The Sales Staff & The Managers Would Not Answer The Phone Because Of All The Heat Cases!
Do you want to know what is really happening at your dealership or business? Then simply be a receptionist for several weeks or months. Answer all the incoming calls, talk to all of the happy and unhappy customers. Talk to the customers that buy and those who do not buy. Sit with every salesperson and 3rd party vendor ask what is working and what is not. Learn who is moving the needle and who is struggling. Listen to the service advisors, parts guys, technicians, sales guys, finance guys and managers. You will be shocked at what you learn.
"Be a receptionist for several weeks at your store. You will be shocked at what you learn."
In my first months at a dealership, I acted as the receptionist for the dealership and this is what I found:
The Sales Staff & The Managers Did Not Want To Answer The Phone Because Of All The Heat Cases!
- They did not have any receptionists to save money.
- A salesperson was being a bully to other salespeople.
- Several salespeople were not putting all the customers in the CRM.
- Managers would take sales calls and not put these customers in the CRM.
- Some salespeople were working outside of the CRM on their phones and other email.
- Some salespeople got special treatment from certain sales managers.
- One sales manager did not like to call salespeople on their desk extension or cell phone, he like to yell across the show room to get their attention.
- The used car manager did not like to ground leased cars. There were so many "ungrounded" cars that had been returned to our dealership but we never notified the manufacturer; this is a 5 minute process. These people kept calling all the time trying to figure out why we had not notified the manufacturer that their car was dropped off. They kept getting billed by the manufacturer until we told the manufacturer that we had the car.
- One large company that purchased a lot of cars from this dealership, called over and over about a car that had been dropped off 6 months before, but we never grounded it. Each time they called I gave the info to the used car manager every week for 4 months and the car was still not grounded.
- The managers in all departments at the dealership refused to take problem customer calls, they just let them go to voice mail and never followed up. This applied to every department. It was such a problem that no sales staff wanted to sit at the reception desk, because the same upset customers would call back over and over.
- There was no budget to solve problems with customers. I realized that some of the problems could be solved for just a little money. I asked the GM, what is my budget to solve small problems that come up. He responded Zero! (This is how Ritz-Carlton handles problems at their hotels.)
- One time a lady purchased a new $40K SUV and for some reason it had no floor mats, the manager told the customer that they had to pay $150 for them. They were upset but paid for them anyway. How I found out about it, was she came back the next day, with the 2nd key to her old SUV that she traded in, (a $450 value) and told me how upset she was. I am pretty sure she will not be back for service or to buy her next vehicle.
"I asked the GM, what is my budget to solve small problems that come up. - He responded Zero!"
It is impossible for corporate to really understand what is happening at a store by looking at the numbers or by visiting a store once every 6 months or by talking to management on a zoom call.
"It is impossible for corporate to really understand what is happening at a store by looking at the numbers."
Owners with single or multiple stores should get yourself a sharp receptionist type person that goes from store to store and then reports back to you. They will be able to tell you what is really happening behind the scenes when no one from corporate is visiting. If you need help solving business problems and need someone who will jump in and make a difference call Vincent Hoss - Internet Director - Internet Manager - Internet Salesperson - Receptionist