In the day-to-day world of trying to properly serve customers, and the multiple challenges that go along with selling cars, one of the most important people at a dealership often gets overlooked.
Your receptionist is the face of your dealership, and is often a potential buyer’s primary contact. They answer the phone, help schedule appointments and are a catalyst to make sure business flows seamlessly. If this person feels undervalued, a customer will pick up on that energy of discontent. Would you want to buy a car, or anything else, from someone who is pissed off because they are treated like a servant instead of a peer?
Sure, they might not technically be closing deals, but a bad attitude brought on by a perception of disrespect could push away potential buyers. And if you are on good terms with the receptionist, they could actually help you in the car-selling endeavor.
It’s important to keep this person happy, and don’t just wait around until Administrative Professionals Day to show them appreciation.
Here are five simple suggestions to help keep this often-overlooked and very important team member happy:
1. Remember the Receptionist’s Name … Seriously!:
Just like you, the receptionist has a name. Remember it, and address them accordingly. Though they are a vital part of the dealership’s operations, it is not the rooftop’s most glamorous title. Would you call a potential car buyer “customer” when referring to them within their earshot? Let’s hope not.
2. People Like Food:
Your receptionist is primarily behind a desk all day, and if it’s a peak time of the week, that person probably does not have a lot of break time in between fielding numerous phone calls and in-person customer queries. If you’re headed out to grab a bite, let them know and ask them if they would like anything. They might not have a request most of the time, but it’s nice to ask. And pick up the bill as long as you’re not going gourmet.
3. Be Sociable During Down Time:
On the other side of the coin, things can get really slow in a dealership. You don’t need to become their best friend, but inquiring about the well-being of their family or pets, asking if they watched the local sports game the day before, or dropping a question about a widely watched television program, certainly doesn’t hurt. It can take one’s mind off of the mundane and let them know you care.
4. Ask Their Advice:
A receptionist interacts with most of the customers coming into a dealership. Asking what kind of read they have on a customer’s car buying interest, or similar observations, could not only help you find a way to craft a potential sale, but makes them feel like part of the process and the success of the business, which can foster a positive attitude of accomplishment.
5. Don’t Forget Administrative Professionals Day!:
Again, receptionists don’t get a whole lot of glory. Just like Father’s Day or Mother’s Day, mark it on your calendar, fork out some cash, and get them a small gift. If you don’t know their interests, refer to number two above.
Boosting employees’ morale, especially those who feel lower on the totem pole than others, certainly won’t hurt the customer experience and your ability to sell more cars. As a consumer, are you going to be more comfortable making a purchase at an establishment where your first point of contact is enthused and engaged, or would you rather spend your money at a place where people look like they despise their job? At the least, treating the receptionist as an equal is common courtesy. At best, it might just help you sell more cars.