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Phone Management During Unpredictable Times

Hand picking up phone
Article Highlights:

  • The phone is a crucial touchpoint between you and customers.
  • Best practices to keep up with daily operations.

Phone management is one of the most important things to tackle when going through uncertain or unpredictable times. Whether your store is experiencing irregular operations due to inclement weather or even a national crisis, the phone is a crucial touchpoint between you and your customers. It’s key to communicating and keeping the relationship open. When a customer calls your dealership, they expect to either be greeted with ease or have some kind of clarity on what’s going on at your store.

Here are some best practices to consider:

Update greeting and voicemail recordings. You should be as transparent as possible the moment the customer dials your phone number. Update your auto attendant to reflect:

  • Any new sales or service hours.
  • Expected delays in response time.
  • Services you’re currently offering or have postponed for the time being.

It’s also important each of your salespeople update their voicemail recording. If they’re working from home and don’t have access to their normal working conditions, customers should be made aware so they don’t get upset when their call is taking longer than usual to be returned. Set expectations from the very beginning – customers will understand and appreciate it.

Set up call forwarding. In times of uncertainty, retaining customers is essential. Unfortunately, consumers are more demanding than they used to be. If you don’t answer their call or can’t answer their question, they’ll find someone – likely your competition – who can. When you set up call forwarding to mobile devices, you can help prevent missed calls. Also consider implementing a mobile app so everything is logged and tracked in the CRM.

Keep your daily processes. Consistency will give peace of mind to not only your employees, but also your customers. Though facing the unusual can be hard, keeping up with daily operations will have a big impact when things do go back to normal. This includes:

  • Confirming appointments automatically.
  • Following up with no-shows.
  • Checking voicemail often; though checking it more often during these times is ideal.
  • Logging every activity in the CRM.
  • Reviewing phone calls. If your team is working remotely, being more in tune with their activity and performance will help maintain accountability.
  • Syncing your marketing efforts with your phone system. If you’re running low financing specials or targeting lease customers, it’s powerful to know what customers are calling about before you pick up the phone. It can have a lasting effect on customer experience and retention.

The unknown is scary for everyone. Make your dealership a place of comfort by closely managing the phones to give your employees and customers peace of mind.

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Vice President, Reynolds and Reynolds

Jody Huff is the Vice President of Sales Development at Reynolds and Reynolds and has been with the company for over 26 years. Jody’s alma mater is Texas A&M University where he earned a BBA in Marketing.

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