How would you rate your Parts Department employees’ phone skills on a scale of 1 to 10? If your answer is lower than 10, keep reading. A recent study shows 71% of customers will end a business relationship because of poor phone etiquette, so those subpar phone skills are probably costing you more than you realize. Use these 15 simple tips to improve your Parts Department’s phone etiquette and generate more sales.
Don’t let the phone ring more than three times.
It makes the caller on the other end feel they’re not a priority and it makes you appear unreliable. At the fourth ring, your customer is on the verge of hanging up—and they won’t be in a rush to call back.
Answer the phone with a smile and a positive greeting.
Body language can be interpreted through your voice! Show your customer you’re happy to help.
Be a good listener.
Each customer has unique needs. If you’re genuinely listening, you’ll be able to use your parts expertise to offer recommendations.
When you’re putting a customer on hold ask permission.
Don’t ghost them—when you leave the phone to check on something for them, let them know.
Collect all necessary information from the customer.
A few essentials include name, email address, phone number, car make, model, year, and VIN.
If you don’t know the answer to a question, figure it out.
Assure the caller that you’ll check on that for them, then put them on hold for as short a time as you can manage. If you need to call them back, make sure you have their contact information and follow-up before the end of the day.
It’s important to speak clearly and slowly so you’re easy to understand. If the customer has to struggle to hear you, they’ll rush to end the call.
Keep it short and sweet.
Customers will lose interest the longer the process takes. Get them what they need as quickly as possible.
Record inbound calls.
Recording inbound calls is the best way to monitor your employees’ phone skills and train them to make proactive changes.
Ask customers if they’re ready to buy before hanging up the phone.
This may seem like a no-brainer but it’s so important. Inviting the caller to complete the order could be the difference for a chronically indecisive shopper.
Follow PCI compliance.
When the customer is ready to make a purchase, enter their billing info directly into your POS system. Over are the days of filing cabinets stuffed with post-its covered in credit card numbers.
Tell them to have a good day when you say goodbye.
Or a nice evening. Or a great weekend. Adding a human touch to your phone correspondence will help cultivate a good relationship with your customers.
If the phone call doesn’t result in a sale, send the quote in an email.
Email them the quote immediately after taking it. Include the part they called about, the pricing and shipping you discussed, and a way to complete the order. If that email doesn’t result in a sale, use an automated Quote Saver.
RELATED: 7 Ways to Fix Your Quoting Process and Close More Sales
Return voicemail messages promptly.
The quickest way to lose a sale is to ignore a potential customer who expresses interest. Put together a script your parts counter employees can use when returning voicemails.
Follow up after the customer has received their part.
Your customers’ relationship with your parts business doesn’t end when their order is filled. Ensure satisfaction by following up with the customer after your system is showing they’ve received their part.
RELATED: Following up with your customers? If not, you’re losing sales.
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