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Best Practices





Best Practices for Equipment Dealers

Managing expectations at every point of contact with your customers creates an opportunity to create a raving fan or lose the customer. In fact, the number one reason for losing customers is mismanaged expectations. Here are the primary reasons that customers never return:

  1. Mismanaged expectations
  2. Change of personnel—yours or theirs
  3. Lack of consistent contact—via email or phone
  4. Distance from branch

Price is the primary reason only for price buyers. The percentage of price buyers is now less than 10% of all customers.

Golden Rules

  1. Never make your problem the customer's problem; they have enough problems of their own, which is why they are calling you.
  2. Always say YES! Then, the question becomes when and how much.
  3. Be proactive, and contact the customer before they contact you.
  4. Manage to customer expectations. Customers often don't remember what you told them; they only remember what they expected to happen.

Online Reputation

For businesses with online ratings that are less than 3 Stars, 60% of prospects and customers do not contact you.

  • Manage your Google 5 Star Ratings through a customer online reputation management system. We recommend Cleartail.com for this service.
  • Manage your Glassdoor and Indeed ratings through an employer online reputation management system. We recommend 5starmoods.com.
  • Insure your local listings are consistent and correct across the internet. We recommend Cleartail's local listings management system at Cleartail.com.

Make sure that every touch point at your company is consistent, positive and professional.

These touchpoints include:

  • Inbound and outbound phone calls
  • Texts and emails
  • Marketing and sales materials
  • Interaction with customer service representatives
  • Interaction with sales reps
  • Sales and service proposals
  • Sales presentations, demos and proposals
  • Products and services, from purchase through delivery
  • Service trucks and vehicles
  • Facilities, both outside and inside, look at what the customer sees
  • Equipment delivery and pick up
  • Complaint management
  • Billing

Best Practices

Phone

Answer the phone in 3 rings or less

  • The call drop off rate is 20% per ring after 3 rings.
  • Customer frustration is exponential for each additional ring and each additional unanswered call.
  • Only 2% to 4% leave a voice mail.
  • If the customer has three bad phone experiences, they will start calling a competitor.
  • Call the customer before they call you, especially with bad news.
  • Proactive calling (text & email) reduces inbound status calls by 60% to 80%.
  • If you cannot deliver parts, service, rental, or equipment as expected or as promised, call the customer. Most customers expect delivery and service on the same day or within 24 hours.

Assume that they will never remember what you promised, if the promise is outside of their expectations.

Say Yes for parts, and over 92% of the time you will be right!
Identify your company, yourself and your department. Understand their problem. Collect contact information and solve their problem: take the order, schedule the service, schedule the rental.

Parts Department

Have a form fill that is always on the Parts Counter—Paper or Screen—to collect the data easily for the Master List/CRM.

Follow the StataPile.com call pattern and score 100% on your employee score

  • Introduce yourself: Company, Branch, Department, Your Name
  • Understand the problem before solving the problem—Listen!
  • Before solving the problem, collect the contact information, including caller name, company, phone, email and shipping/delivery address, even if you know the contact, and add it to your database.

Solve the problem while the customer is on the phone. Identify and sell the part. It takes over three calls to reach someone on a call back with < 50% ever being reached

  • Always ask what else, make a related parts, service, rental suggestion and/or offer a current promotion this will increase the average revenue per order by >20%.
  • Offer service and rental: Do you need help installing the part? Do you need a rental while your machine is down?
  • Answer the phone and say Yes. 92% of the time parts are delivered in 48 hours. Only 8% of the parts order calls require a call back. By saying yes, the conversation becomes when and how much. Less than 20% of the customers ask for the price

Each parts order is worth approximately $1,000. Take the order while the customer is on the phone. Each additional order you take moves the customer toward becoming a Stable Account that generates 5X to 10X more annual revenue.

The top 25% of equipment dealers on StataPile.com:

  • Close >94% of their in-stock parts calls
  • Close >76% of their not in-stock parts orders
  • Are able to find the part >90% of the time. Not found parts is <10% of the orders.
  • Have < 5% parts status calls from customers who have already placed an order
  • Have parts employee scores >85%

Move to chat to allow the handling of more customer requests especially during the peak hours. A chat function provides an easy way to keep your customers informed. We recommend the ChatR.com app for peak calling, reminders and updates 24hrs/day.

Service Department

Follow the Artificial Intelligence StataPile.com optimal call pattern, and score 100% on your employee score.

