To stand out from the rent-a-car chains creeping into your area, good telephone manners at the counter provide an opportunity to create a better experience for each of your customers and possibly increase your rental days.
It all begins with one single call.
Most times, a potential customer will call you for information about your rental car services and to place that rental reservation. How you — and your staff — handle that phone call can make or not make that reservation.
The following are some tips and suggestions on good rental car business telephone manners at the counter to get you and your team delivering better than GREAT customer service.
The phone rings and before the third ring you pick it up and say….
“Hello? Waddu want?”
Or does it sound like this?
….said so fast a customer cannot make out the name of the company, or the person on the other end.
Remember, the telephone is not your enemy…it can be your best friend…. if you let it.
Start with what YOU WANT the customer to hear.
“Hello (good morning/afternoon), thank you for calling First Rental Services. This is Sarah how may I help you today, please?”
Say this like you mean it.
Say it slowly with a smile on your face –really, it does makes a difference when you smile as you speak into the phone……
Plus, while you are saying these words, consider what your voice is reflecting at the precise moment you start speaking.
Boredom? (This is my 125th call of the day and I am just so tired of these people)
Immaturity? (Like this is my first job, like you know, and this is how I talk to my BFF so why should I be talking any different here?)
Assurance? (Yes indeed, you, my customer, will get the BEST service you have ever received!)
Now, consider the SPEED OF DELIVERY
Yes, you know everything there is to know about your business and the rental car business but your customer does not. Earlier we noted what a too-fast deliver sounds like to the person on the other end of the telephone conversation.
When you enunciate (speak clearly) and remember to breathe, you automatically slow the delivery.
Your mature customers will thank you.
The customers on a cell phone with a bad connection will thank you.
Your bottom line will thank you, because you just secured a new rental agreement.
Listen to your customer
We don’t advise multitasking if you can help it. We know there will be days when you got cars going out, cars coming in, people standing at the counter, their kids wandering around your lobby, and two lines flashing with waiting customers.
When possible, delegate the phones to someone who can devote the time to treating the on-the-phone-customers with the same respect as the customer standing at the counter (you do treat all your customers with respect, right?)
Now that the reservation is made, just before you hang up the phone, you say what?
‘Thanks, good-by” or,
“We appreciate you calling First Rental Services, Mr/Mrs Jones, we look forward to seeing you (name day of pick up here.) Have a wonderful day/evening. Good-by……”
So, you think it’s a long winded close?
Maybe, but more than likely your competition is not taking the time to tell the customer how much her business is appreciated.
Think this is too much work? Try this exercise.
Call a few places, like your local competition, your favorite pizza take out place, even your own business (we suggest you not use your land line; Caller ID makes it hard to be a mystery shopper.)
Listen to the delivery. Like it? Not? Are you feeling the love?
Like we said, it all starts with a phone call. It can end well with a phone call, too.
But what about those customers you really can’t or don’t want to make nice with?
(That topic for discussion coming soon.)
To be the best rental car business in your neighborhood you need the best counter staff. Auto Rental Solutions offers training modules for you and your staff on all things customer service for the rent a car business. Give us a call to find out how employee training will benefit you, your employees and your business. 800-396-9128.