Phone Etiquette 101

Phone Etiquette 101

The emotion, enthusiasm and excitement are easily determined within the first few seconds of the conversation.

 

Oh no not again! Another article about phone communications? Yep, another one. This time we are going to focus on the options for how you should answer the phone, the responses you give and how you end the conversation.

All things have a beginning, middle and an end. Not all things have to end badly, however. The question is, what are your customers hearing? In the beginning, they hear, “Hello, Partz Howse.” Or maybe even, “Hello, thanks for calling GW1 Auto today. How can I help you?”

The words of the introduction are not always the most important part though, as long as it identifies the store and the name of the employee. The emotion, enthusiasm and excitement are easily determined within the first few seconds of the conversation.

What do your words say about you, your job or the day you are having? And whether or not you enjoy your job? After all, it’s your reputation and that of your employer at stake. Every day you could consider yourself on a job interview as you never know who is watching or a calling. For those of you who take your job seriously, learning phone etiquette is a great way to expand your abilities and versatility. If you are the type of employee who has pride in all you do, you may ask, “How come the customers never ask for me?” Well, does your attitude give them reason to do so?

Enough on beginnings. The meat of the phone etiquette sandwich are things that customers do not wish to hear. All our lives we hear what we should do, but many times we need to remember what not to do. Recently, Ron Burley from Inc. magazine pointed out the “Five Phrases that Customers Hate to Hear.” According to Burley, they are:

1.    That’s our policy.
2.    There’s nothing I can do.
3.    Would you mind holding for a moment.
4.    You’ll have to go to our website.
5.    That’s the manufacturer’s responsibility.

Although, a couple of these do not apply on a regular basis to the automotive aftermarket, we often use phrases similar to those that can cause uneasiness for the telephone customer. Most of us have the ability to serve up customer satisfaction anytime we need to and most anyone who is taking time to read this has the authority, whether spoken or not, to provide whatever necessary to make the customer happy. Is that not the end goal anyway?

The opportunities that present us with the unhappy customer are when we set ourselves up for success. Taking care of customers is the primary job and using the phone might be our largest tool in doing so. You have to first learn the ability and it is a discipline that all of us could use help in. If you do not believe it, you should listen to yourself on a recording. It is an ear-opening experience!

Now for the ending. The ending has to be sincere. We must convince the customer we have what they need. Not all customer calls revolve around a complaint but, they do have a problem however, or they would not need a part for their car. With that said, our best job description might be that of a counselor. Sometimes, it might be a financial counselor and sometimes a guidance counselor, and maybe a marriage counselor at times.

Either way, we have to negotiate our way through the customer’s problems and determine what is best for their needs. These are not easy tasks and the customer on the other end of that phone is likely spending money that they may or may not have on something that they wish they did not have to spend.
The only way we can truly help them is to be patient and serve them to the very best of our abilities and most importantly, let them know we truly appreciate them considering us for their business needs.

You May Also Like

Will Surging Gas Prices Hurt The Aftermarket?

The jolt to miles driven – a key indicator for the aftermarket – remains to be seen.

Editor's note: This column appears in the June issue of AMN/Counterman.

As of today (June 15), the average price of a gallon of regular gasoline in the United States is $5.01, according to AAA. That’s up from $4.47 a month ago.

Remember the good old days? A year ago (from June 15), the average price of a gallon of regular gas was $3.076 – a great time to fill ‘er up, compared to today.

Online Ordering Isn’t A Fad

Online sales in the automotive aftermarket continue to grow.

What Will the ‘COVID-Era Consumer’ Do in 2022?

The beauty of the automotive aftermarket is that the economic conditions always seem to work in the industry’s favor.

Online Shopping
Right To Repair, Trade Associations And You

In the fight for Right to Repair legislation, aftermarket trade groups can’t do it alone.

Veterans Can Be Heroes Off the Battlefield Too

Veterans bring an incredible amount of value to the civilian workplace, in terms of nontechnical and technical skills.

Veterans and Vehicles

Other Posts

What’s Really Driving The Automotive Aftermarket’s Growth?

NPD’s Nathan Shipley looks at the many moving pieces contributing to the industry’s recent spike in demand.

aftermarket growth
Strength In Numbers

The automotive aftermarket is filled with great people. In fact, many say it’s our strong suit.

Teamwork automotive aftermarket
Never Stop Learning

With so much internet-based training content available, it’s never been easier to expand your knowledge base.

Continuing Education
Welcome To 2035 – What Things Might Look Like

The future is what we make it. We need to start addressing technology now so 2035 becomes a bright future.

Future of Transportation