  • Introduce yourself: Your company, branch, department, and name.
  • Understand the problem before solving the problem—listen!
  • Before solving the problem collect the contact information: Caller name, company, phone, email and machine location address for service/pickup
  • Schedule the service while the customer is on the phone.
  • Always ask what else you need to know—directions, other problems, parts and equipment required etc.
  • Offer rental: Do you need a rental while your machine is down?
  • Each service order is worth approximately $1,000 to $8,000. Take the order, and schedule the service while the customer is on the phone.

The top 25% of equipment dealers on StataPile.com:

  • Close >85% of their service calls
  • Have <5% service status calls from customers who have already scheduled service
  • Have service employee scores >85%

Move to a chat function so you can handle more customer requests, especially during the peak hours and provide an easy way to keep the customer informed. We recommend the ChatR.com app.

Inspect with photos 100% of the machines serviced before starting the work. This step will allow for a discussion of what will be done now, identifies other problems, and avoids misunderstandings about the scope of the work. It also ensures the opportunity to schedule the next service date with the remaining work following an inspection.

Once the service is complete, schedule the next service or inspection on a specific date. Call/text/email reminders to confirm the next service date. With this approach, you will keep your shop and field service utilization high. It also provides a reservoir to keep your shop and field service fully utilized during a slowdown.

Photos are worth 1,000 words take photos before and after and include in proposals and billings

Rental Department

Follow the StataPile.com call pattern and score 100% on your employee score.

  • Introduce yourself, including company, branch, rental department, your name.
  • Never answer the question, "Do you have this machine for rent?" If you say no the customer will hang up and call the next number on his list. Instead, understand the job before offering the equipment to rent.
  • Ask questions and listen. Asking questions allows you to offer equipment and attachments you have available that can do the job, rather than just respond to the customer's request. This approach will greatly increase your equipment rental utilization.
  • Before solving the problem, collect the contact information: caller name, company, phone, email and machine location address for service or pickup.
  • Schedule the rental while the customer is on the phone.
  • Always ask what else you should know—directions, other problems, parts and other equipment required.
  • Offer service and pickup if the rental unit is being used to replace a machine out of service.
  • Each rental order is worth on average $1,000 to $7,000 per day. Take the order and schedule the rental while the customer is on the phone.

The top 25% of equipment dealers on StataPile.com:

  • Close >85% of their rental calls if they have a machine available and if not suggest a equal or better alternative.
  • Have <5% rental status calls from customers who have already scheduled a rental
  • Have rental employee scores >90%

Move to chat to allow the handling of more customer requests especially during the peak hours and provide an easy way to keep the customer informed. We recommend the ChatR.com app.

Whole goods—New and Used Equipment Sales

Follow the StataPile.com call pattern, and score 100% on your employee score:

  • Introduce yourself: company, branch, sales department, your name.
  • Understand the equipment use before solving the problem. Ask questions and listen!
  • Before recommending equipment, collect the contact information: caller name, company, phone, email and machine location address.
  • Schedule the demo while the customer is on the phone.
  • Always offer three alternatives: Good, Better, Best in proposals—new, used, and a smaller or larger machine.
  • Offer a demo especially for used at your yard. ChatR.com works for scheduling used equipment demos.
  • Each equipment order is worth on average $25,000 to $100,000. Schedule the appointment or demo while the customer is on the phone.
  • Always have all calls transferred to the sales rep. Have the sales rep's primary phone as the company's direct number with a transfer to a sales rep's cell. Do not let these calls go to voice mail. Over 80% will call their next equipment dealer choice if they don't reach someone the first time.

The top 25% of equipment dealers on StataPile.com:

  • Close <30% of their equipment purchase calls that result in a meeting, demo and/or proposal.
  • Have >5% new equipment status calls from customers who have already purchased
  • Have sales employee scores <90%

Over 75% of customers asking about the purchase of a machine will purchase from someone in the next 12 months.

  • Move to auto chat to allow the handling calls to sales on the main line to avoid voicemail.
  • Connect your office phone to your cell phone to avoid missed calls, and we recommend that you use ChatR.com for online chats.

Sales Funnel

Collect contact information, including emails, for all prospects and customers.

Monitor online prospect and customer activity to identify leads who are actively interested in purchasing. Over 94% of all customers and prospects search the web before they call you. Customer emails and URLs are required to identify sales lead opportunities.

We recommend a web tagging program, Cleartail.com, so you can receive alerts on website visitors.

New customers purchase parts, service, rental and used equipment, but they rarely purchase new equipment. Focus on engaging new customers with the full range products and service offered by your dealership.

95% of new equipment is purchased by customers who have been doing business with your dealership for more than 3 years.

Treat your customers as you would want to be treated.