Are your employees communicating well at your dealership? At most of the dealerships I have visited they are not!
I see far too many stores that still utilize walkie-talkies or paging systems and while this may seem like a good idea, in my mind it is a “spray and pray” tactic. Often you will find advisors walking around with their headsets dangling, until someone who has just heard a page says – “Jack, Steve wants to know if the lady has okayed the parts.” Such interactions completely defeat the purpose of the instant communications. They wonder why their CSI is poor; why staff are never on the same page.
Internal dealership communication is hugely important. When you seamlessly connect all staff via a desktop or mobile app, CSI and gross immediately increases, along with dealership morale.
Dealerships have so many communication methods – each employee having a preference – that most fail to communicate efficiently. Think about it. The sales manager pages salespeople to the sales desk. The service advisors run around looking for a specific technician to answer some questions. The business office emails the F&I manager from the office right next door. The general manager receives text messages from the sales desk. You get my point.
While these certainly are communications, they are happening on such a random, disjointed level that confusion sets in and customers pay the price. How many times a day do you need answers NOW? Instead I bet you’ve had to put a customer on hold to go search for Joe to answer a question, just to find that Joe is off property at lunch. Now what? This isn’t just a lack of communication – it’s a CSI killer.
Want to improve CSI? It’s simple: Ensure your entire staff has a standardized process of efficient communication channels, allowing everyone to be on the same page and get questions answered quickly. In addition, be sure to have a record of those communications for future reference.
Many things are going on at a dealership at any point in time, all of which affect a customer in some way. Sometimes that customer is at the dealership, sometimes they aren’t. Either way, there are plenty of instances where acquiring information quickly can make or break a customer experience. Geographical challenges due to dealership layout can also exacerbate this disconnect, acting as a further roadblock to effective communication.
If your dealership lacks a centralized communication tool that seamlessly connects all staff via a desktop or mobile app, you will be left wondering why it takes so long to get answers, assist customers and accomplish simple tasks. It gets even more frustrating when that poorly serviced customer takes it out on your dealership with a negative CSI survey.
Get rid of email clutter and those awful loud speaker pages in your dealership. Instead, implement a communication method that unites your staff and creates more efficient conversations.
You’ll find the entire staff more productive because they are no longer forced to hunt down answers and can continue working. In addition, morale will greatly improve, and your customers will be happier – which will take your CSI scores to the next level.
Author: Ujj Nath
Ujj Nath is the Founder and CEO of myKaarma (www.mykaarma.com), the cloud-based conversational commerce software that’s revolutionizing the auto service industry. He has 25 years of experience as an entrepreneur and automotive industry executive. In 1990, prior to myKaarma, Ujj founded Syncata, a major provider of business consulting and systems integration services. In 2004 he successfully negotiated the sale of the company to ProQuest Business Solutions (NYSE: PQE), which was subsequently acquired by Snap-On Tools (NYSE:SNA). At Snap-On, Ujj was Vice President of Global Accounts and headed the Professional Services Organization for Snap-on Business Solutions. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.