The Phone


Recently I place an order online from because I wanted the convenience and discounted price on an item not normally carried in the store. The price was low and that included shipping on the item committing to a two day delivery. On that date the delivery was supposed to have arrived, I received a phone call from federal express asking my home address. It turns out the address on the shipping label was incorrect and they committed to the delivery on Saturday. As you might guess, no delivery was on Saturday or Monday.  I phoned customer care. It was wonderful that the company gave a wait time, however the estimate stated 60 minutes.

Customer Intake Experience

After their customer service representative tried to convince me the address on the label was correct, she finally accepted the information and began to repeatedly ask what my home address was. She then committed to a delivery of the product that I had already ordered, in about seven days. What I learned from this experience is that customer service far exceeds the level of important I had placed on price point on my purchase decisions. Unfortunately, this experience also brings to mind that many dealerships do not perform well in handling the phone.

In the Dealership

Customers in the dealership are often interrupted with advisors answering the telephone instead of taking care of their needs. They are put on hold with a request to return their call unanswered. The customers are not notified the parts are in, that were special order to fix their vehicle. We don’t provide the customer prompt accurate updates on their vehicle status.

Not You?

Maybe you’re shaking your head saying yes we do perform all of these things. The truth we all must face is, the better our dealership handles the phones, our customer satisfaction, customer retention, profitability of the department, job satisfaction, all improve. Be sure your phone skills are always a focus of attention. Your processes must be driven by your customer’s phone experience and it is consistent. How many customers in your dealership are you losing every day by not handling the phone properly? I know Wal-Mart lost one.

Rob Gehring, President
Fixed Performance Inc.

Fixed Performance complete fixed operations coaching consulting