Be Ready to Handle Difficult Callers

At times, it can seem like nearly everything business-related is done online.

Whether it’s advertising or managing finances, most functions of a dealership have significant web-based components. But with so much attention on all things digital, it’s crucial to make sure you don’t overlook a fundamental aspect of your business: phone calls.

Frustrated woman on the phoneCall handling remains a cornerstone of dealership operations. In fact, calls account for over one-fourth of initial interactions between potential buyers and dealerships.

In a perfect world, every call would lead to an in-person visit and an eventual vehicle purchase. The reality, however, is that some of the calls that your dealership receives will be difficult to handle. Whether a caller is angry, impatient, or tough to understand, your associates must be prepared to deal with calls that could push their buttons.

You can deliver superior customer service by preparing ahead for such instances. Here are some steps you can take to ensure your dealership is ready to handle those challenging calls.

Train Employees Using Real Scenarios


A great way to teach your employees how to handle difficult calls is to let them listen to actual recordings from within your dealership. Call recording is a key asset for effective training because you can pinpoint exact moments of the conversation for critique. Training your staff through authentic examples of conversation will help them learn what to say and what to avoid.

Another benefit of call recording is that you can focus your efforts on addressing the specific needs mentioned by callers. If a caller is unhappy about something when they dial your number, you’ll have a recording of the call so you can follow up directly with a solution to their concerns and step up your customer service.

With the help of call recording, Jerry Damson Automotive Group has found that follow-up is needed on 10 to 15 calls per day to save deals and maintain the highest customer service possible.

Don’t Let Emotions Win


Callers’ emotions tend to escalate when they’re on the phone. Handling numerous calls means your staff will likely hear some things that are negative, foul, or even downright abusive. But every company employee still has the responsibility of representing the organization, and they don’t exactly have free rein to blurt out their first reactions.

Teach your employees to control their emotions by being active listeners. Remind them that customers are typically not criticizing them personally and that their frustrations may have valid origins toward a process or simply the stress of buying a vehicle. It’s important for all employees to remain polite and respectful, regardless of how the person on the other end of the phone acts.

Follow Up on Mishandled Calls


Call handling is never perfect. The average dealership mishandles 41 percent of inbound calls for a wide variety of reasons. Perhaps there was a messy exchange, an inability to answer a question, or a failure to set up an in-person appointment.

The good news is that there are ways you can salvage these connections. Certified call evaluation professionals can help you trace call handling errors, and your predetermined personnel will be alerted of mishandled opportunities. Following up to address a mishandled call has been found to generate a closing rate of 25 percent, which could represent a tremendous revenue boost.

Stay Focused on Success


Phone calls will remain a central part of your interactions with potential customers, and it’s to be expected that some calls will be harder to handle than others. But by recording calls, training your staff, and following up on mishandled calls, you can ensure your dealership has its best foot forward to deal with even the most challenging conversations.