The service advisor always has to answer the phone or welcome customers with an upbeat positive attitude. Because on the other end of the line or other side of the counter, they never know how anxious and panicked the customer is.
The advisor’s goal should always be to reduce the customer’s anxiety, recommended Tom Amero, a certified elite trainer at training company Elite.
If a customer is looking for brake service and you say they’re in horrible shape, you’re surprised they didn’t catch fire and you’re shocked they even made it to your shop, that’s not lowering anyone’s anxiety — you’re only fanning the flames.
He recommended a different approach. Try saying this the next time you speak to that customer: “It looks like these brakes are a little past due. We normally recommend replacing them at three millimetres; they’re down to about one. So we’ve got to get those taken care of for you. No big deal, though. Brakes wear out,” he said.
So that information can be conveyed in two different ways, Amero noted. “So always be thinking about how you’re saying it, how you’re phrasing it, how you position it,” he said. “Are you raising anxiety or lowering anxiety?
Part of the service advisor’s job is to sell themselves. The customer wants to know if you have their back or are out to get them. Few are likely to fall into the latter but there are stereotypes out there. A service advisor’s attitude can unintentionally cause a customer to think the worst.
“Your job is to be the credible expert to teach people and educate people of what’s going on and help them make the best decision that’s right,” Amero said during the session High Impact Service Advisor Sales Course at the Midwest Auto Care Alliance Vision Hi-Tech Training and Expo.
Furthermore, customers need to figure out a time to see you in between work and kids’ dance recitals and soccer practice. They’re anxious before they even pick up the phone, noted Darrin Barney, president of Elite.
“Do you really think they want to be calling you? No. So we got to answer it nicely. We got a smile when we answer the phone,” he said.
Think about what’s best for the customer, not you, he added during the same session. “For each person you’re talking to, it’s not about you. If you care about them, they care about you. That’s the way the world works.”