Have you ever called a business and didn’t know if it was a robot or a human being on the other end of the line?
That cold, monotone voice of the person answering the phone likely turned you off. And that’s probably not the fault of the employee; they likely feel like they’re just another unit in the production line. They’re answering phones and sending the caller on their way.
But what if it’s your service advisor who sounds like that when a customer calls? If they’re sounding robotic on the other end of the line, chances are they have the same feeling of dread about their job, suggested Rick White, founder and president of 180 Biz, during the 2023 Midwest Auto Care Alliance’s Vision Hi-Tech Training & Expo.
But they could also be taking their cues from you, their boss. Shop owners often operate with a façade that shows a proper and professional face. And that translates down to the service advisors. They’ll answer the phone in a robotic tone.
“We can’t connect with façades. We can’t care with façades. We put façades up to protect ourselves from rejection. It hurts when someone says no,” White said in his session, Trust is the Real Currency. “Let the facades go. Be yourself. That’s who they really want to deal with. They want someone that’s friendly and caring, not proper and professional.”
You may not be showing your staff that they’re valued members of the team and that you care about them and the way they do their job. That translates into how they answer the phone.
“There’s nothing wrong with caring for people and loving them,” he said. “I hope that everybody that’s in my life knows that I love them. I value them. I’m a better person because of the people I have in my life
Get to know your staff, he urged. Don’t just talk to them about work stuff and their hours. Find out how their day is going. Ask them what they did over the weekend. But you have to genuinely care about their responses. You want your staff to have fun at work and see that you care about them.
During the hiring process, you can’t ask specific questions about a person. But once they’re part of the team, get to know them. Learn as much as you can, White urged.
“The way you show caring is the way they want to be cared for,” he said. “If you don’t know what they like or what’s important to them, you’re going to care for them with what’s important to you. And it won’t work. And you won’t understand why it’s a swing and a miss.”