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Ring Ring - How many calls does your shop get?


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I am trying to get a grip on the positions I need to fill at my shop. I am thinking of getting a person to answer the phone. Not to sell anything but just to answer the phone and greet the customer, give directions and take their name and number so the SA's can call them back.

I would hate to hire a person only to let them go because its not a position I really need to fill.

 

How many phone calls can 1 Service Adviser handle?

How many calls does your shop get per week?

How do you handle it when a customer wants to check in and another wants to check out and the phone will not stop ringing.? Do you take a message, Let voicemail do its job or just pull your hair out?

 

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I'm in the same boat. It seems like the front door is connected to the phone and the street; as soon as a customer walks in the phone rings. Someone wants free air at the same time, then sure enough a family will want to test drive a used car, then a guy will want to look at tread designs of every tire in stock. All at the same time. Then the parts guy shows up along with a solicitor. I dont have any hair left to pull out. Then an hour will go by with no calls no walk ins. My wife helps out when she can, it makes a big difference for someone to be permanently attached to the phone. We get at least 20-30 calls a day, most are status updates, tire prices and appointment scheduling - all things a secretary can handle easily.

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In my humble opinion it really makes sense to have a trained service advisor manning the phones. It makes your shop look professional and serves the needs of the customers immediately. Think about whenever you call up a business and a secretary or receptionist that knows absolutely nothing answers the phone. You get annoyed and frustrated sometimes even and they do not serve any of your needs. Also if you never receive that call back it will further cause you as the customer to possibly look elsewhere.

 

Of course the draw backs are it is harder to find a capable person. If they are not already trained you will have to train them and of course they will command a higher salary. I am in the same boat as all of you guys. I can probably easily hire a receptionist to answer phones however I do not believe it will further my business. Sure I won't have to filter phone calls personally however I will still have to call customers back and handle everything all the while possibly getting wrong information filtered through another person.

 

My suggestion is to build your business up to a point where you can afford to hire the proper help and also make sure they are properly trained. Even if they have NO knowledge of the automotive business hire for attitude. Anyone who loves to talk to people, has a GREAT positive attitude and the desire to learn can be taught all the skills needed.

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Somewhat same boat... I hired a guy with a GREAT attitude from the local parts store to run my front desk, answer phones, build quotes/estimates, etc when I first opened. Took him probably 2-3 months to really hit full stride, but he ultimately wanted to turn wrenches with me. I DREADED pulling him from the front desk and hiring someone new to replace him (have to train the new person and now train a new tech at the same time). The phone rings non stop, customers schedule appts, special order parts, waiter drive-ups... I can't imagine doing without someone to at least answer phones and collect payments.

 

I hired a girl who has an AMAZING personality and I know will be a rockstar if she sticks with it till she gets the hang of it (and if she can figure out how to show up on time). It's just tough getting through the training period.

 

Worst part is, I haven't done any advertising in 6 months and we are getting busier and busier... It's tough keeping up the customer service levels with the increased workload

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mmotley, I am so happy for you and your shop with the increasing workload. Keep up the good work.

 

What exactly does the girl do? Does she sell anything or just re-directs the call?

 

I swear to God that there is a hidden camera somewhere in my waiting room that watches me. As soon as I have a customer in front of me 2 of these stalkers will call me. As soon as they dial my number they email their telemarketing friend to call me and try to sell me credit card processing. As soon as the 3rd line rings HP activates the virus they planted in my printer and it begins to jam the paper tray. :D

 

I am starting to agree with this legalized marijuana law.

 

There has to be a written rule on how to professionally handle this. Anyone know what it is?

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Just a few ideas that may help. I agree with Mspecperformance, I want the person that answers the phone to be the one I deal with as much as possible. I want the person who answers the phone to speak slow and clearly enough to be heard and offer to help. It costs ALOT of money to get the phone to ring. The next item is to get the folks that set an appointment pre-written. Get the contact info, problem statement, all the particulars BEFORE they come in, then its real easy to do the hand off of the car. Also, call customers with regular progress reports on work in the shop, so they dont have to call at what will be the worst possible time. These are proactive, instead of reactive strategies that give you control at the counter and more professionalism with out adding any payroll, and giving better service all at once.

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I am good after I get the car in the shop. I was taught a very good lesson from Dave Dickson that works like a dream.

 

When the customers leaves the car I simple explain the we offer same day service in most cases and that their car will be ready at 5:30 unless we have a parts problem. I then go on and say: If we have a parts problem I will call you. so if you do not hear from us that is good news and simply pick up your car at 5:30. No need to call.

 

Explaining it to the customer in simple terms really works well and avoids most lunch time calls.

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Each of our two shops has a pro service advisor. Each is assisted by a junior trainee SA who is responsible for answering the phone, greeting customers and doing the initial entry of the data into RO Writer. We want our senior SAs to spend as much time as possible selling work, estimating, and interfacing with our techs.

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Each of our two shops has a pro service advisor. Each is assisted by a junior trainee SA who is responsible for answering the phone, greeting customers and doing the initial entry of the data into RO Writer. We want our senior SAs to spend as much time as possible selling work, estimating, and interfacing with our techs.

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Either I or my service adviser (assistant manager) answer the phones. I found that an unknowing (little to no automotive experience) assistant answering the phone was like this: 1) answer phone 2) "I'm not sure....I don't know....not really....uhhhh....let me get Steve for you." So you see, I was answering the phone anyway. I was paying her $550 per week and she had been with me for 10 months. It was "re-train every day!!!" So I now save $550 per week and Ronnie or I answer the phone. I would rather the phone not get answered (doesn't happen often) than for my client or potential client to get a dumb ass on the phone. How many of you have called a company and gotten dumb asses on the phone when you really wanted to talk with someone that could count to 10? I would rather be busy and aggravated on my own without worrying about what a newbie is saying or not saying.

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mmotley, I am so happy for you and your shop with the increasing workload. Keep up the good work.

 

What exactly does the girl do? Does she sell anything or just re-directs the call?

 

I swear to God that there is a hidden camera somewhere in my waiting room that watches me. As soon as I have a customer in front of me 2 of these stalkers will call me. As soon as they dial my number they email their telemarketing friend to call me and try to sell me credit card processing. As soon as the 3rd line rings HP activates the virus they planted in my printer and it begins to jam the paper tray. :D

 

I am starting to agree with this legalized marijuana law.

 

There has to be a written rule on how to professionally handle this. Anyone know what it is?

 

She makes sales, schedules work, collects payment, answers phones, etc.

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