15 Customer Service Mistakes Dealerships Must Avoid

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No dealership is impervious to customer service mistakes.  

Most service lanes have underestimated repair times, sales teams have made promises they could not keep, and staff often struggles to remedy customer concerns. 

However, a dealership cannot correct these shortcomings and boost the customer experience without first understanding the most common (and easily made) customer service mistakes in the retail auto industry. 

This article outlines fifteen such mishaps that dealerships should avoid to bolster customer relationships.

15 Dealership Customer Service Mistakes

  1. Sales teams are not using customer data appropriately. Dealers can maximize their services and drive more revenue via data analysis. Those who do not rely on this information to identify potential customers will miss opportunities. 
  1. The staff is not documenting that data carefully and thoroughly. A dealership cannot study that data if it does not enter all of it into the database correctly.  

  1. Marketing is not focusing on customer-centric strategies. Most online prospects actively read reviews before narrowing down their list of potential dealerships, so marketing methods must center on satisfied customers. However, this is only achievable with dealerships prioritizing their customers, who write favorable reviews. 
  1. Management is not training the customer service team. High levels of service require high-quality employees with proper work training. Without it, customer experiences and resulting satisfaction can suffer.  

  1. Management cannot keep team members. Dealerships function more efficiently when employees stick around, and everyone can bond as a team. However, finding and forming an excellent team can be challenging, and keeping them all on board can be even more complicated. Significant turnover breaks those bonds, creates inconsistencies in the processes, and fosters miscommunication.  

  1. The dealership is not delivering on promises. One of the biggest customer service mistakes is agreeing to all a customer’s expectations but not following through. This mistake is a surefire way to create frustrated customers who can quickly escalate the issue on social media platforms and in online reviews.  

  1. The service team is not specifying repair timelines. Customers become frustrated if they waste time (unnecessarily) sitting in the dealership waiting for a vehicle that the fixed ops team cannot service immediately. Time is crucial in everyone’s day-to-day lives, and giving clients realistic repair schedules is vital.  

  1. The staff is not listening to customers. Customers expect that when they contact the dealership, the team will genuinely acknowledge their concerns and supply thoughtful solutions. If dealers do not offer this level of attention, their answers will probably fall short, and the same issue might arise with a future customer.  

  1. Marketing is not using discretion when surveying. Dealers should be careful not to survey customers excessively. Instead, they should use discretion in how often they make contact. Customers will be less inclined to complete a survey if dealers overwhelm them every time they visit the showroom.  

  1. The service and sales teams are not engaged in productive conversations. One of the first lessons dealers should teach their staff (and a typical customer service mistake) is not to debate with customers. Avoid arguing, even if the dealership is correct in that instance. Instead, express regret for any inconvenience and try to speak to them calmly.  

  1. Service teams are not communicating often enough. It is crucial to keep clients informed throughout the repair process, especially if there are delays. Simple daily communication by phone, email, or text might prevent customers from losing patience.  

  1. Marketing is not keeping automation in check. Automation is effective in specific circumstances, but it is often best to personalize conversations, particularly when it comes to customer service. Dealers might also consider providing customers with multiple communication channels like video calls and online chat, in addition to phone calls, texts, and emails.  

  1. The staff is not showing empathy. Customers are less likely to understand and agree with a dealership’s point of view when staff does not express compassion or gratitude during client conversations, particularly those involving a difference of opinion.  

  1. Customer contacts are not readily available. Customers can become extremely frustrated when they cannot contact someone quickly, so dealers and their staff should always be accessible. As mentioned several times above, they might consider an omnichannel communication approach whenever possible, allowing customers to make contact on the platform and device of their choosing. 

  1. The staff is not asking for customer input. Assumptions can ruin customer relationships and have a detrimental effect on their experiences. Dealers and their staff should always ask for customer input rather than make assumptions about customer wants and needs. 

Avoiding Common Customer Service Mistakes Requires the Best Technology 

Customer service is a critical aspect of any dealership. It serves as a conduit that helps strengthen relationships and improve customer satisfaction, enabling you to extract more value from them over time. 

However, getting the most out of your team requires avoiding common customer service mistakes—including those discussed above—that can cripple those relationships and prevent dealers from creating repeat customers. Doing so successfully requires the industry’s best CRM solutions that can handle high call volumes, provide expert live agents to resolve issues, and support ongoing campaigns to remain in constant communication with customers. 

Contact us today and discover how Affinitiv’s Call Center can help your dealership avoid the typical customer service mistakes that can result in customer attrition. 

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