Last week RHD TIRE EAST (Ferndale) held a 3 Day Training Event with 2 of the best trainers in the business, Chris Welty, and Lesley Boyd. It was a major success with 100% attendance, participation, and engagement. Thank you to Chris, Lesley, and everyone who attended the classes, each and every one of you are extraordinary individuals!
Here’s a summary of some of the key points and topics we covered, and some food for thought at the end;
As Chris said many times during the training event we are “Neighbors helping neighbors”.
We are helping the people that live in the communities that surround our Dealerships. We are helping our family members, friends, the business people that work nearby, travelers passing through our cities, local schools, municipalities, our competitors, and our co-workers. We are all helping people get their cars repaired, their oil changed, we are helping to get them back on the road after a flat tire, doing a safety check before a family goes on a road trip, the list goes on and on.
And we are not just trying to capture their business one time, we are trying to gain the customer’s loyalty, trust, and partnership. We want that customer to come back and see us as their car repairs and maintenance needs arise. We want to be the trusted expert to all of our customers.
But how do we earn their trust?
Duane Gillens, a Service Consultant from Serra Chevrolet, said it best during Tuesday’s class, “People don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care”.
We have to care, day in and day out, and the customer needs to know how much we care in order for the trust and loyalty to be established.
In our classes, Chris mentioned an article called, The Crisis of Trust, and this article gives a great analogy, “Trust is like a sheet of paper, once crumpled, it can never be perfect again no matter how well you try to smooth things out”.
So let’s do our very best to get it right the first time.
Everyone who attended our classes left with new ways to accomplish this as we brainstormed ways to go the extra mile in our customer interactions. As well as, reviewing the basics, such as listening, being warm and friendly, willing to help, and asking questions that help us really identify what the customer needs and wants, especially when it comes to tires.
Capturing the Performance Market
In the Capturing the Performance Market class we covered why it is so important and vital to ask our customers qualifying questions. My two favorite questions to start with are “what do you like about your car?” and “is there anything I could improve about that way your car drives?”.
After asking questions like those, you should be able to start the conversation with the customer about their likes and dislikes which will help you identify the BEST tire for them, not the cheapest tire, not the tire that you’d buy for your kid, but the BEST tire for your customer based on their preferences. When we take the time to get to know our customers we start to establish trust, because we are showing that we care. Let’s do this during every customer interaction! It’s simple, easy, and it will pay off tenfold in more ways then you realize.
On that note, if anyone needs tire product knowledge please reach out to me. I will get you on the RHD Sales Team calendar for a one-on-one coaching session so that you can confidently suggest and sell the BEST tires for the BEST price (we will review the value of price matching) for each and every customer. Now is the time to get into the tire business, and RHD wants to help.
Pro Phone Skills
Lesley Boyd of Bridgestone led the Pro Phone Skills classes at our training event.
Managers, I highly encourage you to call your own Dealerships when you have a minute and check and complete the following:
1) Inform the receptionist or BDC (Business Development Center) rep that you are calling to get a quote on tires.
2) Where do they transfer you? Parts? Service? Someplace else? Do they know where a tire inquiry should go?!
3) Does the Parts Person or Service Advisor ask for your tire size? (Be like an average consumer and say you do not know your tire size. What happens next?)
4) After all the questions or lack of questions did you end up with a tire quote?
5) Did anyone ask for your name?
6) Did they tell you they cannot look up a tire quote without your tire size?
7) Did they tell you to go out to your car to check the tire size?
8) How long did the call take?
9) Are you satisfied with the call?
and the million dollar question…
10) Did the person you spoke to ask to set an appointment with you to have you come in, so they can obtain your tire size, inspect your current tires, and then get you an accurate quote for the BEST tires for your vehicle and needs?
After that little test, if anyone needs phone skills training in their Dealerships please reach out! RHD wants to help and work with your staff. Everyone at your store should know where a tire call should go, and service advisor’s my hope is that you can schedule an appointment time and bring the customer into your amazing Dealership. Tell them about all of your awesome amenities such as free WiFi, complimentary coffee, water, and snacks, a comfortable lounge to relax in, all while you inspect their tires and engage with the customer to identify the BEST tire for them! Inform them of your ability to price match and that you will do the shopping around for them when they stop by your store. The goal here is to get the appointment time set, bring the customer into your store, and demonstrate that you are the expert when it comes to their car.
