6 keys of Phone Skills Improvement

Phone Skills, CallerCX, Customer Experience
We live in a data driven society and phone interactions are changing quickly. In the book, Outliers, Malcom Gladwell suggests that it takes 10,000 hours to be a superstar. Fortunately, for employees working in the automotive industry there’s a massive amount of performance data available to use for improving phone performance.

Mastery comes from self-discipline; practicing scenarios until we can’t get them wrong. Most of us have that favorite athlete or actor that comes to mind, you can guarantee that whomever you think of as your favorite, practices their sport or lines repeatedly until they can get as close to perfection as possible. We must do the same to perfect the phones.

1. Hold Yourself Accountable

We hear good BDC reps handling of customer calls short of their capabilities every day. Why is it that some fail to put their best work forward on a consistent basis? UCLA great John Wooden said, “The true test of a man’s character is what he does when no one is watching.”  Work on obtaining and surpassing your goals on your own as you would if someone were watching.

Hold yourself accountable to a great caller experience. People create experiences that drive customer trust and loyalty. Instead of sticking to a script and sounding like a robot, simply talk with the customer as a person. Recognize the vehicle they are calling to discuss, find out why specific features are important to them. If they are calling to trade-in and upgrade to a bigger vehicle, recognize that maybe this is a move to grow their family. Ask questions, make it personal. You’ll notice that you set more appointments as a byproduct of having a dialogue rather than a rigid process.

2. Be Tangible and Transparent

Only 1 in 4 Americans judge themselves fairly. Regardless of where you fall within that stat, the best way to measure yourself is to use an objective scoring form. Self-assessing calls allows you to reflect on your caller’s experience and adjust your future performance based on areas of success and opportunity. This process provides a platform for training application and aligns self-accountability with performance.

3. Actionable, User Friendly

Act on your data! Evaluating areas of strength and weakness enables you align your performance with training resources for each area you are measuring. Your dealership probably has some training resources in house or online. If not, there are great free automotive specific resources available online at www.bdcexperts.com. Watch coaching videos to sharpen the saw and attend instructor led online webinars to train on skills.

4. Time is of the essence

It is best to review your performance shortly after you have handled a call. Realistically, end of day is a great time to listen to a couple of calls, score them, and reflect on the best practices you can use the next time you receive a similar call. Roleplay with yourself or with someone else on obstacles you haven’t faced yet.

This is how sports team utilize game film. They watch game tapes of themselves less than 24 hours after their most recent game to review their performance and determine where they need to improve. They also watch game tape of their upcoming opponents to create a unique strategy for their next game.

5. Ongoing Practice

Utilize resources to accelerate the process but also recognize that becoming your own performance coach is a long-term commitment. It takes months to build successful habits and skills that come naturally, but the benefit of doing so makes it worthwhile. Continuous practice is the best way to make meaningful improvements.

6. Consistency is Key

Just as the pros do, consistent practice and ongoing measuring is key to improvement. Making a commitment to the phone requires post call work and attention to the details. To become a pro on the phone, practice makes perfect.

Start implementing these best practices in your dealership today. To get a jumpstart on coaching your own performance, download our phone call self-assessment guide.

Proactive Employee Self-Assessment

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