The Power of the First Impression
In 2021, you may very well spend more time on your phone than not, so the typical customer phone call may seem like a simple, or even trivial task.
But chances are, a quick call could be a potential customer's first impression of your shop. That's an opportunity to impress you don't want to miss.
“That call needs to be professional, friendly and right on point,” says Leigh Anne Best, head of marketing for Mighty Auto Pro in Medina, Ohio, and a formal phone trainer for businesses across the country.
If you sound rushed or bothered during that first interaction, the customer will enter your shop with a bad taste in their mouth. Thankfully, there are a few steps that you can take to ensure that the phone call is the first example of great customer service. Ratchet+Wrench checked in with Best for a few key tips.
Make it Personal
Best stresses the importance of an attentive, personalized answering system for phone calls, and believes that phone communication is the critical point of customer service.
At Mighty Auto Pro, there is an employee whose only job is to answer the phone, so Best knows that they will take the time to converse with the customer. They have a strict process for how that employee should greet the customer, make appointments and even hang up.
“The way we answer the phone is very specific, and it is very important to me,” Best says.
Capitalize With Caller ID
Caller ID is a very useful tool during a phone call, according to Best. Her shop knows exactly who is calling before they answer the phone, so they know if they will be talking to a new or returning customer.
If it is a returning customer, the employee answering the phone can instantly look up their profile in Mitchell Software and see all the personal details that they will need to know, from the name of their golden retriever, to how much money they usually spend on each visit.
Each phone call is personal, as is the entire customer experience at Mighty Auto Pro, and every customer is given extra attention and care.
“Genuinely, our customers feel that we care about them,” says Best.
Keep a Record
Best also records every phone call. She is able to quickly wrap up the conversation and not waste the customer’s time because she never has to ask the same questions twice. If Best missed the appointment date and time, the car model or the service request, she will just relisten to the recorded conversation.
Best knows that most people don’t want to stay on the phone for a long time.
“I love customer service, but I also believe in brevity,” she says.
Taking the time to provide great customer service on the phone is a key to bringing customers into your shop and beginning their experience in a positive light. In order to really improve your business, you need to go beyond just auto service and pay attention to each facet of the customer experience, down to their first phone call.
“They expect us to fix their car right, but they’re overwhelmed when they see our customer service,” Best says.