Poor hiring practices cost the automotive industry billions of dollars annually. According to the U.S. Department of Labor, the price of a bad hire is at least 30% of the employee’s first-year earnings.
If shops have no staffing strategy or formalized hiring process in place, clearly, they need to make a change. While shop owners may not be able to control things such as recalls, interest rates or industry evolution and trends, they can control who they hire.
The bottom line is this: The difference between a mediocre repair shop and a great repair shop is the strength of its people.
The Importance of a Positive Phone Experience
As today’s consumers access more product information and gather answers to their questions through the use of online resources, it’s becoming more important than ever to build value in the customer experience versus your shop’s offerings alone. Shaping great customer experiences begins with one of the first critical moments that matter: the phone call.
If your frontline employees aren’t driving the type of experience you want for your callers, then there’s a major misalignment. Since many calls to shops end without satisfying the caller’s questions, the phones are a great opportunity to lift sales and boost customer service.
The employee who answers the phone drives the experience that callers have with your shop. Ensure that your employees are going in the right direction by including strong phone skills in your interviewing process.
Take Control of Your Hiring and Selection Process
Stop hiring candidates just because you need a body to fill an opening. Hiring decisions are too often made based on whom we like best, who presents themselves with the most confidence or whom someone we trust recommended.
In reality, that’s not a reliable way to pick the best performer or best fit for the job. For example, Disney doesn’t hire cast members who don’t love talking to strangers, so shops shouldn’t hire employees who don’t love talking on the phone.
Instead, create a pre-screening process that includes a formal assessment, behavior-based interviewing techniques and an audition over the phone.
So, how do you find out if your candidate is a skilled communicator over the phone? Conduct a working interview over the phone and make sure phone interaction is part of your interview process. This way, you will experience firsthand how the potential employee will interact with customers, especially when faced with difficult-to-answer questions or other scenarios.
Best Practices for Hiring Sales All-Stars
Hiring top performers is not a series of simple steps; rather, consider the following best practices:
• Identify the traits and skills necessary to be successful in the role by developing an ideal candidate profile.
• Use assessments to identify workplace preferences and natural strengths, which will result in hires who enjoy their job and are productive, versus hiring a great candidate for the wrong role.
• Make interviews behavior-based. Ask questions that focus on the candidate’s past performance to find out if they have the skills and personality traits that you’re looking for, since how the candidate reacted to a situation in the past is likely how they will react in the future. Behavior-based interviewing improves your chances of selecting the right candidate two to five times over the traditional process, and has a 70% predictive ability rate versus traditional methods, which have only a 19% predictive ability rate.
Customers call shops because they want their questions answered. In fact, call data reveals that when a customer’s questions are fully answered by an upbeat salesperson, it is the caller who asks for the appointment 57% of the time.
A positive customer experience isn’t just polite — it’s a differentiator. Selecting the right people and putting them in the driver’s seat ensures a successful ride for your callers and sets your shop apart from its competitors.
Article courtesy sister publication AutoSuccess Magazine.