When it comes to providing good customer service and quality technical support, they are ultimately both two very different things. In essence, customer service focuses on the customer experience, while technical support is all about resolving a technical issue. That said, it’s important to recognize that as a car dealership, you’ll find the two overlap – after all, who’s saying you can’t provide technical support and customer service, at the same time? In fact, you’ll find that part of delivering world-class customer service will be providing effective technical support – with one of the biggest challenges being how to explain technical repairs in a way that your customer will understand.
Of course it’s not just about how you communicate, it’s equally as important that you use the right tools. It’s no secret that video content is the future of customer engagement, with statistics revealing that viewers retain 95 percent of a videos’ message, in comparison to just 10 percent when reading it in text.
How to communicate well with customers is a talent, there’s no denying it. Everyone in the industry knows there’s a fine line between a member of staff demonstrating their knowledge and the risk of being patronizing. Furthermore, when it comes to conversing with customers, it’s not just about passing on information, but listening to them is equally important. So, what exactly is the strategy behind successfully explaining technical repairs to customers?
Use the right communication tool
As we’ve mentioned, using the most effective communication will provide your dealership with the best foundations when it comes to successful customer engagement.
And, while there are many ways for a dealership to communicate with a customer, it’s best that you stick to the tools that allow you to handle technical support most effectively. In other words, stay clear from email and instead, use live messenger – SnapCell Messenger, for SnapCell customers – telephone conversations, in-person discussions, or live video – SnapCell Live for users of the app. In short, it’s very difficult to successfully explain a technical repair via email.
But if your dealership uses SnapCell Messenger, your team can send professional-looking videos to help explain the issue to the customer – these messages are sent instantly and 90 percent of the time, are read within three minutes. Your technical support team can then hold a two-way instant conversation (including more pre-recorded video, if they wish) with the customer, helping them to understand the repair needed.
Likewise, SnapCell Live allows both your sales team and service department to host live two-way video chats with customers. This revolutionary feature of the app has been built with the likes of the service department in mind, as it allows your team to basically give the same service to a customer as they would if they visited your dealership in person – only, virtually. SnapCell Live gives your technicians the ability to talk through the repair work needed live, while visibly showing customers the work that needs to be done – which will undoubtedly support their understanding of the issue.
One of the other benefits of using SnapCell, is that the app seamlessly integrates with a dealership’s CRM, which means keeping all of your staff up-to-date and on the same page when it comes to any conversations that have taken place with each customer.
It’s worth mentioning that while we encourage technicians to get behind the camera and use SnapCell, we also appreciate they might not feel instantly comfortable doing so. Invest in your staff by giving them the opportunity to practice making technical videos, to either send to family for feedback, or to work on as a team. Honestly, they will soon start to recognize the many rewards that come with using videos as a tool to engage with customers, which will in turn benefit your dealership. Ultimately, for a customer to feel comfortable, the person creating the video must feel equally at ease – and this doesn’t come naturally to everyone. A little encouragement from you can go a long way.
Although we’ve touched on this, we want to emphasize just how impactful the use of video can be when it comes to explaining a technical repair to a customer.
Using the SnapCell app allows dealerships to quickly and easily create high-quality videos to send to customers, to help highlight any work that needs to be done. Using various features on the app, your technicians can provide a running commentary of the necessary work that needs to be carried out, while allowing them to see the issue for themselves on screen.
If you have the time, you might also want to use SnapCell to create a library full of useful pre-recorded videos that each focus on a particular common technical issue. These can then be sent to customers instantly, to help them better understand the repair work needed. Better still, you’ll be confident that the video sent is of a professional standard and has the necessary information included. Plus, having these videos on standby that you can reuse and send to multiple customers is definitely a time-effective option, while continuing to prove yourselves as industry experts.
Make the customer feel comfortable
It’s important that you recognize that the first hurdle in getting a customer to understand the information you’re giving them, is for them to welcome your advice. In other words, if you make the customer feel comfortable and at ease, then the chances are, the customer will find it easier to understand and listen to your advice.
