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Hopefully you were too busy enjoying the holidays this week to see the story about the McDonalds employee resource website that told its employees to lay off fast food, lest they become fat! The restaurant giant quickly took down the site and blamed canned content from a contractor, but not before the faux pas made headlines on all the major network and cable news programs. The kicker here is that this isn't the first time the employee site presented poorly thought-out information.
Whether you realize it or not, there are scripts recited all over your dealership, and many of them are unwritten. From the greeting on the service drive to the live chat conversations your staff or third party vendors are having, there is some kind of script involved, even if you didn't write or authorize them. Every employee has a routine for greeting clients, answering the phone, and even saying goodbye.
The beginning of a new year is a great time to take a look at the way you are communicating with your customers across the board, so you don't send the mixed message McDonalds had in the photo on the left (did they sent their employees to Subway?).
Just 'being nice', isn't enough. There has to be a purpose behind every communication message. Pure scripting may not be the answer, especially in phone or in-person conversations, but, "by giving employees guidelines and flexibility, you're empowering them to own the problem". according to Chad Forsyth, senior manager for business process outsourcing at the consulting agency, Capgemini. The website 1to1 Media has several tips for implementing scripts. One of their key recommendations is to, "train and empower agents to go off script when they feel the need".
Below are seven customer interface hot spots in your dealership where you want to ensure communication is well-managed. One that often gets overlooked is the accounting office.
By taking a good look at the way you communicate with your customers, you can hopefully avoid the mixed message that McDonalds gave its employees.
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Tom has an MBA in Marketing and is an automotive writer and author with more than 15 years experience in virtually every aspect of the retail auto industry. He began working with the internet building websites at Johns Hopkins University in the 90's, and has been a performance leader in nearly every dealer role, from sales and service, to web development and viral marketing.