Great communication is key in life – and even more so, integral when it comes to running a successful business. And ultimately, miscommunication can result in all sorts of issues, including the likes of client confusion, poor reputation management, frustrated shoppers, and worst of all, dissatisfied customers leaving to do business elsewhere. In short, miscommunication can be hugely damaging. However, this could be easily avoided, here, we discuss how.
What is miscommunication?
Before we begin our battle to conquer miscommunication, it’s important that we clarify exactly what miscommunication is.
In business terms, miscommunication is when staff at your dealership fail to make the information they are giving to customers clear. Equally, miscommunication also refers to when your staff struggles to understand what the customer is saying to them. You see, miscommunication between your employees and customers works two ways, which is why it can be so challenging for staff to prevent.
What’s more, miscommunication seriously impacts customer service, which in turn can lead to longer wait times for customers and baffled shoppers, which can result in your dealership losing business. And miscommunication is bound to have an effect on your staff too, with your team getting just as frustrated, stressed out, and probably pretty demotivated.
Ultimately, effective communication should never be underestimated. It is key to the success of a car dealership and businesses simply can’t afford to get it wrong these days.
What can cause miscommunication?
There are many reasons why miscommunication occurs, but here are some of the most common:
Giving too much information
You know when those times when the words you’re saying get the better of you and you end up giving information overload? Yes, that’s what we’re talking about. We’ve all been there. For dealers, this happens when they give so much information to the customer, they lose them.
Giving too little information
Equally, giving too little information won’t cut it either. If a dealer – or, in other words, the industry expert – gives too little information on a service, vehicle, or other product, then you’re in danger of the customer filling in the blanks themselves. And, this really is dangerous territory. Or, they end up asking you more questions via emails, texts, phone calls, or marching into your dealership themselves – all of which have the potential to lead to a very frustrated and probably confused customer.
We recognize that striking a balance between giving too much and too little information is tricky, but rest assured it’s not an uncommon challenge.
We get it, time is precious – but that shouldn’t mean that your customer service is being sacrificed. Too often, in this day and age, it’s common for dealers to find resource is running thin, which means fewer people to talk to customers and less time to properly communicate. When communicating with customers is rushed, mistakes are easily made, the wrong information can be given, and dealers won’t pay attention to what the customer is saying.
Similarly, a customer rushing through an appointment can have the same impact. Life is busy, which can inevitably lead to shoppers passively listening to the dealer and not asking the necessary questions, which again results in miscommunication.
You’re using the wrong tools to communicate
Have you considered what tools your staff are using to communicate with customers? Are they the most effective, when it comes to efficient communication? Is sending a text-heavy email really the best way to get vital information across to customers?
Remember, with the digital revolution opening up a whole world of possibilities when it comes to communicating with customers, your dealership has no excuse but to get it right.
How can dealers eliminate miscommunication with customers?
Use video to support what you’re saying
When it comes to how to communicate with customers, we believe nothing beats video. After all, sending a video means there’s less chance that the customer isn’t misinterpreting what the dealer is saying. Additionally, the brain can process visuals 60,000 times faster than text – and that’s just one of many statistics that prove just how powerful video can be, especially if you’re looking to boost communication between dealer and customer.
There’s simply no denying it, video content is easier to comprehend than written text. In fact, people are likely to remember 95 percent more of a video they watch, compared to the same information given via text.
So to really help eliminate miscommunication between your dealership and customer, send across a pre-recorded two-minute (maximum) video which involves the relevant information – avoiding the complicated jargon, or unnecessarily technical lingo (we’ll come onto that).
Here are three key reasons why sending information via a video to customers will help to prevent miscommunication:
- Ultimately, videos allow staff – including those from your sales team and service department – to verbally communicate while using visual aids to support what they’re saying. For example, if an unexpected fault with a car needs to be fixed, a technician can record a two-minute video of themselves explaining the issue while using the car to visually demonstrate, making it easier for the viewer (the customer) to understand.
- Videos can be watched back by the customer and better still, watched at their convenience. Being able to watch a video as many times as they wish means a customer can really understand the information they are being given, without having to ask a dealer to repeat themselves. What’s more, being able to watch the video at a time that suits them, will not only mean it’s more likely that they will concentrate on the content but they also have time to digest the information being given, rather than (potentially negatively) reacting immediately.
- Just as importantly, videos can be rerecorded by the dealer, which means staff at your dealership can ensure they are sending the correct information to the customer. Equally, having the ability to create a pre-recorded video allows staff members who might not be as confident in speaking to customers – specifically your technicians, who aren’t in customer-facing roles – to run the clip past a colleague before sending it.
Using the SnapCell app makes it easier than ever for staff to seamlessly create professional-looking, polished videos to be sent to customers. At just the click of a button, anybody at your dealership can easily create a video and send it to a customer. Better still, your staff can send their video to a customer via email, or alternatively, using SnapCell Messenger, which prompts an instant two-way conversation between dealer and shopper.
Follow-up via email or SMS
If you have had a real-time conversation with a customer, then why not send a recap of your chat via a video using SnapCell Messenger or email? That way, you’re really taking things up a gear on the customer service front.
Equally, this is a really effective way to create a logged paper trail of your ongoing discussion, which will not only help the customer by giving something for them to refer to whenever they need but it will also help jog your memory if necessary.
Encourage two-way conversation
Encouraging two-way conversation with customers is crucial to preventing miscommunication.
The last thing you want is for a §customer to not be listened to, or that their opinion doesn’t matter. With that in mind, it’s vital for a dealer to be inviting customers to ask questions. Whether the conversation is being had in-person, via SnapCell Messenger, or SnapCell Live, the dealer needs to give the customer time to digest the information and discuss any queries they may have.
Of course, both SnapCell Messenger and SnapCell Live allow for that instant conversation with customers, which means there will be less waiting around for both questions and responses from dealers and shoppers – making the whole process a much smoother experience and definitely less frustrating.
A top tip from us is to always listen, acknowledge and avoid interrupting.
Make sure you are automotive experts
Your staff being able to confidently demonstrate they are the industry experts when it comes to your products and services will undoubtedly build the basic foundations for effective communication. Not only will this enhance trust and reliability from the customer but if your employee knows your dealership in and out, then they are much less likely to waffle and confuse the shopper. Of course, it’s always best if your staff can answer any questions asked by the customer too, so making sure they’re well-trained really is invaluable.
Avoid overdoing technical jargon
While it’s important for your staff to be bursting with industry knowledge, they need to be careful not to overdo it on the jargon front. This is probably one of the most common reasons triggering miscommunication between dealer and customer.
While it might be tempting to demonstrate their expertise in the automotive industry, your staff throwing in unnecessary technical language is likely to leave a customer confused and irritated. This could have some damaging consequences, including the likes of a customer potentially signing off work on their car they don’t fully understand, or having to ask you to repeat the information – which costs your team in time.
Steer your way to better communication with SnapCell
Technology has given us so much power – especially when it comes to communicating with customers – and we need to take advantage of that. As an industry, automotive businesses need to be utilizing tools just like SnapCell, if they want to keep one step ahead of their competition. Made specifically with dealerships in mind, SnapCell takes communicating with customers to another level. Whether it’s via SnapCell Messenger or SnapCell Live, the app enhances effective and efficient two-way conversation between dealers and customers, making for a seamlessly smooth transaction between the two, while resulting in a much better shopping experience. Book a free demo today.