Shifting from Good to Great Customer Service
The 3rd class offering we had last week was the Shifting from Good to Great Customer Service course, which is my favorite class! In this course, Chris teaches techniques on how to improve your customer service. It is a very interactive course and thought-provoking. It is based heavily on the practices found in the book, “Zingerman’s Guide to Giving Great Service”. I encourage you to read this book if you have not, or listen to it on Audible.
I have now been in this class a total of 4 times, each time I take note of a new idea or concept. This time it was “we should treat our co-workers the same as we treat our customers”.
Chris gave some great ideas of how we can go the extra mile for our co-workers and employees, in the same or similar ways we typically do for our customers. He suggested things like brushing the snow off of their car during the winter, and or warming up or cooling off a co-worker’s car before they leave for the day. Grab them coffee or offer to pick up their lunch. Simply put be kind to everyone, not just the customer. It will create a happier workplace, which will create a positive atmosphere in your store, and your customers will pick up on this and it could very well be the reason they chose to do business at your Dealership, instead of the Dealership down the street. Your co-workers or employees will go home happy and fulfilled and will return to work in the same way when they work in a positive work environment. At the beginning of this post, I noted that our co-workers are or could be our customers. They should be your customers. Their countless family members and friends should also be your customers.
Think about some of the disagreements you have had with a fellow co-worker, employee, and or manager at work. Had you treated them like a customer and been of service to them, rather than combative could the overall outcome have been improved? Most likely, yes it could have. There would have been no follow-up meetings, write-ups, no discomfort, no stress, and the influence of emotional contagion within your organization would have been positively impacted, as opposed to negatively impacted.
Moral Elevation and Emotional Contagion
Chris’s statement, “we should treat our co-workers the same as we treat our customers”, had me thinking a lot about what that would look like and how it could impact not just our workplaces but the world. As synchronicity would have it, I woke up March 15th, day 3 of our training event, and decided to listen to one of my new favorite podcasts, Ted WorkLife with Adam Grant while I got ready for the day. Episode 3, The Team of Humble Stars was exactly what I needed to hear. In this episode, Adam and his guests talk about moral elevation, which is a feeling that you get when you see someone else’s moral goodness. Typically these moments are small gestures that have a big, positive, moving impact. It could be a co-worker who stays late to help the team get all the work done, the boss who fixes the copy machine, or the co-worker who brushes the snow off of your car as mentioned above. It’s these small gestures or one might say virtuous acts that inspire more virtuous acts.
Adam Grant goes on to discuss emotional contagion, which is the phenomenon of having one person’s emotions and related behaviors directly trigger similar emotions and behaviors in other people. In the podcast, Sigal Barsade, describes a former colleague, “Meg”, that worked in her office and was a negative person, and one day “Meg” went on vacation, and it was then that Sigal and her co-workers noticed how much more relaxed they were without Meg around. We have all experienced a co-worker, manager, employee like “Meg”, and sadly we have probably been a “Meg”, we might be a “Meg” right now. The point is that contagion can be positive or negative, and it can impact the emotional state of a team, a department, and or an entire organization.
I felt these concepts really went hand-in-hand with what Chris spoke about in class. I see it day in and day out in the Dealerships. I see and experience both the negative and positive, and I definitely notice it has an impact on me. Sometimes I will leave a Dealership feeling elated because we laughed so much during my visit. Everyone was upbeat, friendly, and positive, not just to me but to everyone, the customers, and their co-workers. Days like this are true gifts. They light me up inside, I feel a sense of achievement, my self-esteem is up, and I find myself telling people about how much I love my job! Try it out! Smile at someone, laugh with them, offer them a bottled water, get lunch for your fellow co-worker, it just may be these small, kind gestures that not only make you feel better inside and happier, but they might lead to more sales and success!
Again thank you, Chris and Lesley, thank you Bridgestone, thank you to all of the attendees, thank you to the managers who sent their employees and encourage them to learn, grow, and develop their skills, thank you to the RHD Tire team members who attended the classes, and thank you to Kevin, Chris, and Mike (the 3 RHD TIRE owners) who fully support their employees. I hope the training has a positive impact on you for many months and years to come.