This means getting out that imaginary big book of customer service and taking on board some of its juiciest tips. We’re talking about building a good rapport from the word go, smiling a lot, encouraging the customer to talk and ask questions, as well using their name frequently.
It’s also important to always remember (however trivial you might feel the problem is) that any technical repair is likely to have an impact on the customer. Small, big, complex, or simple, the chances are, the customer will have feelings of frustration that it’s needing to get fixed. Treat every repair job with an equal level of care, so the customer can see you’re not just brushing it off.
Know what the problem is
Before you or your team tries to explain a technical repair to a customer, it’s important that you have a good understanding of the issue. After all, it would be unrealistic for you to expect a customer to understand the issue if the person explaining it to them is struggling themselves.
Those who will be speaking to customers regarding technical issues need to be fully trained in that area – they need to be seen as the expert and somebody the customer can trust. In an ideal world, if a customer asks a question, your team needs to be able to confidently answer the question. However, we appreciate this might not always be the case. So if your employee doesn’t know the answer, it’s equally as important that they can explain to the customer that they will seek support from a colleague, who might be in a better position to answer that question.
Act as a guide, rather than a salesperson
We know that the main purpose and goal of any dealership is to drive sales and make a profit but when it comes to explaining technical repairs, it’s important that your team understand the difference between guiding a customer and selling a service.
If your explanation quickly turns into a sales pitch, you’ll quickly begin to frustrate the customer. This is likely to result in them seeing only a sales pitch, rather than support and advice from a trusted expert – which will prevent them from understanding the work that needs to be done.
Recognize the customer’s understanding
Every customer is different and it’s important for you to be able to quickly recognize how much they understand when it comes to the automotive industry and repair work.
Be careful not to use stereotypes and try to treat every new customer equally. Don’t patronize, but ask questions to gauge how high their knowledge of cars is – and this will determine how you go about explaining the technical issue to them. Ultimately, you will need to adjust the language you use, and tone, to best suit each individual customer.
Don’t get too technical
Although it’s tempting to do so (especially as an industry expert), try to avoid using overly complicated and technical jargon. You’ll end up losing the customer in words and phrases they simply don’t understand, while probably confusing them.
Try breaking down the issues and turning them into more simple explanations. This will not only demonstrate your knowledge of the issue, along with your intention to help fix it but it will also prevent the customer from feeling stupid.
A top tip from us is to slow down and take the necessary time to really explain what the issue is, what you’re going to do about it, and how it can be fixed. There really is no harm in taking your time – after all, the calmer you are, the easier the issue will seem for the customer to understand.
Relate the repair to a familiar scenario
If you find yourself struggling to explain a technical repair in a way that the customer understands, one of the best ways to do this is to relate the issue to an everyday scenario that they will be familiar with.
In other words, as well as focussing on what the specific repair is, be sure to explain how that repair could impact the customer, the vehicle, and their driving experience. For example, if the engine coolant is leaking, go on to explain how fixing this would benefit the driver. For example, explain that the engine coolant helps to maintain a safe temperature of the engine, and if the engine gets too hot, this could result in poor performance, long-term damage, as well as potentially a lengthy and expensive repair. Likewise, if left, a leaking engine coolant could also be extremely dangerous for the driver.
While you don’t want to necessarily scare the customer, your staff need to be open and transparent about the issue. As a dealership, you have a responsibility to explain to the customer the risks, as well as the benefits, that come with fixing a technical repair.
Also, by relating a technical repair to a scenario that the customer is familiar with, this is sure to help them understand it a lot better.
Use SnapCell to help customers understand better
For dealerships, a huge part of delivering quality customer service is the quality of the technical support being offered. We get it though, time is precious, which means professionals in the automotive industry are always seeking ways to make their lives easier without sacrificing the world-class support they are offering customers. The SnapCell app will undoubtedly support your team in explaining technician repairs to a customer, in a way that they will understand. From live video to pre-recorded clips, the SnapCell app comes with a whole host of features to make explaining technical issues a little bit easier, for both the customer and your employees. Become a SnapCell customer and book in your free demo today.