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What Word Tracks Are Your Employees Using?

  • “I don’t like word tracks.”
  • “Word tracks don’t work.”
  • “I would never do that to my customers.”
  • “I have my own word tracks.”
  • “My customers would never fall for that.”

And on, and on, and on. These are a few of the thousands of excuses your service advisors and service personnel use to convince you not to enforce the use of word tracks. Here is what is crazy about this: they do like word tracks. They not only like them, but they actually love them and use them every day. How do I know that? Because I have stood side by side with thousands of service advisors when they wrote up their very first customers. Nearly every single time, it went something like this:

A – How may I help you?

C – I am here to get my oil changed.

In a panic, it now hits the advisor that they do not know what to say next, so they ask the advisor who is standing next to them—who has done the job for a number of years—what to say. The veteran advisor tells them what to say, giving them a word track. The new advisor then repeats that word track to the customer, and that word track works on some level. The advisor then puts that word track in a great big bear hug, and every time they find themselves in the same situation, they say that exact same word track—over and over and over. Once again, it is not a question of whether or not your advisors like and use word tracks; it’s a question of if they are using the right word track at the right time to get maximize results. Your advisors are already using word tracks, but the only question is: whose word track are they using? One that you gave them, or one they made up or learned from a poor-performing advisor?We all say we want to deliver world-class service. We all want to be just like the Ritz Carlton, Four Seasons, Ruth’s Chris’s Steakhouse, Disney, Nordstrom, and countless others who consistently deliver world-class service, yet we refuse to do the simplest thing they do to ensure it: create, use, and hold all employees accountable to using the word tracks that will actually create elite service.

Ever heard any of these complaints from your customers?

  • How come I can’t get a loaner/rental car?
  • How come it takes so long to get my car back?
  • Why is my car not going in at my appointment time?
  • Why (fill in the blank)?

Why are these questions asked every day by nearly every customer, creating much wasted time on conversations that only lead to “heat,” disappointment, and lack of trust on the customer’s part? Because your employees are saying things and using word tracks that are causing this to happen. The right word tracks prevent these and many other things from happening.The big pushback we get when we introduce our word tracks is that they are too long, they take too much time, they are uncomfortable, they are hard to say, they will double the amount of time spent with customers, etc. When will I, as an advisor, have the time to say all of those word tracks to a customer?My reply: You can either use your time using word tracks that prevent customers being upset, unhappy, and angry, or you can use your word tracks that create angry, upset, and unhappy customers who do not buy, who do not give great survey scores, and who go elsewhere the next time they need service. What people fail to consider is that we are not going to have you continue using your word tracks and ours; we are going to replace your ineffective ones with ours that require no more time with the customer and, far more often, less time.I cannot say it any more clearly than this: if you are not getting the numbers you want in any area, it is because your employees are not saying the right things to your customers to get those numbers. The worse your numbers, the worse the things that your employees are saying to your customers. Word tracks are the key. They will be and are being used. The question is whose word tracks are they using, theirs or yours? Your numbers do not lie.

Here are just a few of the major benefits to using word tracks that have been designed specifically by those who have worked and are actually working in service.

· Since everyone is saying the exact same thing at the exact same way and at the right time in the transaction, you can measure the effectiveness of individual employees.

· Every word track we design helps to manage the customers’ expectations, which ensures that their expectations are exceeded every time.

· By using our word tracks, your employees are in control of the customer—not the other way around.

· The best word tracks will eliminate nearly all the “heat” from customers instantly so that employees can do their job of providing great service and not playing the role of firefighter all day.

· The right word tracks will encourage your customer to ask you to do all of the work instead of you having to sell them on it.

· Properly designed word tracks will deliver the highest sales, most effective labor rates, the best survey scores, and the absolute highest customer retention.

· When employees use the correct word tracks, it actually requires that they spend less time with each customer. It is impossible to deliver world-class service without the consistent use of word tracks by all employees at all times. Getting employees to use the word tracks you choose will be one of the easiest hard things you have ever done or one of the hardest easy things you have ever done. Although most employees fight change and fight the use of new word tracks, they also embrace them and actually become advocates for them once they see how, instantly, word tracks eliminate heat, speed up the time spent with customers, increase sales, increase effective labor rate, increase survey scores, and increase customer retention. Imagine a day when you show up to work and are dealing with satisfied customers and not an endless line of heat cases. Imagine a day when you show up to work and your sales are through the roof because your employees are using word tracks that work. Imagine the day when you show up to work and have nearly perfect, if not perfect, survey scores and a customer retention rate above 80%. It is a day that can happen and will happen, but only if you enforce mandatory word tracks and hold your employees accountable to using them. That can happen and will happen, but only if you take control of your business, take control of your employees, and do what the Ritz Carltons and Disneys of the world do: implement the effective word tracks you’ve chosen and stop employees from using the unproductive word tracks they’ve invented.

Word tracks are the answer. Always have been, always will be.

Jeff Cowan

Jeff Cowan has been helping automotive dealerships & service centers Succeed for over 35 years.

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