information that you know about that customer is what they immediately tell you. It’s up to you to find out the rest of their story. Proper identification goes hand in hand with effective questioning. Asking questions is not only a way engage the customer, but a way to gather more information from them so that you can strike up better chemistry.
Get the first step right by identifying your customer and the rest of the steps become easier. You will have more meaningful conversations, build rapport and set more appointments that show.