Training Your Team: Communicate with Today’s Customers

Is your team fully on board with your new digital sales plan? As shoppers complete more and more of the car buying process online, your staff has to be there to meet them. And that means taking advantage of modern communications methods, tools, and technologies to interact with your customers and keep them progressing down the buying path.  

Communicate to Your Team First  

The automotive industry has been trending toward offering more digital sales elements for years, but within the last year there has been an unprecedented acceleration of interest in online car buying. But you can’t just flip a switch and expect your team to automatically carry out a brand-new digital sales plan. Before they can communicate effectively with your customers, you need to communicate effective practices to them.  

As you begin training your team, have a clear (but flexible) vision for how your artificial intelligence tools, virtual assistant, and automotive marketing platform will work alongside your sales team to execute an effective digital sales process. Then help you team share in your vision. These tools aren’t just new for your customers, they’re new for your team too. Clearly explain the role each tool plays in the customer communication process and how they will make all communications more effective. 

Use a Communications Checklist 

Whether your team interacts with customers via dealership text messaging, email, or phone, there are a few universal rules of effective communication. Train your team be personal, respect customers’ time, and provide everyone with a clear plan and path to purchase. You can help them to effectively communicate with today’s customers by using the following checklist:  

Be Personal 

  • Answer questions and make relevant offers.  
  • Respond to customers as if they were sitting in the showroom. 
  • Acknowledge the lead source and/or past communications.  
  • Use the customer’s preferred communication channel (text, email, phone, etc.). 

Respect Customers’ Time 

  • Respond to all digital inquiries quickly, ideally within 10 minutes. 
  • Keep communications simple and to the point.  
  • Collect as much information as possible as early as possible, including trade information, deal information, credit application information, etc. 
  • Pick up where the customer left off and don’t make them repeat themselves or restructure deals (especially applicable with online to in-store purchasing).  

Provide Clear Next Steps 

  • Explain the buying process for the sales scenario the customer prefers (digital, traditional, or hybrid).  
  • Ask for any information needed to move the deal forward.  
  • Provide multiple ways to reach the dealership, not just the way the customer is currently communicating with. 

When you train your employees in these universally applicable communications practices and teach them to treat CRM automotive technology as part of the team, your customers and your staff can get on the same page with your new digital sales processes.  

To learn more about how you can train your team to succeed in a new era of online sales, check out our free eBook: The Ultimate Guide to Modern Sales Training: How to Train Your Dealership on Digital Processes